What are you doing this summer?

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Ah summertime!  One of the best things about working in the education system, right?  So what are your plans?  Assuming maybe you’ll take some time for professional development, I offer these suggestions.

1.  Bob University:  Following last summer’s success — Bob Keller, a long-standing personality in the field of assistive technology and long-time team member of Don Johnston, is bringing Bob University back! Bob University 2013 is a series of webinars that will give you a fast overview of our programs, all in 30 minutes or less. This is your chance to learn something new and keep your skills sharp over the summer months.  Bob University 2013 will be covering everything from Read:OutLoud to First Author, Co:Writer, Snap&Read, Draft:Builder, and much more.  Take a look at the course schedule for each month and register for as many sessions as you would like (there is no limit!). To make it even more convenient for you, courses will be held twice each day — once at 7:30 AM CDT and again at 8:30 AM CDT.  Then just grab a cup of coffee, login to the courses you’ve selected, and get ready to learn!  I attended one this morning and found it to be a great overview of a new product they are offering.


2.   Accessible Technology Coalition:  This organization offers free webinars and many archived webinars.  Their June and July live webinars include Evernote and Students with Learning Difficulties  and Teach Keyboarding!   Ten more free webinars are listed now. See them all, including:

  • Self-employment as an Individualized Process from JAN (6/11)
  • Web and IT Accessibility Policies in Higher Education from EASI (6/13)
  • Establishing and Maintaining Support for AT from AbleNet (6/18)
  • Freedom from the Nursing Home using Technology from ATNetwork (6/18)


3.  AbleNet University:  http://www.ablenetinc.com/Professional-Development.   This site hosts lots of live webinars and a multitude of recorded webinars that range from 30-90 minutes.  They are all very high quality.  As an example, this is a 5 part series that I recently attended,  AAC Developing Participation Series.

4.  ATIA :  ATIA educational offerings are designed to provide the latest information on AT products, services and best practices from leading regional, national and international presenters. ATIA believes its educational programs further increase awareness of the innovative assistive technologies and services that enhance learning, working, and independence for people with disabilities.  Did you know that Region 10 has a subscription to this series, good until late September, so you can attend any of these free of charge.  Contact me directly for the code.  gayle.mcnurlen@region10.org

5.  Explore Karen Janowski UDL Toolkit.  Her description on her wiki is My passion is to remove the obstacles to learning for all students and these free tools offer opportunities for struggling learners that promote academic success. When material is digital or electronic, it is flexible and accessible. It is our responsibility as educators to provide materials that promote success.

Some of the topics to explore include Free Text to Speech, Graphic Organizers, Study Skills Tools, Literacy Tools, Writing Tools, Math Tools, Tools that Compensate for Handwriting Issues, and Helpful Apps, plus many more! 

So have a great summer full of fun, rest, and relaxation —  and maybe even some learning thrown in.  This should keep you busy!  Don’t worry about me.  I’ll be hard at work throughout the summer.  Not that I’m bitter and resentful about it………..

Gayle McNurlen

Gayle McNurlen

An occupational therapist by background, I have been dabbling in technology since the early days of the Macintosh. I got my dream job in 2003 as the assistive technology consultant at Region 10. I would much rather play with technology than do my real job so this seems to be a good fit for me! I am also the Low Incidence Disabilities consultant.

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