Category Archives: Accessibility

Accessibility workshop for teachers now available

"As a special education teacher, I am constantly on the hunt for technology and tools that give students with disabilities an environment that is personalised, differentiated and yet as close to their peers’ experience as possible… With Windows 10 and Office 365, I have been able to find and use many of the accommodations that I have been looking for making consumption of materials, content creation, collaboration and organisation possible for students using the same technology and tools as their peers.” – Robin Lowell, Special Education, Science and Mathematics teacher

Microsoft's mission is to empower all people and all organisations to achieve more.… Visit the author's original post

“My life has been that of a seeker. All my life is learning — both formally and informally.” – Floyd Chanda, Zambia

A willingness to try new things can be just as important for educators as it is for their students. Just ask Floyd Chanda..

“The biggest challenge for education today is to keep up with the pace of the changing technologies — especially in the Third World,” Chanda shares with us. “I am responding to this by encouraging my fellow educators to remain open to learning and change in the 21st century.”

Chanda loves to share the skills and knowledge he’s acquired as a Microsoft Innovator Educator Expert (MIEE) with his fellow teachers.… Visit the author's original post

“Working with [a disabled] student really challenged me… I learned to be more flexible, and to focus on the possibilities rather than the limitations.” – Anna Mendoza, Australia

Anna Mendoza
Teacher and English Domain Leader, E-pedagogy
Gleneagles Secondary College
Victoria, Australia
@mrsannamendoza

As students spend more time watching videos, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) Anna Mendoza is worried that student attitudes about reading have become increasingly negative.

“Whilst I appreciate a multi-modal approach,” she says, “this is having a huge impact on their literacy skills and ability to accurately comprehend and infer information from text.”

To combat the problem, Mendoza is working hard to embed reading into her school’s classrooms daily, and is using testing data to target the gaps they present with.… Visit the author's original post

Behind every great person is a great teacher – Michael Furdyk, Canada

To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on February 14, 2012.

If you’ve ever wondered just how important a teacher is, just ask Michael Furdyk.
“When I was in grade three, I somehow connected with one of the grade five gifted teachers, Ms. Gee, who saw my passion for technology, took me under her wing, and included me in some of her class activities,” says Furdyk.The confidence she had in me was a huge boost to my self-esteem, and helped me realize that I could accomplish whatever I set my eyes on.”

And his accomplishments are many.… Visit the author's original post

No classrooms. No teachers. No blackboards. No exams.

To celebrate five years of Daily Edventures, we’re sharing some of our favorite posts. This Daily Edventure was originally published on January 10, 2012.

 

At first glance it’s pretty obvious: Colegio Fontán is different. No classrooms.
No teachers. No blackboards. No exams. Technology supports everything they do.

“Everyone knows the ‘what’ to do in education. We’ve built the ‘how’ instead,” says Julio Fontán, school President.

Colegio Fontan video

Fontán’s parents – both educators – brought their unique brand of education to Colombia from Spain 54 years ago.… Visit the author's original post

“With accessible technology, we have the opportunity to break down barriers to education (and beyond) for people with disabilities.” – Megan Lawrence, USA

Megan Lawrence
Accessibility Technical Evangelist, Microsoft   
Redmond, Washington, USA  

Megan Lawrence is part of a team on a mission to reduce the unemployment rate for people with disabilities. This is a monumental task, but one Lawrence will not shy away from. In the US alone, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is more than double that of people without disabilities. As Microsoft’s Accessibility Technical Evangelist, Lawrence believes one of the key paths to delivering on this mission is through accessible education technology, and an inclusive educational environment.… Visit the author's original post

Creating inclusive classrooms with the help of OneNote

Originally posted on the Microsoft Education blog on 17th May by Jameson Lee, Assistive Technology Coordinator of Special Education.

At the start of the school year, our special education team established the goal to deepen the purposeful use of technology to support struggling students, especially for those with special education needs and disabilities. This goal was based on the belief that all students should have an opportunity to be a part of an inclusive learning environment, where diversity is embraced, celebrated and valued by all members of the school community.… Visit the author's original post

10 tips to make your classroom more accessible

Today, Microsoft joins in marking the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day dedicated to raising awareness around accessibility in the digital world. In honor of this day and to help create more inclusive school and classroom environments, the Microsoft Education Team would like to encourage all educators to explore a new Microsoft Educator Community training course, brought to you by Microsoft Innovative Educators who work in Special Education.

There are lots of technologies and resources available to help you make learning environments more inclusive and accessible.… Visit the author's original post

Creating inclusive classrooms with the help of OneNote

At the start of the school year, our special education team established the goal to deepen the purposeful use of technology to support struggling students, especially for those with special education needs and disabilities. This goal was based on the belief that all students should have an opportunity to be a part of an inclusive learning environment, where diversity is embraced, celebrated and valued by all members of the school community.

To identify specific strategies and tools to improve learning for all students, we needed to prioritize students first and technology tools second.… Visit the author's original post

“We must break the mold. We must find ways to de-compartmentalize learning – change schedules, combine classes, stop teaching in ‘boxes’ of math, science, English, etc.  It is hard to break out from the norm and move beyond the comfort of what we know. But if we want to ensure a quality education for our students, we are going to have to find ways to move outside of our comfort zones and take risks.” – Kelli Etheredge

Kelli Etheredge
St. Paul’s Episcopal School
Mobile, Alabama
@ketheredge

Learn more about how Etheredge and her students use OneNote through her Educator Community learning activity here.  

About Kelli Etheredge

  • Educational background:Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and Spanish from Auburn University; Juris Doctorate from Cumberland School of Law
  • Favorite book: Too many to list, but some of my favorites include A Tale of Two Cities; the Harry Potter series; The Count of Monte Cristo; Life and Death in Shanghai; A More Beautiful Question
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology:OneNote with a digitized device.
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OneNote makes learning accessible for all – Jeff Petty, USA

Jeff Petty, Principle Program Manager, Accessibility
Daniel Hubbell, Senior Program Manager, Accessibility
Microsoft Corporation Seattle
Washington, USA

For students with unique learning needs – and their teachers – one-size-fits-all education tools don’t always work. It’s not a small problem. In fact, an estimated 1 in 5 students are dealing with dyslexia, and over 70 percent of classrooms have special education students or readers that span four or more grade levels. But thanks to the efforts of Microsoft’s Accessibility team, and team members like Jeff Petty and Daniel Hubbell, educators now have help.… Visit the author's original post

#TheFeed – Special Report: The Fosse Way Document, by Gerald Haigh

march-april-coverThis latest extract from #TheFeed is written by teacher Gerald Haigh, the piece focuses on a special school, with the majority of the students on the autism spectrum. The school has just updated the way technology is used in the classroom to enhance learning in ways like never before.

More information about the schools, together with details and timetables of the CPD programmes on offer, together with information on booking are available here.

Suggested follows:



#TheFeed – Special Report: The Fosse Way Document, by Gerald Haigh

2017-03-23-1

Fosse Way School, a special school for 209 pupils, a majority on the autistic spectrum, in Radstock, near the City of Bath has just had a complete update of the way technology is used for learning.Visit the author's original post

#TheFeed – Microsoft’s OneNote Digital Notebook Combating Dyslexia

march-april-cover#TheFeed is back for the March/April 2017 edition, and focusses on Accessibility. In the latest issue you’ll find stories from schools specialising in SEND, studies from the British Dyslexia Association, and the latest on technologies that can aid SEND learners and those who teach them.

This extract is from the Microsoft in Education team, and looks at the latest updates and additions to the Learning Tools add-in for OneNote, all within the context of a recent BDA study conducted with a Surrey school to see how experiences outcomes can be improved for SEND learners through the introduction of appropriate technology.Visit the author's original post

Accommodations verses modifications in an inclusive classroom

Guest post by Robin Lowell. Robin Lowell is a Microsoft Innovative Education Expert, and a special education, science, and mathematics teacher, as well as teacher of blind and visually impaired students. She partnered with the Microsoft in Education team to deliver this accessibility training for members of the Microsoft Educator Community.

As a special education teacher, I am constantly trying to create an environment for my students with learning differences that is personalized, differentiated and yet as close to their peers’ experience as possible.… Visit the author's original post

OneNote Class Notebook now available for all educators

Guest post by Helen Gooch, Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer, who shares her tips on using OneNote Class Notebook. OneNote Class Notebook is a digital notebook that has a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities.  If you are not yet using it in your classroom, we have great news: now all teachers can use the OneNote Class Notebook, even if you do not currently have Office 365. 

...(read more)Visit the author's original post

OneNote Class Notebook now available for all educators

Guest post by Helen Gooch, Microsoft Fellow and Master Trainer. Connect with Helen Gooch on the Microsoft Educator community.

Have you heard about the OneNote Class Notebook? It’s a digital notebook that has a personal workspace for every student, a content library for handouts, and a collaboration space for lessons and creative activities. If you are not yet using it in your classroom, we have great news: now all teachers can use the OneNote Class Notebook, even if you do not currently have Office 365.… Visit the author's original post

5 ways to motivate different kinds of students with digital learning tools

Motivation is crucial to learning. Without motivation, students are prone to just memorizing information or crunching for an exam instead of immersing themselves to really learn about the topic. Ideally, with high motivation, surrounded by a culture of learning and supported by a community of experts, students can learn deeply, actively share information, and even create new knowledge. Read ideas on different ways of motivating students with digital learning tools and technologies.

...(read more)Visit the author's original post

5 ways to motivate different kinds of students with digital learning tools

Motivation is crucial to learning. Without motivation, students are prone to just memorizing information or crunching for an exam instead of immersing themselves to really learn about the topic. Ideally, with high motivation, surrounded by a culture of learning and supported by a community of experts, students can learn deeply, actively share information, and even create new knowledge.

One quite detailed motivational model relevant to schools (Tapola, Veermans & Niemivirta, 2013), categorizes students into five different achievement goal orientations. Each type of goal orientation responds to different ways of motivating, which is made easier by personalized learning and tools in a digital learning environment.… Visit the author's original post

The Accessibility Guide for Windows 10 and Office 2016 – helping students with special needs

Last week we released the Accessibility Guide for Educators for Windows 10 and Office 2016. And I put it onto my ‘must share that sometime’ list. But it wasn’t a priority for me, because in the past I’ve written a lot about accessibility with Microsoft products and services, including things like:

Visit the author's original post

The Accessibility Guide for Windows 10 and Office 2016 – helping students with special needs

Last week we released the Accessibility Guide for Educators for Windows 10 and Office 2016. And I put it onto my ‘must share that sometime’ list. But it wasn’t a priority for me, because in the past I’ve written a lot about accessibility with Microsoft products and services, including things like:

Visit the author's original post

A student’s story: How OneNote changed a life – Kyle Madinger, Canada

This is a story of struggle, perseverance, and ultimately, triumph.

Our story starts with a young Kyle Madinger, born on Christmas. “Kyle was a Christmas baby, and was always the youngest in the class,” his father Brent tells us. “So he was always a little behind developmentally.”

For Kyle, this presented itself through organizational and legibility issues in particular. His challenges led him into homeschooling and a special education classroom.

Then, in middle school, something life-changing happened: “One of his educators suggested a tablet as a way to get him better engaged with school,” says his father.… Visit the author's original post

Hacking the Way to Better Reading Technologies – Jeff Petty and Kevin Larson, USA

Innovation is a word we use a lot here at Daily Edventures. Whether you’re a teacher or a school leader, pushing innovative learning is likely top-of-mind every day.

Spurring innovation is also top-of-mind here at Microsoft. For the second year in a row, Microsoft employees took time away from their day-to-day tasks to take part in a one-week, company-wide “hackathon” that brings together teams from across the country. This year, over 3000 projects were entered, each built to change lives for the better through the use of technology.… Visit the author's original post

OneNote, SmartBoard and students with autism

Autism activities K-5Our global Office blog recently published an excellent article from a teacher in the US, sharing their experiences of using OneNote for students with autism. They found it supported their use of tablets and interactive whiteboards in the classroom, with the OneNote notebook allowing students with autism to engage in interactive exercises, and bringing together the learning journey for students and teachers across the different devices.

Alexis Parker, the teacher from Florida, introduces her students briefly before sharing her professional practice:

  I am a special education teacher for kindergarten through 5th-grade students who are highly impacted with autism.
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OneNote for Learning

During the last week of July Microsoft employees around the world participated in our //oneweek Hackathon, where teams create projects with technology to solve small and big problems. Some of the ideas are just fun things that go nowhere, and others end up being built into products that you then end up using. It’s volunteering at it’s best because people get to forget their day job for a week, and do something they are truly passionate about. And many of the teams go all out - working for weeks in advance of the Hackathon, and then virtually living with their Hackathon team for the week whilst they code, test, sleep and eat pizza.… Visit the author's original post

Sharon Rosenblatt: The ADA Enters the Digital Space in its 25th Year

by Sharon Rosenblatt
Guest Columnist, USA

The Internet allows us all to relive our glory days. If you celebrate Wayback Wednesay, Throwback Thursday, or Flashback Friday (with their associated social media hashtags, of course), some of the images, videos and memories might time travel you back to 1990.

If that’s a year that’s near and dear to you, perhaps you would fondly remember looking forward to an episode of a new cartoon called, “The Simpsons”, or maybe you waited with anticipation for the first imagines to come from the Hubble Telescope.… Visit the author's original post

Amanda Crabb: First Words

by Amanda Crabb
Expert Educator Columnist, UK

The excitement of a toddler who has just said their first words is a special and treasured moment. Parents wait in anticipation to hear their child’s first comprehensible word and the thrill of hearing their precious child take their first steps into a world where they can communicate using words and sentences is always a happy moment. Granted, whilst many parents are disappointed to discover that their child’s first utterance is the dreaded “no”, their accomplishment of such an incredible milestone is always celebrated nonetheless.… Visit the author's original post

Get support from Microsoft for accessibility questions via the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

Click the visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk

The Microsoft Support team run the “Microsoft Disability Answer Desk” service, and have just announced that it’s now available for Australian customers, to allow you to get telephone support from Microsoft for accessibility questions. This service allows you to call a toll-free number and speak with an expert who can provide support for accessibility questions and assistive technology.

This is in addition to the general support available for all customers from the main Answer Desk page.

The Disability Answer Desk supplements the huge set of resources already published on our Microsoft Accessibility website, which provides detailed sections on accessibility in Windows 8, Windows 7, Office 365, Office 2013 and Office 2010.… Visit the author's original post

Could Cortana in education help students and teachers?

Cortana logo

Cortana is the intelligent voice-activated assistant on a Windows Phone - described as ‘your personal assistant in your phone’ - and it provides a new way of interacting with other people and your phone. I’ve been using Cortana on my phone for a while now, using the Developer Preview of Windows 8.1 and over time I’ve discovered some great things it can do for me (I most often use it to send an SMS as I’m leaving the office, remind me about something when I arrive somewhere, and to check information in my calendar).… Visit the author's original post

School Supply List 2014-2015 – Student Advantage

School Supplies 2014-2015

Hello fellow Moms and Dads! It’s almost time for our kids to go back to school. So, I want to share some must-have additions for your School Supply List 2014-2015.

Microsoft is enabling students success in the 2014-15 school year with Student Advantage. Student Advantage is Office 365 for Students. Students can install all of the popular Office apps that they need not only for their creative work in school, but also for the hottest, high-growth careers. Getting Student Advantage is free if your child’s school district has an Microsoft Office 365/Professional Plus for faculty and staff.… Visit the author's original post