From DSC:
I’d like to thank Jenny Zeeff for the reminder on this resource. Though I’ve posted this item before, Jenny reminded me of this set of resources that might be very useful to someone else out there as well.




Per Mark Cappel, Senior Editor at MoneyGeek.com (emphasis DSC):

MoneyGeek.com has spent the last few months expanding our site to produce comprehensive financial planning resources for people with disabilities for all stages of life. Our guides are helpful for families and students with disabilities searching for financial aid and scholarship options, parents and persons with disabilities planning financially for home modifications, and more.





Augmented reality: A great story triggers the mind — from arjenvanberkum.nl by Arjen van Berkum


Augmented reality brings learning to life. Augmented reality enriches a live view of a real-life environment – the so called reality – with computer-generated input, that can consist out of sound, graphics, text, video, and GPS information. In other words, AR provides us with an enhanced view of the real world.

As Gaia Dempsey, Managing Director of DAQRI International, explains, “80% of the information that the brain takes is visual. So by providing information in a visual medium that also has the spatial nature of augmented reality, you’re giving the brain a very intuitive way of accessing knowledge.”




Telepresence robots to beam psychologists into schools — from zdnet.com by Greg Nichols
Researchers in Utah are experimenting with robots to solve a pressing problem: There aren’t enough pediatric psychologists to go around.


Researchers in Utah are using an inexpensive robotic platform to help teachers in rural areas implement programs for children with special needs.

It’s another example of the early adoption of telepresence robots by educators and service providers, which I’ve written about here before. While offices are coming around to telepresence solutions for remote workers, teachers and school administrators seem to be readily embracing the technology, which they see as a way to maximize limited resources while bringing needed services to students.








Helping Students with Visual Impairments: Resources, Tools and Technology to Foster School Success — from accreditedschoolsonline.org; via Angela Hanners


Addressing each need of students with visual impairments and improving overall accessibility are vital to their academic success. This guide explains how colleges are creating more welcoming and inclusive learning environments, with a sharp focus on assistive technology, campus resources that provide assistive services and tools, information about scholarships for students with visual impairments, and online resources they can access to facilitate academic and career success.


Per Angela Hanners:
The guide was created in part by four experts in the field, who lent their experience and expertise to help us provide students with visual impairments the tips and resources needed to succeed in school. Key updates to our guide include:

  • An extended list of tips for choosing the right college
  • An in-depth look at the top assistive technology and tools being used today
  • Additional scholarships available for students with visual impairments




An Admissions Surprise From the Ivy League — from nytimes.com by Frank Bruni ; with thanks to Mr. Jeff Kuhn for this resource

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

About three weeks ago, a group of more than 80 colleges — including all eight in the Ivy League and many other highly selective private and public ones — announced that they were developing a free website and set of online tools that would, among other things, inform ninth and 10th graders without savvy college advisers about the kind of secondary-school preparation that best positions them for admission.

What’s more, these colleges plan to use the website for an application process, in place by next fall, that would be separate from, and competitive with, the “Common App,” a single form students can submit to any of more than 600 schools. If colleges in the new group — which calls itself the Coalition for Access, Affordability and Success — have been taking the Common App, they would continue to, but would clearly be encouraging students to explore this alternate route.

“For every student from the entire bottom half of the nation’s income distribution at Dartmouth, Penn, Princeton, Yale and more than a few other colleges, there appear to be roughly two students from just the top 5 percent (which means they come from families making at least $200,000).”


The graphic below is from Home Remodeling for People with Disabilities: What You Need to Know — from expertise.com by Michael Sledd; with thanks to Grace Valladolid for the resource

Per Grace:

  • This a comprehensive guide for people living with disabilities. It aims to help make the federal grants available to seniors, veterans, and people with cognitive and physical disabilities much easier to understand and take advantage of, particularly for remodeling homes for accessibility.
  • Expertise.com exists to help people make truly better decisions by clearly laying out their options, with content written by industry experts.



For another version of this graphic, see:


From DSC:
The graphic provides a great visual summary of the principles of Universal Design.

Note how these concepts are applicable in the realm of learning — per Wikipedia:

The concept and language of Universal Design for Learning was inspired by the universal design movement in architecture and product development, originally formulated by Ronald L. Mace at North Carolina State University.[5]  Universal design calls for “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design”.[8]

These concepts benefit all learners. This is why I’m big on more choice, more control — and providing content in as many ways as possible, while offering as many pathways to successfully meeting the learning objectives as possible.



How Blippar Education supports special needs students to improve learning — from blippar.com



Firstly, high school teacher Katrine Pinkpank’s class made individual, blippable posters for their Earth Day projects in April. When passers-by blipped these posters – all of which were hung in beautiful frames in the hallways – they were taken to a video of the students doing their Earth Day presentation in front of the class. One student in the class is legally blind, so the braille on his poster was used to trigger the blipp.  These hallway boards have become living, breathing, 3D tributes to the work of our students.

In Room 407, students used Blippar in many different ways. Wendy Thompson, an early adopter of the technology, used it for a Women’s History Month project where students created an app-smash between Blippar and Trading Cards. The students created trading cards about famous women in history – such as Ella Fitzgerald, Frida Kahlo, and Mary Shelley – then used Blippar to add photo galleries, hyperlinks, and videos so people passing the bulletin board could scan the cards and view pop-up content about these remarkable women.

Secondly, the class made the school newsletter blippable.

Using Blippar and Tellagami, the students created talking digital avatar videos that illustrated their post-secondary and transition goals.


From DSC:
Though this posting focuses on the use of Blippar, an augmented reality app, I also think beacons (such as from Estimote), machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, and apps like locly could be used to relay information from students, teachers, and faculty members who could record and provide presentations concerning their work — with pieces of their work being located out in the hallways or actually anywhere on a campus. When someone approaches a piece in the hallway, a pre-loaded application on that person’s mobile device — such as locly — would be activated to display a “card”/link to the video describing that piece. The author, creator, designer doesn’t need to be physically present in order to tell people about their work.


Also see:

Elements 4D
NASA’s Spacecraft 3D
Anatomy 4D


From DSC:
The folks who worked on the Understood.org site have done a great job! Besides the wonderful resources therein, I really appreciated the user experience one is able to get by using their site. Check out the interface and functionality you can experience there (and which I’ve highlighted below).


We need a similar interface for matching up pedagogies with technologies.






Also, there are some excellent accessibility features:






From DSC:
When you read the article below, you’ll see why I’m proposing the aforementioned interface/service/database — a service that would be similar to Wikipedia in terms of allowing many people to contribute to it.


Why ed tech is not transforming how teachers teach  — from edweek.org by Benjamin Herold
Student-centered, technology-driven instruction remains elusive for most


Public schools now provide at least one computer for every five students. They spend more than $3 billion per year on digital content. And nearly three-fourths of high school students now say they regularly use a smartphone or tablet in the classroom.

But a mountain of evidence indicates that teachers have been painfully slow to transform the ways they teach, despite that massive influx of new technology into their classrooms. The student-centered, hands-on, personalized instruction envisioned by ed-tech proponents remains the exception to the rule.


From DSC:
Swivl allows faculty members, teachers, trainers, and other Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to make recordings where the recording device swivels to follow the SME (who is holding/wearing a remote). Recordings can be automatically sent to the cloud for further processing/distribution.

My request to you is:
Can you extend the Swivl app to not only provide recordings, but to provide rough draft transcripts of those recordings as well?

This could be very helpful for accessibility reasons, but also to provide students/learners with a type of media that they prefer (video, audio, and/or text).





From DSC:
A note to Double Robotics — can you work towards implementing M2M communications?

That is, when our Telepresence Robot from Double Robotics approaches a door, we need for sensors on the door and on the robot to initiate communications with each other in order for the door to open (and to close after __ seconds). If a security clearance code is necessary, the remote student or the robot needs to be able to transmit the code.

When the robot approaches an elevator, we need for sensors near the elevator and on the robot to initiate communications with each other in order for the elevator to be summoned and then for the elevator’s doors to open. We then need for the remote student/robot to be able to tell the elevator which floor it wants to go to and to close the elevator door (if if hasn’t already done so).

Such scenarios imply that we need:

  1. Industry standards for such communications
  2. Standards that include security clearances (i.e., “OK, I’ll let you into this floor of this public building.” or “No, I can’t open up this door without you sending me a security clearance code.”)
  3. Secure means of communications






doublerobotics.com -- wheels for your iPad



A major request/upgrade might also include:

  • The ability for the Double App on the iPad to make recordings, have an auto send option to send those recordings to the cloud, and then provide transcripts for those recordings. This could be very helpful for accessibility reasons, but also to provide students/learners with a type of media that they prefer (video, audio, and/or text).




Ed Tech World on Notice: Miami U disability discrimination lawsuit could have major effect — from mfeldstein.com by Phil Hill


This week the US Department of Justice, citing Title II of ADA, decided to intervene in a private lawsuit filed against Miami University of Ohio regarding disability discrimination based on ed tech usage. Call this a major escalation and just ask the for-profit industry how big an effect DOJ intervention can be. From the complaint:

Miami University uses technologies in its curricular and co-curricular programs, services, and activities that are inaccessible to qualified individuals with disabilities, including current and former students who have vision, hearing, or learning disabilities. Miami University has failed to make these technologies accessible to such individuals and has otherwise failed to ensure that individuals with disabilities can interact with Miami University’s websites and access course assignments, textbooks, and other curricular and co-curricular materials on an equal basis with non-disabled students. These failures have deprived current and former students and others with disabilities a full and equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from all of Miami University’s educational opportunities.


New from Educause:
Higher Ed IT Buyers Guide





Quickly search 50+ product and service categories, access thousands of IT solutions specific to the higher ed community, and send multiple RFPs—all in one place. This new Buyers Guide provides a central, go-to online resource for supporting your key purchasing decisions as they relate to your campus’s strategic IT initiatives.

Find the Right Vendors for Higher Education’s Top Strategic Technologies

Three of the Top 10 Strategic Technologies identified by the higher education community this year are mobile computing, business intelligence, and business performance analytics.* The new Buyers Guide connects you to many of the IT vendors your campus can partner with in the following categories related to these leading technologies, as well as many more.

View all 50+ product and service categories.




With a special thanks to Krista Spahr,
Senior Instructional Designer at Calvin College,
for this resource



March 1, 2015 | The De Young, one of San Francisco’s fine art museums, now has two robots that open the museum up to those who cannot attend, including the physically handicapped. John Blackstone reports on the state-of-the-art in museum tour guides, and interviews robotics activist Henry Evans, a former Silicon Valley executive who is now almost completely paralyzed, and who worked with the museum to make touring by robot a reality.


A collection of curated items:


Socratic questioning: 30 thought-provoking questions to ask your students — from opencolleges.edu.au by Saga Briggs



Open Educational Resources – from the Babson Survey Research Group by I. Elaine Allen, Ph.D. and Jeff Seaman, Ph.D.

Opening the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014

This report, funded by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation with additional support from Pearson, examines the attitudes, opinions, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) among teaching faculty in U.S. higher education. Some of the key findings:


Opening the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014



Katie Novak: Universal Design for Learning, an introduction — from edtalks.org
Dr Katie Novak is a Reading curriculum coordinator and an independent ‘Universal Design for Learning’ (UDL) consultant. Universal Design for Learning is a framework that allows teachers to meet the needs of all learners in the classroom, and in this keynote speech at ULearn14 Katie outlines the background to UDL and demonstrates how UDL enables teachers to take rigorous curriculum and make it accessible to all students.

What is UDL?
UDL Guidelines




Five inspiring EdTekTalks — from iste.org by Diana Fingal

Harvard researchers spent six years studying innovative entrepreneurs to find out how their creative processes work. What they found was that the number one skill all innovators practice regularly is connecting across a variety of disciplines. In other words, innovators are people who cross-pollinate, or use ideas from other industries to spark their own creativity.

With that in mind, ISTE reached out to inspiring people from a range of fields and asked them to share their insights in mini-keynotes called EdTekTalks. This provocative series of five talks includes futurists, designers and entrepreneurs from beyond the world of ed tech.



Berklee College of Music Opens Major WSDG-Designed Audio Teaching Complex in 160 Mass. Ave. Tower — from aeccafe.com; via @eduwiretech


BOSTON, MASS.  Berklee College of Music opened the doors to its 160 Massachusetts Avenue,residence tower in January 2014.  The building now features one of the largest, most progressive, and versatile professional audio teaching/production/performance complexes in the U.S.  Over three years and $100 million have been invested in the development and construction of this cusp point educational compound.  Situated over four dedicated floors in a striking, sixteen-story, 155,000 sq. ft.  William Rawn Associates building, the ten-studio Walters-Storyk Design Group – designed, audio education component represents a pinnacle of contemporary studio planning.



7 Simple Ways You Can Help Students Pay Attention In A Traditional Classroom — from teachthought.com

  1. Use the 10:2 method (2 minutes of response for every 10 minutes of instruction.)
  2. Incorporate movement into your lessons
  3. Pick up the pace
  4. Provide frequent feedback
  5. Allow 5-7 seconds of “think time”
  6. Have students use the 3-2-1 method of summarizing
  7. Periodically pause mid-sentence




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