Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quest Atlantis

This quote from the Quest Atlantis site sums it up for me: 'Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-15, in educational tasks. QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation.'

This project is run by the Indiana School of Education at Indiana University and is funded by the National Science Foundation and others.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

SpEd Forms User Group Meeting

There will be a SpEd Forms user group meeting on Tuesday, October 28 from 9:00-noon. If you are interested in attending, let me know.

Also, this is my 100th blog post!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

AT for Computer Games?

I get many questions about using assistive technology to help students use popular video game software. The assistivegaming.com site is a great resource for making AT work in the gaming world. They can help with everything from playing Monopoly to Second Life. They actually use AT to interact with the programs so they know what they are all about.

Other good sites include ablegamers.com and pcsgames.net.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No tricks, just treats!

Celebrate All Hallows’ Eve by sending “ghoulish” treats to that favorite pumpkin in your patch. The students at Paul Bunyan Transition Plus have created “frightfully” fun and “boo”tifully decorated Halloween gifts containing a not too scary “brew” of treats. Hurry as “haunting” season is upon us and your favorite “ghoul or ghostie” doesn’t want to be left out in the dark. “Bewitch” them by having us deliver it as well on that “spooky” day. There will be “screams” of joy.

Deadline to place orders is Wednesday, Oct. 29 or while supplies last. Prices range from $1.00-$6.00 with orders taken via email to pam.lorenz@isd181.org or by calling 454-5393 to talk with a student.

Witch hand $1 = popcorn hand with spider ring
Sucker bouquet $2 = 1 large and 2 small Halloween suckers made into a “bouquet”
Spider pumpkin $2 = non-edible pumpkin spider
Candy bags $3 = peanut/candy corn mixture in decorated cellophane bags
Witches brew $4 small or $5 large = ghost, bat, witch, and pumpkin “cauldrons” filled with candy and prizes
Goblets $4 = ghoulish goblets filled with candy and prizes
Candy corn pot $4 = clay pots painted to look like candy corn filled with peanut/candy corn mixture
Scary cactus $6 = live cactus plants decorated in ghoulish fashion

Open Source AT Software

I learned of a great Open Source (can you say 'free') site for assistive technology software at Closing the Gap. The site is oatsoft.org.

There is lots of good stuff on the site including on screen keyboards, voice activation, symbol libraries, full office suites and word prediction software. It's all free, but some have upgrades to more full featured products that have a nominal fee. At least you can try it for free.

With budgets evaporating, I think this is something everyone should at least consider.

Monday, October 20, 2008

What's a Ning?

A Ning is a type of social networking site. There are many social networking sites that students use like Facebook or MySpace.

I've created a Ning for the coop. If you'd like to participate as an early adopter, let me know! It's a great chance to play with technology you could use in a classroom.