SoundJaw Makes Your iPad 2 Louder





SoundJaw is a small plastic clip that amplifies the iPad's speakers. SoundJaw is only compatible with iPad 2. The SoundJaw works by directing the sound from the back of the iPad to the front where you can hear it. The SoundJaw costs $12.99 at SoundJaw.com. If you have trouble hearing your iPad and wish you could make it a little bit louder SoundJaw is perfect for you.
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Trident Kraken AMS for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S


Many people including children  use the iPhone as an assistive technology device.  The Kraken AMS cases is an ideal case to protect your iPhone. The Kraken AMS is great for both children and adults who need superior protection for their iPhone. The case will protect against most bumps and drops so there is less need to worry when using the iPhone.

The Trident Kraken AMS has three layers of protection: a silicon inner sleeve, hard plastic outer shell and a built in front screen protector. The inner layer is a thick silicon that can be used as a stand alone case in less rugged situations. The inner silicon has thick corners  for added protection. The outer layer is a hard plastic that snaps into place around the silicon. The built in screen protector does not effect the screens performance. 

 It has a nice mat finish that feels great in the hand and does not show finger prints. The back is slightly tapered to fit better in the hand. All buttons and ports are covered to block dust. The headphone port and 30-pin connector are under silicon tabs that can be removed to access the ports. The headphone port is smaller than most cases and may require the use of an included adapter to work with larger headphones.

 The home button and sleep/wake button are also covered but they are still easy to find and press. The ringer lock switch is very recessed and may be difficult to access for some users with larger fingers and shorter finger nails. The volume buttons are easy to press and provide great tactile feedback. The back of the case has a cut out for the camera and flash and the Apple logo. To protect the Apple logo from scratching, the case comes with a rear protective film. 

Also on the back is a removable kickstand which makes hands free FaceTime or Skype calls simple. It also allows you to read or watch videos at an angle, hands-free. The kickstand can be removed and replaced with other connections such as tripod connections and more. The case includes a belt clip that clips onto the front of the iPhone. The Kraken AMS comes in many different color combinations including green, blue, black, pink and red. The Kraken AMS is a tough case that will help to protect your iPhone from everyday life. The Kraken AMS costs $49.95 and is available from the Trident Store. Click here to learn more about cases made by Trident cases.

All of this protection adds bulk to the phone, and makes it heavier and less sleek, but if you are looking for protection, this is a great choice.

Trident says the following about their Kraken AMS cases,
"Kraken cases are for users with intense lifestyles who need a case that can take serious abuse. Police officers, firemen, campers, military personnel and construction workers are examples of users who have given the best reviews of Kraken cases. These are also perfect for young kids."
Click read more below to see more videos and pictures of the Kraken AMS for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.



Case provided complimentary to the reviewer








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Dan Meyer's 3 Acts with 4th & 5th Graders

I've been quite intrigued with Dan Meyer's Any Qs on Twitter and his Three Acts method of teaching math as described on his blog. This year, we've been showing his Any Qs videos as part of our math morning meeting. The students use an Edmodo discussion stream "back channel" to send in questions the video makes them wonder. Then we discuss and consider ways we'd move into an "Act 2" to solve the problem. As we're still developing our problem solving skills, we had yet to actually pick a question and solve it. Thus far it has been an exercise in curiosity, and developing a real thirst for mathematics.

Yesterday we took the big step into Act Two. We did the same as usual, showing a video and asking questions through our Edmodo discussion screen. We watched the first act of Dan's 3 Acts lesson, "Hot Coffee". After the students watched this giant coffee cup began to fill, inevitably many began to wonder, "How much Coffee can fit inside of it?" (among many other great and hilarious questions, as you see here).

The students wondered aloud for awhile, a few shouting out guesses and telling their neighbors wild estimates. Then I showed them the general dimensions of the cup. Dan's site lists 7 ft x 7 ft, but I changed it to 8 ft x 8 ft since it gives a more manageable answer (his original lesson includes standards for 6-12 students so while I knew that my 4th/5th kids could definitely rise to the occasion, I also wanted to scaffold it slightly). They began to grapple with the concept and discuss what information they needed, what information they did not need and what they had to do to solve the problem. Since the question they asked didn't involve the word "Volume" it was interesting to see that many students didn't immediately go there. They wondered first about surface area, circumference and the diameter.

After/towards the end of the second act, I also gave them the conversion rate and rounded it to 1 cubic foot = 7.5 US customary gallons. They had been learning about conversions and so were happy to take this new piece of information. However, some quickly forgot about it in their problem solving journey, leaving the answer in cubic feet, while others ran with it. As students caught on, the path to solution began to catch like wild fire. They were excited to share their strategies and even more excited when their strategies yielded results.

In the third act, as they problem solved, I had them use the app Educreations to capture their thinking. They created short screencasts to show their math metacognition and help them keep track of the process. Here are a few. Note that they did not use microphones nor did they have a stylus.

My students and I really enjoyed this way of presenting problem solving; we are going to apply it to more and more of our curriculum. I thank Dan Meyer for being so open to sharing his work with the world!


















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Ask Siri How to Spell Unfamiliar Words


Siri is a new feature available on the iPhone 4S. I find myself asking others how to spell unfamiliar often. When no one is around I have to find a different word to use. If you are like me Siri can be very helpful. Simply ask Siri "how do you spell..." and Siri will give you the correct spelling in seconds. Siri has many other useful functions such as defining words. To learn more about the iPhone 4S and its accessibility features click here.
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EdWeek Teacher & Me!

I recently wrote a piece for Education Week: Teacher. It is basically a synthesis of my most popular blog posts from this site, but may be a helpful overview of Technology Redefinition for those who are interested.

The title is "Redefining Instruction with Technology: Five Essential Steps".

Thank you everyone for reading and retweeting! I welcome any and all comments!


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Elago S4 Glide Review



Many people are using the iPhones and other iOS devices every day for their assistive technology needs. The iPhone is useful device that goes in and out of people pockets all day. Many children use devices to assistive them with everyday tasks. As a result of the daily use of  iPhones it is important to invest in a case that will protect your device from everyday life.

The Elago S4 Glide is a hard plastic slider for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The case features a two piece design that slides over the iPhone to protect against scratches. The case comes with two bottom pieces to add variety to the case's color. The case comes in many colors and can be arranged into over 100 different color combinations. The cases allows for easy access to all ports and features. To dock the iPhone simply remove the bottom section and insert the iPhone into the dock. The back of the case shows finger prints easily and will need frequent cleaning. The case does not add much bulk to the iPhone but will not withstand drops.The case comes with a front and back screen protector as well as a cleaning cloth. The Elago S4 Glide is good for people who need scratch protection but not ideal for people who are hard on their phone or allow their young children to use their device. The Elago S4 Glide retails for $24.99 from elagostore.com. Click read more below to view pictures and videos of the Elago S4 Glide.









Case was provided complimentary to the reviewer.






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It's an Interactive Whiteboard! It's a Doc Cam! It's... Apple TV!

Over the holidays I asked Santa for an AppleTV and boy did that jolly old elf deliver. I had some networking issues to work out (see the end of this post for the issues and solution), but once that was taken care of, the magic began. 

This $99 device has become the all-in-one accessory for my iPad classroom. It has replaced my TV, my doc cam, and even my interactive whiteboard! How, you ask? Read on, friend.

AppleTV starring as... a TV!
On the simplest level, the AppleTV can stream media. So if I want to show a quick YouTube clip about the polar ice caps or that 2 jugs of water puzzle scene from Die Hard with a Vengeance, a NetFlix movie about Running the Sahara or a Vimeo clip I've produced, I simply stream it from this tiny box. No more rewinding old VHS tapes with dated music and conveniently multi-cultural kids grinning madly into the camera. Instead, I can show authentic media to support and enrich my curriculum at a push of a button. 


AppleTV starring as... a Doc Cam!
Using the AppleTV's AirPlay Mirroring function, I can have any iPad in my classroom instantaneously mirrored - sound and all - to the screen. Wow! Since I'm having students complete their work digitally using the app PaperPortNotes as seen in the clip to the right, it is a simple next step to have them display their work and thinking on the projector. The best part? No wires! No wait time! More time to learn!



AppleTV starring as... an Interactive Whiteboard!
When I first got my Promethean board, I was quite concerned about being anchored to it constantly. I like to roam the room while teaching; I like to be able to engage the kids through proximity and movement. I first started using the SplashTop app to remotely control my computer through my iPad. It worked quite well as you can see in this clip. When I added the AppleTV to the mix, I realized that I no longer even needed the Promethean Board. I could simple create presentations directly on an iPad and stream them to a projector or TV as I had done through AirPlay. Using an App like Educreations, I could turn any wall into an interactive whiteboard using a projector and my AppleTV.  Now, that's super.

AppleTV and our Network
In our district, many schools have two wireless systems: an enterprise system and a secondary system.
Unfortunately neither will run the AppleTV. ATVs aren't compatible with enterprise networks and the second system only will run the ATV sporadically due to a "rogue broadcast signal" issue that's beyond my tech understanding. What I do understand, however is the workaround.

I bought a $179 AirPort Extreme wireless base station and plugged it into the ethernet in my wall. I then got a second ethernet cable and plugged it into my AppleTV. I followed the step-by-step directions in the AirPort Extreme manual to set up my own Wireless Network. Next, I had all of my kids hop onto the new wireless signal and voila! My ATV is on all the time now, no more wireless signal drop for my kids on their iPads and my entire system is more stable! For under $300 I have a system that is faster, more efficient, and wireless!

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New iTunes U App: Perfect for Students and Educators

Today, Apple announce a new iTunes U App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. To download the free app click here. The app allows students view classes, slide shows, documents and more from their classes. iTunes U also allows teachers to post assignments, video or audio of classes, slide shows, documents and more for uses by their students. iTunes U allows users to participate in classes from top university and organizations regardless of if the users attends the school. iTunes U can now be used by K-12 schools as well as universities. All classes are free to the public on iTunes U. iTunes U allows students to view and check off assignments, take notes and review missed classes. Apple describes the app as,

"Whether you’re taking a European history course in your spare time, learning Spanish in high school, or majoring in molecular biology at a university, you now have a powerful tool to help you get the most out of your classes. The new iTunes U app expands the classroom experience by putting all the materials for a course — audio and video, new iBooks Textbooks for iPad and other books, a syllabus and class assignments, posts from the instructor, PDFs, presentations, and more — just a tap away on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch."
Apple also says how iTunes you keeps you current, 
"When you take an iTunes U course, you’ll always have the most current information at your fingertips. With a tap, you can listen again to the most recent lecture or review the latest presentation to make sure you got all the details. Stay on top of your assignments and check them off as you complete them. And when an instructor sends a message or creates a new assignment, you’ll receive a push notification with the new information."
Click read more below to view additional pictures of the new iTunes U app.
 




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Apple Announces iBooks 2 with Textbook Support


Today, Apple announced iBooks 2 with textbook support. The textbooks will be interactive and can include videos, Keynote presentations, 3D diagrams and more. Apple says that digital textbook on the iPad have many advantages of paper textbooks including ease of carrying to and from class, ability to update books and improve note taking. To download iBooks 2 click here. Textbooks will cost no more than $14.99. The textbooks will only be compatible with the iPad and will not work on iPhone or iPod Touch. The text books will be compatible with accessiblity features built into iOS 5. Click here to learn more about iOS 5 Accessiblity. Apple says,

"A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go."
The new textbooks will be easy to annotate. Students can easily highlight passages and add notes. A cool feature called study cards will make flash cards from your notes and highlights for easy studying. Apple says the following about study cards,
"All your notes and highlights automatically appear on study cards. Flip them over and find the definition of a glossary term or the note attached to the highlighted passage. Choose which highlight colors to review, and include chapter vocabulary from the glossary — automatically. To make sure you really know your stuff, you can shuffle your cards to study."
Apple will be partnering with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, McGraw Hill and Pearson at the beginning. Apple also announced iBook Author which allows individuals to create textbooks for the iPad. Click read more below to view more images of iBooks 2 Textbooks.



"Use a finger as a highlighter when reading any textbook in iBooks. Just swipe over text and it’s highlighted. Tap a highlighted section and a palette appears. Change colors, switch to underlining, or add a note instantly. Then switch to the Notes view to see all your notes and highlights organized in one place, making it a cinch to search or go back to the highlighted sections of the book." - Apple.com
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iConvert Scanner: Physical Scanner for iPad



The iConvert Scanner is a hardware scanner for the iPad. To use the scanner you must download the iCovert Scanner app which is free. The iConver Scanner can scan documents from 2.5 inches to 8.5 inches in width. The documents are saved as JPEG images in your iPad's photo library. The scanner does not save documents as PDFs.
"Our iConvert® Scanner for iPad and iPad 2 Tablets scans hard copies to JPEG files directly to your tablet, giving you instant e-copies of your most important documents. The JPEG files are automatically stored in the picture folder. Great for use at home (old photos, genealogy records, special greeting cards, recipes and children’s artwork), at the office (meeting notes, resumes, renderings, signed contracts) and on the go (receipts, expense reports, business cards and more). The entire scanner is sized to take with you in your messenger bag or backpack. 
Better than basic alternatives, the iConvert® Scanner for iPad and iPad 2 Tablets scans in high-resolution 300dpi for clear, crisp JPEG images. And the front feeder adjusts from 2 inches to 8½ inches wide to fit many size photos and important documents. Easy to use and it works with the free downloadable app at the iTunes® App StoreSM. Simply place the tablet on the scanner and the scanner gives step-by-step prompts from 'scan' (with real-time preview) to “save” or 'delete.'" -Brookstones.com
The iConvert Scanner retails for $149.99 from Brookstones. To visit Brookstones website click here. Click read more below to view pictures of the iConvert Scanner.








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Prizmo Giveaway



Below is a promo code for Prizmo. To learn more about Prizmo click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the Prizmo. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. This is the last Prizmo giveaway. Good Luck!


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Prizmo Giveaway



Below is a promo code for Prizmo. To learn more about Prizmo click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the Prizmo. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back later for another code. Check back often to improve you chances of winning. The next promo code will be posted within the next day. Good Luck!


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Prizmo Giveaway



Below is a promo code for Prizmo. To learn more about Prizmo click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the Prizmo. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back later for another code. Check back often to improve you chances of winning. The next promo code will be posted within the next day. Good Luck!


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You have read this article accessibility / Apps / assistive tech giveaway / assistive technology / assistive technology apps / dyslexia / free apps / free at / free iphone apps / giveaway / iOS 5 / iphone 4s / no charge / prizmo / promo code with the title January 2012. You can bookmark this page URL http://fieldecho.blogspot.com.ng/2012/01/prizmo-giveaway_15.html. Thanks!

Prizmo Giveaway


Below is a promo code for Prizmo. To learn more about Prizmo click here. To win the app enter the code into iTunes. The first person to enter the code will win the Prizmo. Once one person enters the code it will no longer work. If you do not win check back later for another code. Check back often to improve you chances of winning. The next promo code will be posted within the next day. Good Luck!


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Color ID: Free Color Identifier



Color ID is a simple free app that recognizes colors using the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch's camera. Point the camera at the object you want to know the color of to use the app. Turn on VoiceOver to hear the color of the object be said allowed. Click here to download Color ID. Color ID is ideal for people who are blind or color blind and need to identify the color of clothing or any other object.

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Prizmo Giveaway


The Assistive Technology Blog will be giving away free copies of Prizmo over the next several days. Click here to learn more about Prizmo. Prizmo is the best optical character recognition (OCR) app for the iPhone that I have used. Prizmo costs $9.99 in the App Store. To win check the Assistive Technology Blog often over the next few days. Every day one promo code will be posted. The first reader to enter the promo code into iTunes will win the app. The more often you check the blog the more likely you are to win. If you do not in at first check back the next day for another giveaway.

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Printer Pro For Allows You To Print From Your iOS Device


Printer Pro for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad allows you to print to most printers from your iOS devices. Click here for the iPad app and here for the iPhone and iPod Touch app. Printer Pro is not a universal app so you will need to buy the app separately for your iPhone and iPad in order to have the best experience. Printer Pro allows you to print to most Wi-Fi printer and any printer attached to your computer by downloading a desktop app. To test to make sure your printer is compatible you can download Printer Pro Lite by clicking here. Setting up is relatively quick and easy. Once you set up your printer the app will remember your printer and you will not need to set it up each time. Printer Pro allows you to print email attachments, files from Dropbox, Web pages, Photos and Contacts. Click read more below to see screen shots of Printer Pro.






This app was provided complimentary to the reviewer.





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Apple to Hold Education Focused Media Event Next Week in New York


Today, Apple sent out invitations to the media for an education focused media event to be held on Thursday, January 19 at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The invitation reads, "Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple." Rumors have suggested that the announcement will focus on iBooks, iTunes U and digital textbooks. We will find out for sure next week. Check back here as the event approaches to find out what Apple has in store for education and what it means for assistive technology.
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Some iPad Management Tips, Part 2!

We have FINALLY gotten cases for our iPad 2s! Hooray! In honor of these new accessories, I wanted to share some quick iPad management tips with everyone:

1 - Color code your iPad cases for easy 1:1 access
We have 5 students at each table and have assigned each seat a color. Each table has five differently colored iPads, and so when a student in seat "red" reaches for an iPad he or she doesn't need to rummage through the bin; they can easily see the red case and get "their" device. This helps for apps that save data on the iPad (Pages, Keynote, etc.), ensuring that the student gets the same iPad each time. Additionally, it helps with accountability as the students know that they are responsible for all activity on "their" iPad throughout the period.


2- Create desktop backgrounds to show numeration
The cases cover the backs - where we originally had numerated stickers showing which iPad was which. Now we have gone with an idea originated by iPad colleague Carolyn Skibba at Burley Elementary - change the backgrounds and lock screens of each iPad to its number. In cases where the iPads are truly 1:1 - that is a single student is using a single iPad all day, every day - many teachers choose to take a picture of the student holding a number and use it as the background. However, I teach a differentiated classroom so although during each period there is a 1:1 student to iPad ratio, three sets of students cycle through the devices each day. Therefore, I used generic numbers as the wallpaper. To do this, I typed the numbers in a Pages document on my MacBook and took a screenshot of the number. I then uploaded all of the numbers to my Google Site and was then easily able to download the picture and set it as the wallpaper/lockscreen from each iPad.

I did it this way - rather than creating the image on the iPad - for two reasons. One, if I did it on the iPad, the image would show other things - the date/time I am taking the picture, the cursor, the editing bar of Pages - and this may be a distracting backdrop for my students. Second, if I created these images on the iPad, it would take longer: I'd have to open Pages, set the font, the size, etc 32 individual times. Whereas on my Mac I was able to set it once and screenshot away. It was as simple as typing each number and took under 2 minutes total. However, not to worry - you don't have to do either! You can visit my webpage and download the number images to your iPads right now :)!


3 - Create shortcuts to frequently visited sites (Study Island, Class Google Site, etc)
Open your iPad's Safari app and type in the URL of the site that you'd like to visit. Tap the bookmarking icon in the browser (the arrow coming out of a rectangle), to "add to home screen". This will create an app icon on your homescreen and allow your students to visit the page with only a finger tap!


4 - Create differentiated folders for apps
Group your apps into folders based on level. You could create three facts practice folders called "Facts 1", "Facts 2", and "Facts 3". In the first folder you could place fact fluency apps that enhance basic addition/subtraction skills, the second folder could house apps that review multiplication/division facts and the third folder may have apps that introduce algebra. This way you could direct students to the correct folder and give them some choice in which app to use - rather than having students search for a "just right app" or spend time on an app that is too difficult or too easy for them.


5 - Try "Send to Dropbox"
Instead of flooding your inbox with student work emails every day, try Send to Dropbox, a site that allows your students to send to a generated address which dumps files into your dropbox folder. This will allow your more organization and even better - free up that inbox!

For additional tips, check out this post from September 2011.





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Use Your iPhone and JotNot as a Portable Scanner




JotNot Pro for iPhone can be used as a portable scanner. JotNot uses the iPhone's camera to take a picture of a document and then processes the image to the center of the screen. It  then removes shadows and noise. To make a PDF of a document simply take a picture of each page of the document with JotNot. JotNot will make a PDF that looks like it was made with a flatbed scanner. Once JotNot has produced a PDF you can email it or save it to a number of cloud services including Google Docs. To learn more about JotNot Pro click here. You can also use JotNot with Kurzweil. Simply email your self the PDF and then open it with Kurzweil. Once the PDF is opened in Kurzweil you can read it using Kurzweil's built in text-to-speech or use any of the Kurzweil editing tools to fill in the blanks, circle or highlight the document. JotNot is the perfect companion to Kurzweil. When you get a hard copy of a document you would like to read with Kurzweil simply take a picture of it with JotNot instead of going to a scanner. Click read more below to see JotNot screen shots and watch more videos.








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