Lauren S. Enders, MA, CCC-SLP is a licensed and ASHA-certified SpeechLanguage Pathologist, currently working as a fulltime Augmentative and Alternative Communication and Assistive Technology (AT) Consultant for Bucks County Intermediate Unit in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She has had a passion for using AAC and other forms of assistive technology to support students with complex communication needs and complex bodies since she began her career in 1995. Lauren presents regularly at national conferences, including Closing the Gap, ATIA, and ASHA, as well as more intimate conferences, speaking engagements, and webinars. She has shared her knowledge via blog posts on Praacticalaac.org as well as in articles published in the ASHA Leader and Closing the Gap Solutions Magazines. Lauren enjoys sharing AAC and AT related resources and networking with others in the field via Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
The Power of Canva in Special Education
Canva is a powerful and easy-to-use graphic design website with many features that make it an ideal, open-ended tool to engage students who receive special education services. With Canva for Education, all of the features of the (typically) paid Pro version are free to all educational institutions and qualified teachers (with proof of teaching certification). With access to 420,000+ templates and learning resources, 75 million+ premium stock images, videos, and graphics (for free), an extended library of 3,000+ fonts, collaborative features, and integrations with all of your go-to classroom tools (Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, Canvas, Schoology, and more), Canva has something for everyone!
Participants will be provided with session slides along with links to digital resources shared during each session. There is no fee to attend. Once registered, information will be provided on how to sign up for Canva for Education so that you are ready to roll when the series starts! We hope to see you there!
The Power of Canva in Special Education Part 1—February 8, 2022 from 4:00–5:15 p.m. (Arizona time)
In the first session in the series, you will learn about the features of Canva and how they can be used to follow address just about any topic or skill area while incorporating student’s special topics of interest. Whether you are a special education teacher, SLP, OT, reading specialist, or provide other services to students, Canva will be a useful addition to your toolbox! Though Canva is a graphic design program, its uses go far beyond creating presentations or worksheets. You will even learn how to use built-in tools such as the background remover that can be helpful in creating adapted materials for students with cortical visual impairment.
The Power of Canva in Special Education Part 2—February 10, 2022 from 4:00–5:15 p.m. (Arizona time)
In Session 2 of this series, we will take a deeper dive into how to use Canva to support students who communicate using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). We will explore activity options as well as ways to incorporate symbols from your student’s communication system into your activity or project. We recommend attending both sessions to get a full picture of the power of this amazing tool; however, you can attend whichever session(s) fit into your schedule. (one or both)
Tony Vincent has been a pioneer in digital learning. Tony left regular teaching in 2006 to work with teachers worldwide. After years of self-employment as an education and technology presenter, Tony went back to the classroom to teach fifth grade in Council Bluffs, Iowa for the 2018–2019 school year. While he’s proud to have led workshops and presentations in almost all 50 states, empowering his students to be creative thinkers is his favorite professional accomplishment. Tony is a prolific sharer, approachable, and he consistently selects practical tools and strategies that can be implemented right away. To see what Tony shares online, click on over to the Learning in Hand website, where you can explore his website and find his social media links. And, if you spend a little time with Tony, you’re likely to hear about his charming nine-year-old twins.
Pixels to paper— Tuesday, March 22, 2022, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. (Arizona time)
In this session, you will be able to see the variety of printable creations you can make in Google Slides or PowerPoint. These creations are not ordinary printouts! Learn to make your own tear-off sheets, table toppers, multipage posters, door hangers, brochures, dice, scratch cards, and foldable mini-books. These printable items can serve as visual scaffolds, handy reminders, or learning artifacts for students.
Google Forms Awesomeness— Wednesday, March 23, 2022, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. (Arizona time)
Google Forms is awesome, but you already knew that. It’s great how responses feed directly into a spreadsheet for easy access and analysis. You can create assessments, surveys, checkout forms, and quizzes for students. You can also poll colleagues, collect information from parents, and keep logs. If you dig into the settings, you can do even more!
Electrify Any Lesson 2.o— Thursday, March 24, 2022, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m. (Arizona time)
Tony's most popular presentation is updated with all new ways to make learning irresistible. Experience Tony's new favorite low-prep lesson hooks, conversation starters, and tools to make any lesson extra special.
Judith Schoonover, MEd, OTR/L, ATP, FAOTA is an occupational therapist and former elementary school teacher. She is certified as an assistive technology professional (ATP) by Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America RESNA and was a founding member of the Loudoun County Public Schools Assistive Technology Team. Judith has provided direct services in schools for more than 44 years and is a nationally and internationally recognized speaker presenting on the topics of school-based occupational therapy, transition, literacy, and assistive technology. She has authored numerous articles, and chapters in Early Childhood: Occupational Therapy Services for Children Birth to Five, Occupational Therapy for Children (6th–8th eds.), Best Practices in School Occupational Therapy, Assistive Technologies, and Occupational Therapy and Transitions: A Cross-System Perspective. She participated in National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE) workgroups addressing response to intervention (RTI), transition, and virtual schools. Currently, Judith represents American Occupational Therapy Association AOTA on the National Joint Committee (NJC) for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities; she is a Strand Advisor for The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference and serves on the editorial board of the Assistive Technology Outcomes and Benefits (ATOB) Journal.
Want to ‘Make’ a Difference? Promote ParticipATion with Easily Found Materials—Thursday, April7, 2022, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (Arizona time)
Never underestimate the power of using what is available or easily acquired as a first step to supporting young learners or those with exceptional needs. A common misconception is that all assistive technology is complicated and expensive. Finding new uses for familiar tools is a means to increase “buy-in” by all involved. Whether working virtually or face-to-face, simple adaptations with easily found materials can make a difference and empower users, caregivers, and educators to come up with their own interventions. This make-and-take workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to create PVC tools from items found in hardware stores (PVC pipe, joints, and cutters) and to assemble them in minutes, as well as to make simple manipulatives to support physical access and learning. A variety of free and low-cost materials for learning and play environments will be shared. Discussion and exchange of ideas will be encouraged throughout the session. Participants will leave with tangible tools to use the next day and with a digital file of additional resources and directions to continue their “making” a difference journey.
In-person professional learning opportunity in Tucson. There will be a registration fee of $35 which will inlude a light breakfast, lunch box, and all needed materials for in-person workshop. Please RSVP to obtain more information about event.
Questions regarding this professional learning opportunity can be sent to [email protected].
Rachel Madel, M.A.,CCC-SLP is a Los Angeles-based speech-language pathologist and communication expert dedicated to coaching parents and professionals on how to incorporate technology to best support speech and language development. Rachel presents both nationally and abroad on the use of augmentative alternative communication (AAC) for children with complex communication needs and coaches clinicians, teachers and parents on integrating technology in classrooms and at home to support communication. Her work has been featured in Autism Parenting Magazine, Speech Science, Praactical AAC, Xceptional Ed, Teachers with Apps and ChildNEXUS.
Designing and Delivering Empowering Experiences to Teach Language Using AAC— Friday, May 13, 2022, from 8:30 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. (Arizona time)
This interactive experience explores strategies for teaching even the youngest students language by engineering environments so all communicators have opportunities for rich, meaningful practice of language in the context of everyday routines. Learn current best practices regarding Augmentative and Alternative Communication principles such as how to support language learning, select appropriate vocabulary and get Augmentative and Alternative Communication users engaged in the process. Explore how to design educational experiences using interactive technologies which empower the learner and their support network to achieve their lifelong language goals, how to build the skills of communication partners, and how training centered on coaching empowers parents and educators to take ownership of promoting the use of Augmentative and Alternative Communication systems all day long, in all environments.
In-person professional learning opportunity in Peoria AZ. There is no registration fee, this training is at no cost and lunch will be on your own.
Questions regarding this professional learning opportunity can be sent to [email protected].
Assistive Technology—Just One Thing (AT-JOT)
Snap Type is a simple to use app that allows students to complete any school worksheet on their iPad or Tablet without handwriting. It is for students of all ages who may have difficulty with traditional pen-and-paper handwriting tasks. Students can complete forms and worksheets by using their device's keyboard features to add text to documents and print, email, or share. Come to this session to learn about the features and uses of this amazing app.
Do your students get overwhelmed, confused, and distracted with advertisements, website suggestions, and other visual clutter on their computer screens? Come learn how to minimize screen distractions while reading, researching, or browsing using various browser tools and software.
You need to know about Classroomscreen! A teacher-created this super helpful, super intuitive, online tool that allows you to display instructions and expectations in a clear and visual way. A simple toolbar lets you select one or more widgets like traffic lights, noise level indicators, timers, stopwatches, clocks, text boxes, QR code generators, dice rollers, and more. This free tool is a wonderful way to support classroom management and student independence.
Composing and editing written material can be a difficult and frustrating process for many students with disabilities. One tool available to help students is Microsoft Editor. Microsoft Editor is a feature built into some Microsoft applications to assist students with writing. Features available for Office 365 users include help with spelling, grammar, clarity, conciseness, formal language, vocabulary, and punctuation conventions. Come to this session for a quick overview of this powerful tool to see if it could help some of your students—and maybe even you!
Math manipulatives are an essential component to the development of conceptual understanding in mathematics for all learners. Manipulatives allow students to develop the flexibility in thinking and strategies needed for fluency. There are a multitude of free, virtual resources available online to engage your students. Come to learn the purpose of useful math manipulatives and how your students can use them to represent their thinking.
As educators, we are constantly researching and learning online. The great thing is that there are so many resources online; the problem is that there are so many resources online! We’ve all had those late night “where did I see that one awesome thing from that one video/webpage/article” moments. Come to this JOT to learn some easy, free ways to save, organize, and share all the great things you find online.
The NEW Special Education Data Dashboard (SEDD) opens on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 (today). The purpose of this application is to provide a one-stop shop for public education agencies (PEAs) to securely view their special education data as well as a redacted statewide view. By viewing relevant data in one place, PEAs can see how it all ties together and ultimately, how it all culminates into the indicators outlined in the State Performance Plan (SPP) / Annual Performance Report (APR).