• National Technology Assistance Center on Transition

    Posted by Michele Neumann on 5/10/2016

    ‚ÄčNational Technical Assistance Center on Transition


    For those of you who have worked in the field of transition for several years, we are sure you have accessed national sites, as well as our state site, to support your work. Many of you are familiar with what used to be the National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center, or NSTTAC. Some of you may not know that the national center has changed its name and website. It is now the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition (NTACT—to help you remember it, think “intact”).


    The site continues to offer information regarding graduation, transition planning, effective practices, and post school success. Want to explore what it has to offer?  You can access NTACT at www.transitionta.org


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  • Disconnect from Technology: How to Teach Balance

    Posted by Jessica Conrad on 5/6/2016
    Disconnect from Technology: How to teach balance
    With finals looming, end-of-the-year paperwork mounting, and beautiful weather beckoning, parents and professionals alike struggle with teaching students how to put down the technology and enjoy everything else.
    1. Some parents promote mindful usage above flat out restriction.  Consider talking with your students about appropriate screen time and involve them in making thoughtful choices about how they spend their free time.  You can use this discussion and apply it to Guided Access, StayFocusd, or just a standard kitchen timer to help students recognize the passage of time-- a difficult skill for many students with disabilities.
    2. Restrict iPad/iPhone app time with Guided Access.  Set the timer for a set amount of minutes, and the app will lock down when time has expired.
    3. Establish "screen free zones" in your home, with activities and times  The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests no more than 2 hours of "entertainment media" screen time per day (differentiating between other reasons why we use screens) and encourages parents to be involved and start dialogues with their children about appropriate content and advertisements.  Additionally, they recommend no screen time for children under the age of two.
    4. StayFocusd is highly customizable, allowing users to determine what sites need to be blocked or semi-blocked, how long they get to be on those sites, and how long the enforcement period should be.  Great for students (of any age!) who struggle with sticking with a term paper that won't write itself.
    5. Model good balance.  Point out the good habits you've developed or identify an area of mindful technology use you would like to work on.


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  • Transition Resources

    Posted by Michele Neumann on 5/4/2016

    Transition Resources


    You’re in the home stretch toward summer. We understand it may be tough to focus on anything other than a lounge chair and pool or maybe binge watching whatever show you had to miss this year. But this week we’re issuing a challenge: As you think about the 2016-17 school year, take some time to evaluate your transition programming, so you can effectively plan for the upcoming year.


    Attached you’ll find the Taxonomy for Transition Programming 2.0 (Kohler, Gothberg, Fowler, & Coyle), which provides guidance in the following five programming components: 


    • Student Focused Planning,
    • Student Development,
    • Interagency Collaboration,
    • Program Structures, and
    • Family Engagement.

    These five areas are key to helping us improve successful post-school outcomes, which we do by increasing graduation rates, providing more postsecondary options, and by paving the way to successful participation in the workforce.


    The model will assist you with planning, organizing, and evaluating transition education, services, and programs (Kohler et al, 2016).



    Have an innovative programming idea for next year? Have a question about the Kohler model, or any other question, for that matter?  Virtual Office Hours are scheduled for this afternoon, Tuesday, May 3rd, from 3-4 p.m., at https://connect.iu.edu/INSTRC-VOH. Click the link; type in your question!


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  • Transition Resources

    Posted by Michele Neumann on 4/26/2016

    Transition Resources


    About Special Kids (ASK), Indiana’s parent-to-parent organization, has created a new handout/mini poster for students and families. It’s attached. Feel free to print and distribute the posters at your next transition fair or parent night. 


    Also note that the resource links are “clickable,” so you can make the poster available online as well!


    There are no Virtual Office Hours scheduled for this week. Be sure to join us on Tuesday, May 3rd, from 3-4 p.m. at https://connect.iu.edu/INSTRC-VOH. Click the link; type in your question!

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  • 20 Minute Digital Field Trips

    Posted by Jessica Conrad on 4/22/2016
    If the bus is booked, the park is rained out, and you can't budget a tip to Mars for 25 third graders, a digital field trip might be in order.  These four ideas take a little planning before hand and can be done in 20 minutes, but can certainly be extended for an entire class period or more.
    Visit your favorite book
    Google Lit Trips (http://www.googlelittrips.org/) allows classrooms to explore the sights and sounds that make up the world of their favorite books.  From Make Way for Ducklings to Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl, any grade can deepen their understanding of their favorite literature.  Teachers and students can design their own Lit Trips and share them.
    Go to Mars
    Sphere (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sphere-360o-photography/id335671384?mt=8) is a free app for iOS and Android that allows students to view 360* panoramic pictures.  Visit the surface of Mars, see inside a plane cockpit, or go down to the pitcher's mound of a baseball stadium.  Take snapshots of your favorite areas and start annotating and describing the parts of a Scottish castle or take your own 360* photos with your device and share them.
    Travel the Oregon Trail
    Google Treks allows teachers and students to browse, create and share a map with highlights that include text, visuals, and audio clips. Treks already published include an interactive timeline of the Titanic, Cinderella stories from around the world, and exploring photosynthesis. 
    Google Cardboard

    You'd never guess some cardboard and a smart phone could turn into a virtual reality system.  You can use iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/app/id987962261) or Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/collection/promotion_3001527_cardboard_apps) to tour Versailles, fly along Arctic terns and see the northern lights or watch 360 panoramic videos of concerts.

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