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ATIA11 Vender Hall Musings

Another year has some and gone since the ATIA10. While I felt that last years conference was awesome, something about ATIA11 felt better.  I did not attend a workshop I didn’t like. The caliber of speakers was top notch and provided the re-energizing I needed to continue out the rest of the year. Each year I come back with new and renewed contacts with fellow professionals and various venders and most of all friends that I have come to know through ATIA and social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

I am going to focus this post on just the venders and some the things that impressed me. A following post will include the sessions I attended and many of the resources shared.

The floor was jammed with vendors with a few more out in the main hall.  It is overwhelming to walk through the hall and everyone has his or her way of doing it. Me, I prefer to start and the beginning and weave checking out each vendor. I have a mental list of things I want to look at, but is always pleased by many of the surprises on the floor.

I was glad to see Jeff Johnson from Grembe made his first appearance at ATIA. He was there to demonstrate his and his wife, LIsa’s apps, iCommunicate, iReward and MyPicturesTalk to name a few. Jeff is a very personable guy and great to talk with. Be sure to check out their apps.

Once I walked into the vendor hall, I was met by the audible base and beat of the MeMoves DVD. It was also great to see the return of Chris Bye and Roberta Scherf from MeMoves again. Their product is picking up steam and has even been featured on ABC http://abcn.ws/i4RrtA I have personally seen the success of this DVD in the classroom and encourage every teacher/therapist to check it out. They have also developed a MeMoves app for the iPod Touch and iPad. It is currently not available in the VPP program, but should be soon.


Roberta and Chris with MeMoves

TextHelp, was giving demonstrations of their new version 10 of Read & Write Gold. Some new enhancements include the Picture Dictionary, Paragraph Translator, Verb Conjugation Checker as well as a Confusable Word Checker. Get more update information here  http://bit.ly/etHL99

AssistiveWare showed their new version of Proloquo2Go with the addition of Word Prediction. This works with the typing portion of the program and looks pretty slick. They also showed their new app Pictello for the iPad. This app is an easy way to create talking photo books and photo albums that can be emailed or shared through a free account on the Pictello Sharing Server. I am looking forward to getting that app.

Another new company that I hadn’t seen was Therapy Box, This vender gave demo’s of their new iPad app, PredictAble. The user is able to use a blue tooth switch to scan, have word prediction and voice output. Along with the app they showed the Switchbox that uses your existing switches and connects to the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. A new case with built in speakers was also used. I believe it currently available in the UK. I will be contacting the company to get the latest information.

One piece of software that has gone through some major changes is from Cambium Learning Technologies I remember using Intellitools back in the 90’s while I was still a classroom teacher. It was an easy teacher-authoring program that I used throughout the whole day. Over the years it has changed adding to the complexity of the program. Version 3 became so complicated for the teachers, that all the teachers in my districts abandoned the program. I was brought back to the fold after attending Matthew Press and Alicia Craven’s workshop, but more of that later. What I have found is that CS4 has been revamped and is now much easier to author. Check it out here http://bit.ly/hJWaKT They offer a free activity exchange (with signup) where a teacher can download activities created by teachers, parents, and other professionals.

Conceptua Math is a new comer that has roots in the Intellitools community. Arjan Khalsa who was a part of the Intellitools beginnings, has started a new company. Conceptua Math is a web based, subscription based math program. According to the website, “Conceptua ™ Fractions helps math teachers and students work together to master fractions. By combining interactive tools with scaffoled activities, students use visual models to build conceptual understand and procedural fluency.” http://www.conceptuamath.com/index.html Conceptua Math offer a free 60 day trial and also free tools for teachers in the area of concepts in fractions to higher order thinking. Check out the Free Tools for Teachers here: http://www.conceptuamath.com/fractions.html

Amdi Is touting their new product the iAdapter™. The iAdapter is a case, stander, speaker system for the iPad. I really like the concept of this device, but am turned off by the $198.00 price. This market is small for cases like this but I think it just needs time to grow.

Freedom Scientific is offering the new PEARL Reading Camera. I was very impressed by portable reading camera that can snap a picture and give OCR access within seconds. It can scan up to 20 pages per minute. This device works directly with WYNN 6.0 software.

On the last day of the conference a vendor caught my eye. I had walked by it several times, but never paid attention. The company, ModularHose demonstrated a bendable hose that can be used for a variety of situations. It wasn’t until I noticed the iPad adapter that I stopped and checked it out. This company offers an Assistive Technology solution. The ModularHose iPad Kit , “is designed for quick and esy use of Apple’s iPad with the flexibility of Loc-Line.” This kit can be attached to a wheelchair or to a student/users desk or table. The flexible tube attaches to a special attachment made with a McAlly iPad case and can be moved and situated for various needs and situations. For $75.00 I was very impressed.

Modular Hose, Assistive Technology Kit, iPad

Modular Hose

While there were tons of assistive technologies on the floor, these are the ones that really stuck out to me this year. Please feel free to comment or share a vendor you found especially interesting or helpful.

ATIA 2011, Orlando

yeah, I know its been a year since I last updated. I hope to get the new updates posted by tomorrow…in the mean time, check out last years post and/or check out this years ATSmackdown 2011 at this link. A.T.TIPSCAST Ep 68: AT Smackdown @ #ATIA11 –
Audio: http://bit.ly/evZ15x
Blog: http://bit.ly/dK4dU8

via Chris Bugaj, @attipscast


ATIA 2010, Orlando

I have been attending ATIA for about 4 years now. This year has to be my favorite not only because I was able to present for TextHelp, Inc, but because I was able to meet up with an amazing group of people. This group is known as a Personal Learning Network or PLN.  The social media of Twitter and Facebook are two networks I use. If you have not taken a look at Twitter, check it out!

I will be using this space to share information from ATIA2010 as well as links to websites that can enhance your classroom and increase your UDL strategies.  Please feel free to email me with your websites or ideas!

Many of the workshops I attended while at ATIA 2010 were exceptional. I will attempt to highlight just a couple of these sessions. I will post the session by Patrick Black entitled, My Crazy Idea… Web 2.0 and Student Centered Learning for Students with SCD, at a later date.

Marcia Sterner, MS/CCC-SLP, ATP and Janet Good, SLP from FDLRS presented on Wiki While You Work: Sharing Discussing, and Collaborating with your Peers. Ideas and tips were shared for setting up the Wiki as well as design tips. One tip that was shared was that when bringing in text, it is easier to create in Word then copy/paste into wiki. They also shared how they can be used among school staff for sharing information while allowing collaboration.  Their Lifesavers, Wikispaces wikis a step-by-step booklet for creating and maintaining a wiki, was given to each attendee.

a step-by-step booket for setting up a wiki

Bess Poss, MA CCC-SLP and Christopher Bujaj, MA CCC-SLP presented UDL 2.0 This session, which could have easily lasted a double session, shared a plethora of websites for the classroom.

  • Glogster/Edu – http://edu.glogster.com (requires registration) Glogster is a website that lets the user crate an online poster including pictures, text, audio and video. Pictures can be brought in from Flickr. The Edu version allows access to only “safe” pictures.  The link to the poster can be emailed to parents! A great way to share the students’ work.
  • Wordle http://www.wordle.net generates a ‘word cloud” from supplied text. It displays the most often used text in larger letters. Try adding the Preamble to the constitution or a famous speech and see what happens. The cloud can be edited by color and shape. It can also be printed out or saved to a wordle gallery.
  • Vozme http://www.vozeme.com Vozme is a text to speech (mp3) website. The student or teacher is able to add any text and it is converted into an mp3 file. Uses for this can include the students schedule, their assignments or even notes for studying.
  • Flickr http://www.flickr.com While Flickr is known as a picture file sharing website, it has options that are useful for the classroom. Subjects within the photos can be tagged with annotations making the photo more interactive. For the educational setting, the teacher or student can search for pictures using creative commons. This search only shows those photos that are free to use. Flicker also allows for some free basic picture editing as well as text and sticker additions to each photo.
  • Webspiration http://www.mywebspiration.com/ Sign up for a free beta account to this web based visual mapping software. Use for brainstorming, collaboration, note taking, or outline organization. Students can even use it for collaboration from home.
  • Tar Heel Reader http://www.tarheelreader.org The Tar Heel Reader is a website that hosts free, easy to read, text to speech books. They are switch accessible and can be accessed thought the Intellikeys or touch window. Books can be downloaded as flash or PowerPoint files. Teachers can also request a logon to upload books written by the students or themselves. The logon must include a “secret” password that must be requested though email. The Tar Heel Reader can be used to display student’s work resulting in an online portfolio.
  • Blabberize http://blabberize.com/ Blabberize is another free website. The user is able to upload a photo of a person or animal. Once uploaded to the site the user edits the mouth and records a message. Once finished the site produces a talking photo. Uses for this could include talking historical characters or a teacher giving directions to a specific activity.
  • Phrasr http://www.pimpampum.net/phrasr/ A phrase is added to the website and the sentence is created using photo’s from Flickr. Photos can be changed to better fit each word creating a photo sentence then producing a slideshow.

Below is a picture of Chris Bugaj and I at ATIA10. I am wearing a t-shirt from A.T.TIPSCAST, a podcast about tools that can be used to help students who are struggling. Check it out for free on iTunes!
Listen directly fromhttp://tinyurl.com/attipscast

Chris is pointing to Brian who is wearing an A T Tipscast t-shirt