Google's New Contextual Spell Check


Google recently announce a new contextual spell check that will be built into Chrome shortly. Chrome is Google's free web browser. The spell checker will analyize the context so if you type "the meet is rotten" it will know that you were trying to say "the meat is rotten." This is a very nice addition to Google's products. Click read more  or to see more pictures of the new spell check in action.






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AppWriter is an All-In-One Assistive Technology App For Struggling Readers and Writers



AppWriter is an iPad app for people who struggle with reading or writing. The app includes text-to-speech, word prediction, OCR capabilities and the Dyslexie font. You can save your documents on email, dropbox or Google Docs.

Text-To-Speech - The app includes high quality text-to-speech voices that can be use to read back text in the app. AppWriter also highlights the words being read to help users follow along. On the first generation iPad the text-to-speech had to reload line by line which made it hard to follow. This should not be a problem on the newer iPads because they have better processors and more RAM.

OCR - AppWriter includes optical character recognition (OCR) which allows you to take a picture with the iPad's camera and then have the app convert it to digital text and read it back to you with text-to-speech. This feature will work best with the new iPad's higher resolution camera. With OCR you can take pictures of worksheets, textbooks. In my test the OCR was not as accurate or fast as Prizmo.

Word Prediction - AppWriter also comes with word prediction. AppWriter predicts words based on the context of your writing. AppWriter can also read the suggested words to you before you select them.

Dyslexie - AppWriter includes a special font called Dyslexie. This font makes it easier for dyslexics to recognize and read letter and words. To learn more about the Dyslexie font click here.

AppWriter is available for $19.99 on the App Store. Click here to view in the App Store. Click read more below to learn more.






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Haptic Feedback Tablets Helps Visually Impaired Students



Haptic feedback tablets are opening new doors for students with visual impairments, especially in math class. Haptic feedback  provides a small vibration when the screen is touched allowing you to feel the screen. Haptic feedback is available on some Android phones and tablets. Some schools have begun to use tablets that vibrate went touched to allow visually impaired students to feel shapes and graphs. In order to work, a specialized app must be paired with a tablet that offers haptic (touch) feedback. When a student runs their finger along the screen they feel small vibration that tells them where a point or shape is. Then the student can feel the shape. The app could also be used as a graphing calculator in the future, allowing students to input equations and then feel the shape of the graph instantly. The app is not currently available to the public. To read more about this exciting new technology click here.
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Whetting your APPetite Vol. 11: Reflection of Happiness

For those of you who can't afford the $99 for an AppleTV (and possibly the extra $179 for the AirPort Extreme it would require to bypass your local network), here's a $15 way to get your iPads mirrored wirelessly to your computer. That's right, wirelessly to your computer!  If you're like me and have been struggling to find a seamless way to show kids how to use new apps, iOS features, or screencast iPad demos for colleagues, friends or pupils, now it's as simple a swipe, tap, mirror.

Meet Reflection App for Mac. My friend and fellow tech adventurer, Chad Kafka spread the word about this and I've been obsessed ever since. So big thanks to Chad for sharing!

So far I've used it to share student work on my interactive whiteboard, mirror and display videos students have created using apps like Educreations or Toontastic, and create screencasts using QuickTime to teach my kids how to navigate new iOS features.

One surprising feature I've discovered is that when we wirelessly mirror through this app, videos are opened through my computer's QuickTime Player... and as a result are downloadable. Now I can get videos off of any of my students' iPads as they display them for the class.

The developer is super helpful and responsive. He's currently offerring the App at $14.99 per Mac (note: this app runs on your Mac - NOT your iPad... so it only needs to be purchased ONCE per classroom - no VPP required), or under $10 if you're purchasing 5 or more. He seems to suggest deeper discounts if you are buying in even larger bulk (say, for an entire building of classrooms).

Although I think the Apple TV will ultimately be the way to go - especially once the new Mac Mountain Lion OS is released and allows for AirPlay mirroring of your computer - this is a great route for those who can't afford the AppleTV or can't make it work with their wireless constraints. And if you can afford both, I say get this too... the ability to screencast my iPad and quickly download video off of any iPad has been incredibly helpful.
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The New iPad: Thoughts From an Assistive Technology Prospective



The New iPad is out with a new high-resolution display, improved rear facing camera, dictation and more, but what does it mean for people with disabilities?

Camera - The New iPad has a much improved 5 megapixel rear facing camera. The new camera will enable assistive technology users to capture documents with more clarity. With the new improved camera, apps such as Prizmo, JotNot, ZoomReader, Scanner Pro and TurboScan will work much better.

Dictation - The New iPad also includes voice dictation which allows you to to talk instead of needing to type. The dictation feature works well and is very similar to voice dictation on the iPhone 4S. The new iPad does not have Siri support so it cannot answer your questions.

The New iPad adds some nice new features and remains accessible with VoiceOver. The iPad 2 remains on sale for $399.
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Khan Academy Releases iPad App



Khan Academy the website that makes free online learning videos has released a new app for the iPad. The newly released app allows you all of the video content. The Khan Academy is a great online learning resource and it is great to see it coming to the iPad. Click here to download the free app from the App Store. Khan Academy is a great resource for people who want to learn about a variety of subject or review for school assessments. In addition it is a great resource to compliment class notes. The video's include closed captions.

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PaperPort Notes App for iPad: Notetaking with Dictation



Paperport Notes is a free app for the iPad. The app is made by Nuance the maker of Dragon Dictation. The app allows users to take notes by typing, writing with a stylist or by dictation. Paperport Notes also allows users to import pictures and web pages into notes as visual reminders. Another useful feature allows users to record audio notes of a class or meeting while they are typing or writing notes. The audio notes will allow you to go back and review the class or meeting if you missed an important part. Once you have completed your note you can save in as a PDF or use cloud services such as Dropbox.


Click read more below to view more images of Paperport Notes.












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At the Table with EdWeek Teacher

I had such a great time writing about technology redefinition for EdWeek:Teacher that they let me come back to do a round table on how technology has changed my classroom! The conversations were great and the posts by colleagues thought-provoking. It was a great experience and really pushed me to think harder about how and why I use technology with my students. Thanks to Education Week and the Center for Teaching Quality for letting me be a part of this great discussion!
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