Web Wednesday: Autism Village App

Autism Village App ScreenshotWhat is it?:

http://autismvillage.com/

Autism Village App

The Autism Village app is an amazing “Yelp! like” app that helps families and people with Autism to have a more positive experience in the community.  This app provides feedback about local shops and businesses by those that frequent them.  What is unique to this app is that the feedback is specific to the needs of those with Autism.  For example, if the place is overstimulating with many flashing lights, loud noises or non-autism friendly people you can find out before you go.

You will be able to get the app here: http://autismvillage.com/index.php/the-app

Who is it for?:

Anyone who has a family member or friend with autism can use this app.  Teachers can use it for field trips also.

Why use it?:

This app can be used for so much.  Not only can people avoid going to places that might set off their person but it can also be used as a tool to help them cope.  For example, I am a teacher and I go on field trips with my students.  This app can be used to help prepare my students for what they can expect at the place we are going.  If it isn’t “Autism Friendly,” I can prepare them for the ways in which they will have to cope.  I can also take tools that will help me prevent meltdowns due to sensory overstimulation.

Favorite aspects?:

My favorite aspect is that this app is so versatile that it can be used by anyone who has a need to know what the sensory level is like.  It doesn’t just have to pertain to someone with Autism.  Sometimes I have a sensitivity to loud noises or crowds and I have no disabilities whatsoever.

This app has not been released yet but should be by Summer 2015.

Here is an article that tells all about the person who started it. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/19/autism-village-app_n_6886846.html
The autism village website tells more of the story too.

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Web Wednesday: Quizlet.com

Quizlet Screenshot

What is it?:

Quizlet.com is a site that you can use for free to create flash cards of any kind. In the free portion, you can create sets of cards and search any public made cards.  There is an upgraded “teacher” version that gives you access to a few other features but the free version is plenty awesome!

Who is it for?:

Quizlet can be for educators, students, and parents.  Educators can use with the class, students can make their own study guides, and parents can help their kiddos study or they can use this if they homeschool.

Why use it?:

Quizlet has some pretty cool features.  You have more options than just flash cards.  Once your “set” is made, you can test, learn, spell, scatter, and race.  Each of these features provides a scored and or timed activity directly related to the information you place on the sets.  You can test on the computer or print the tests out.  Each time you generate a test, it will mix up the questions for you.  One option even mixes up the responses and goes between all of the definitions (answers) you place with the terms (questions).  If you don’t feel like making your own cards, you can search the site by keywords and see if someone else has done the work for you.  I searched by both SOL and ASOL today and found direct results!

Favorite aspects?:

There is so much to love about this site that I don’t think I can pick one favorite aspect.  I do LOVE the option to print my tests or have the students do them on the computer.  I also LOVE that the tests shuffle each time I generate one!  Great site and highly recommend it.  There are so many options and they can benefit a lot of people!

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Scholastic.com

scholastic

What is it?

Many are familiar with Scholastic the publisher and seller of books, magazines and the like but their website is so much more than just a place to order things. They also publish magazines geared to different grade levels.  When you purchase the magazine you have access to additional online resources. They do offer other free online resources without magazine purchase as well.

My experience is with the magazine that my school ordered for me. We were able to choose how many in increments of 10. The articles in the magazines are all non-fiction learning tools and have vocabulary and worksheets related to most of them that will guide both teacher and student. The magazines are broken into grade level and have different names based on which level you choose. For example, Scholastic Action is for Grades 6–12 (reading level 3-5)

Who is it for?

Scholastic is not just for educators in the classroom. This is a great resource that can be tailored toward your needs. They have items for librarians, different grade/reading levels, and so much more. They have a parent and student section on the website and the magazines can be used at home.

Why use it?

Scholastic is a wonderful resource that has amazing website features. The site lists that it has links for teachers, parents, librarians, administration, students, and even links to common core standards. In my classroom we use it to help with fluency and comprehension for a variety of grade and reading levels.

Favorite aspects?

My favorite aspects of the online supplements to the magazine are the audio setting on some articles as well as the worksheets that are made available for certain articles. The audio setting is not an option on all articles but when it is, you can change the settings to read fast or slower and there is even an option to change the article reading to a lower reading level. I have an auditory learner who loves this aspect as much as I do.

 

The worksheets that come with the website are great!  They help to focus on on main topics and reiterate comprehension.


While scholastic magazine is a paid subscription, don’t be deterred. Make sure to check out the free resources they offer on the website. Another money saver is to team up with someone who might need the same grade level magazine and share web access. I hope you enjoy scholastic.com as much as I have.

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http://illuminations.nctm.org/

Screenshot 2015-02-17 at 9.06.22 PM

What is it?

Illuminations is the teacher resource website for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  It has lesson plans and interactives.

Who is it for?

This website is made for teachers of math.  The interactives are meant to be used by students, but are not really set up for students to navigate and find appropriate interactives on their own.

Why use it?

Each of the over 600 lessons is clearly tied to a standard, so it is clear what the purpose of each lesson is.  They also publish a newsletter and have games, applets and virtual manipulatives.

Favorite Aspect

The search function of this website is great.  You can search by grade, or by math strand in case there was something your students were struggling with and you are not sure what grade level that skill/topic is usually taught.  They also have some really challenging brain teasers.

 


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http://www.imdetermined.org

I'm Determined

What is it?

This is the website for the I’m Determined program.  Here’s what it is about in it’s own words:

The I’m Determined project, a state directed project funded by the Virginia Department of Education, focuses on providing direct instruction, models, and opportunities to practice skills associated with self-determined behavior. This project facilitates youth, especially those with disabilities to undertake a measure of control in their lives, helping to set and steer the course rather than remaining the silent passenger.

I’m determined is a site that is dedicated to helping people by providing tools and training for educators, students and parents.  It’s meant to help empower students with disabilities.

Who is it for?

There are resources and information on this site for anyone involved with students who have disabilities, including educators, parents and students with disabilities themselves.

Why use it?

The idea of empowering students is a powerful one.  I’m Determined doesn’t just empower students to advocate for themselves in the school/IEP setting, they also work strongly with the workforce focus.  Events for students are held regularly and trainings are offered for both educators and parents.  Students with disabilities participate in the trainings and present their work and their story.  It is very touching and encouraging to all who have the privilege of attending.  I’m Determined provides a clear and detailed view of very abstract information, breaking it down into smaller tasks for the students to gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their needs and wants.

Favorite aspects?

My favorite aspect is that this site gives so many resources to a wide variety of people. It can also be used for a large variety of purposes, not just related to one aspect of the students life.


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ReadWriteThink.org

Screenshot 2015-02-17 at 8.38.10 PM

What is it?

This is the official website of the International Reading Association and has reading and writing lesson plans, resources as well as information regarding professional development.

Who is it for?

This website is primarily for teachers who teach reading and writing. They have a parent/afterschool section to the website as well.

Why use it?

There are lots of lesson plans, student interactives, resources for the classroom and “strategy guides” to help teachers better understand methods of teaching.  They are all vetted by the IRA and have research to back them up.  Also, they are organized by grade level and strategy.  There’s even a new video section.

Favorite Aspect

The lesson plans are posted in the same format on the website, so it is clear right away exactly what is needed for the lesson. (I hate finding what looks like a great lesson and then realizing 3/4ths of the way through reading it that it needs some book I don’t have.)  It also links you the resources you need and is very printer friendly.  Each lesson has an estimated time limit so you know what you are looking at.


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WeVideo.com

WeVideo1

What is it?

Our Web Wednesdays so far have been websites.  That’s not true today.   Instead we have an application, WeVideo. WeVideo is a straightforward video editing program available online.  You can download it from Google Play or the App Store.  It allows you to edit videos you upload by adding images, captions, sounds, transitions and more.  It can be used on a variety of devices.  I haven’t tried it out on my phone or tablet, but those are options.  What you see above is a screen shot of a video clip I am currently editing.

Who is it for?

There are different kinds of plans, for education, business and personal use.  However, even with just the free option, there are lots of features.  Both teachers and students can use this resource.

Why use it?

So far, I’ve been using WeVideo to edit the clips for our school’s  BATTLE OF THE BOOKS.  I had the teachers film the first episode and I managed to edit and publish in less than twenty minutes, and that was the first time I had ever tried using WeVideo before.  I’m not a complete newbie to video editing, but what I impressed with is how easy WeVideo was to figure out and how much quicker it was than other programs I have used.  Also, it allows for filming right in the application with my Chromebook’s built-in camera.  That means that it will be super simple to have my students use this.  The technology resource teacher for my school was telling me about how classes are her other school are having students make “Book Trailers” and I can’t want to make it happen.

Favorite Aspect:

What I like is how you can add more than one video track so that you can have overlays over your video.  For Book Battle Broadcast, that means I can add ticker tape style quotes along the bottom of the video.


There are also some collaboration aspects where you can share media and collaborate on projects with peers.  I have not explored this as much, but am looking forward to it.  (Inner nerd in me LOVES the Lord of the Rings reference in their loading page.)

WeVideo2


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