Ken's ISTE conference notes:

I chose to attend mostly practical sessions. I attended two of Tammy Worcester's sessions. Rather than explaining all of these tools that she showed us I will probable purchase the book on Google tools and learn from the book. There was a lot of informations and fast moving; I am not a great note taker. I need RTI!!!

Making Text into a digital form was the primary theme of this session. I found it to be something that we should probably begin getting comfortable with. I think that it could be a very useful tool for the RTI push. I have attached his lesson. It will take me some time to get comfortable with the websites then figure out which ones might be the most useable for our situation at WR.

Making Text Accessible to Struggling Students

Dave Edyburn, Ph.D.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Purpose and Objectives

This session will introduce tools and strategies that can be used to modify text in order to improve the curriculum accessibility for struggling students.

1. Welcome

Students with below-grade-level reading skills do not have the independent reading skills necessary to read and comprehend textbook reading assignments. The goal is to design a solution that will allow students with disabilities and other students with reading scores in the bottom quartile to gain access to grade level instructional content.

2. Obtaining Digital Text

Participants will access a companion web page that will contain links to all resources. Initial activities will focus on reviewing resource organizations that provide digital text for students:



Scanning existing textbooks and using optical character recognition (OCR) software
Video introduction to OCR

Abbyy FineReader

3. Tools for Analyzing Text

In this section, we seek to understand the properties of the text in sample documents. A sample text document (Prairies.doc) will be provided for participants to learn how to use the following tools:

Word Count in Microsoft Word
Access under Tools menu

Readability in Microsoft Word
Access upon completion of spell checking (Turn on via Preferences)
Directions for readability in Word 2007

Text Content Analyser (word frequency and statistics)

Lexile Analyzer (requires registration/license)

4. Tools for Changing the Difficulty Level of Text

In some cases it may be necessary to modify the text for struggling readers. Three strategies involve creating a summary of the information and/or using locating a version of the text written using principles of Simple English.


Simple Wikipedia

Autosummarize (in Microsoft Word)
Busy professionals have long relied on something known as an executive summary to provide the key facts in a long document. Special education technology researchers (Edyburn, 2002; Mortensen, 2002) described how this tool could be used by special education teachers and students to create summaries of different lengths for students who struggle to access grade level reading materials. While initial hopes were that this technique would help students access grade level literature assignments, subsequent research showed that the technique is only effective on expository text (e.g., reference materials, textbooks). To use the Autosummarize tool in Word, you will need to begin with a text document (e.g., copy and paste some text into Word). Then, click on the Tool menu and pull down until you see the Autosummarize... option and release. (2007 users will need to follow a special procedure to activate this tool by installing it on the ribbon.) Initially, you can click the Ok button to summarize the text using the default settings, you will be able to make additional modifications using a slider that appears on the screen. What do you think of the summaries that are produced?Learn more:

5. Tools for Converting Text to Audio

When text is available in a digital format, it can be used to create audio files that students can use to listen to the information if they are unable to read the text. Two approaches will be described and the merits of each will be discussed by the participants as a large group.

How-to Create Digitized Speech

USB Microphone

Audacity (free, open source; cross platform)

How-to Create Synthesized Speech

Natural Reader (Windows, free)

VozMe (Web-based, free)

SpokenText (Web-based, free)

6. Tools for Creating Multilingual Text

Translation tools serve an important function when additional supports are not readily available. I believe they represent a good first start and offer a content placeholder while we secure the appropriate language translation services to ensure that our instructional materials are high-quality in all the languages our students need.

Google Language Tools

Summary and Concluding Discussion

With the right tools and a few skills, participants will be able to (1) make tiered texts that offer students the information they need in multiple levels of difficulty and complexity so they can access the version that is right for them; (2) create an audio version of any text document in order to support struggling readers, and; (3) create multilingual versions of instructional materials in order to support English Language Learners.

Jen: The Tiered Web Page Generator
Trial Code = iste2010

Another session that I attended was Copyright and fair use. I wanted to attend this because of the digital text session above that I attended.

Interesting session to summerize:
  • There are very few court cases about education and copyright laws
  • The main thing that we as educators must be aware of is when using other materials ask the question---Am I using this document for repurposing the information or am I adding value to the document? If you are then the material is appropriate in kind and amount. Students and teachers have the right to use copyrighted materials if repurposing or adding value.
  • Teachers can make copies w/i curriculum
  • Share teacher materials
  • use copy righted works in creating new materials
  • Sharing student wk.

Personal learning session:

This was primarily a session of how to grow personally using web tools. I have copied his lesson. Some interesting websites.

Personalized Learning
Craig Nansen
Twitter - @cnansen
Diigo -
This document is online at

Personalized Learning - what is it?
Lifelong learning?
Professional Development?
SWAG - Stuff We All Get
Books - you chose the books you want to read
Magazines - you chose the magazine articles you want to read
TV Shows - you chose the educational shows you want to see
People - you chose the people you want to learn from and collaborate with
Different from Professional Learning Communities
Personal Learning Networks
You chose who you want to learn from and collaborate with
Amy Mostad - Sacagawea
Hidatsa, Shoshoni, - Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Lew Alcindor
Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation - Three Affiliated Tribes
networking - PLN
Walk into a bookstore - overwhelmed?
Where do you start?
Do you go to the bookstore every day?
Do you watch every TV program you have an interest in?
The obvious ways of finding information
e-mail and listservs
Google - Advanced
Google - Squared
Wolfram Alpha
Curikka - a wiki, similar to Wikipedia, where educators are developing their own curriculum
iTunes podcasts
Education preview -

Audio Podcasts
Grammar Girl

Video Podcasts
iTunes U

Atomic Learning and
other Screencasts
YouTube EDU -

Ted Talks -


LinkedIn -
The Educators PLN -
PLN 4 Personalized Learning -
hashtags - #iste10
Search Twitter

How do you find people to follow?
People you know or meet
People I (or someone you know) follow
TweepML -


Tips to help "Make your day"
(plugin for browser to make page more readable)
Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the Web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you're reading.
Glogster EDU - Poster Yourself
My Diigo is

I have a slide show of "lists" of ways to use various apps and resources
and the actual lists (in Diigo) at

Seventeen Interesting Ways* to use Voicethread in the Classroom
upload and share files, documents, etc. (allows you to share multiple URLs) (share photos and screen shots)