The iPad and More: Help Children Improve Communication, Cognition, Literacy and Learning

Joan L. Green, M.A. CCC-SLP and
Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

Saturday March 9th, 2013
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn in Hasbrouck Heights
          283 State Highway 17  Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604
COST: $175 per person including lunch
Space is limited  Group rates available

·         Some scholarships are available- contact Joan at
·         1st 10 registrants receive free copy of Joan’s book- The Ultimate Guide to Assistive Technology in Special Education: Resources for Education, Intervention and Rehabilitation

Joan Green is a speech-language pathologist from the Washington, DC area with many years of experience helping a wide range of children maximize progress with the help of cutting-edge affordable technologies. Dr. Friedlander is a school psychologist with expertise in the area of assistive technology. This is a great workshop for parents as well as education and rehabilitation professionals and anyone else who wants to learn more about ways to use an iPad or other iDevice to help children reach their goals faster, enjoy the process and enhance school success. Joan and Brian will be showing their top picks for speaking, reading, writing, thinking, organizing and enhancing the learning process. They will also review accessibility options, strategies for success and the nuts and bolts of using the iPad.

Participants are encouraged to bring their iPads and iPhones and to use them while shown an overview cutting-edge strategies and tools to use to help children with and without special needs.

For more information please go to

Bookshare Releases Bookshare Web Reader

Making text accessible for students with "Print Disabilities" has become one of the cornerstones of the work that I do day in and day out. By being able to provide students with accessible text, they can know with confidence that they will be able to keep up with the work load in their respective classes. Utilizing services like Bookshare has really made a significant difference in the lives of students that I have worked with, but it is still incredible when I realize just how many parents, students and educators are unaware of the service. As I continue to go out into the educational community and share this information one of the things I have learned in my years in the field of assistive technology is that: the technology has to be dead simple to use and access. If there are any kinks in the process there is a real likelihood that the technology just will not be utilized. In this respect with the release of the Bookshare Web Reader, Bookshare has taken the necessary step to make the process of accessing and reading books a simpler process for both students and teachers. Now students can log into Bookshare with their Individual account credentials-open the Google Chrome Browser and simply install the Bookshare Web Reader Extension and have immediate access to their books complete with text to speech support. Students will no longer have to download a separate application to access their books and by using the Google Chrome browser they can access their books on any computer through the browser.

I had a chance to try the Bookshare Web Reader, just today, and I am very pleased with how it worked. The installation of the Chrome extension was simple to do and by simply logging into a Demo Individual account, I could click on the Read Now link which automatically opened the Bookshare Web Reader. Bookshare Web Reader, has an easy to use tool bar at the top of the Browser which lets you navigate the book and start and stop the Text to Speech engine. By clicking on the Gear icon- it will pop up a dialog box that will allow you to change some of the reading and visual settings. Students can change the look and feel of the book and can determine just how fast they would like the text to be read. Working with the Bookshare Web Reader, I did not see a way to change the speech engine and I am guessing that the Bookshare Web Reader, uses a text to speech engine that is installed with the Web Reader Extension. If I had to make a recommendation, I would like to see a range of speech engines that students can select from in future releases of this product. Overall, Bookshare Web Reader makes accessing Bookshare books easy and straight forward and eliminates the need to have a full blown reading application installed on the computer. As we remove more and more friction from the reading experience, more students will find it second nature to utilize their Bookshare accounts with the Bookshare Web Reader to access their books- and in the end, that is what's really important.

Clicker Docs for iPad Updated

You can read my original review of Clicker Docs, which adds considerable writing supports for students that need word prediction, text to speech, and talking word wall support. Since my review, Crick Software has released an update to the app which adds some powerful new features. The latest version of Clicker Docs now supports external Bluetooth keyboards, Dropbox, as well as spell checking. While the word prediction feature was well implemented in Clicker Docs- it is now more powerful in that any word that is included in the grid automatically comes to the top of the prediction list when a student is typing. So for example if the student was writing about the rainforest and you had created a grid that included the following words: canopy, orangutan, understory, sloth, opossum, emergent layer, forest floor, etc.- these words would automatically come up to the top of list as the student was typing and could be selected from the prediction bar. You can see from the screen shot above the list of words and in the screen shot to the right-see how the word prediction engine suggested the word "orangutan" in the list. This is a very powerful feature and will allow teachers to build customized grids on specific topics so that students are better supported when they are doing writing a particular topic. Clicker Docs also added a feature called Show Touches which is great for those of us who are doing training, it adds a small yellow highlighted circle whenever you touch the screen at that location. Likewise, Clicker Docs now supports Dropbox which will be fully integrated with the desktop version of Clicker 6. If you have downloaded Clicker Docs to you iPad make sure that you update your version so that you can take advantage of these new features.

From ConceptDraw MINDMAP 7 to Evernote- Seamless!

With each passing day, I am finding that Evernote is becoming a bigger part of my workflow and it is exciting to see how developers of other applications are taking advantage of this. Just today CS Odessa released an update to ConceptDraw MINDMAP 7 that seamlessly allows you to upload your mind maps to Evernote with a click of a button. If you have the Evernote application installed on your computer the upload takes place in the background and within seconds your outline and mind map are transferred to Evernote. For those of you who don't have the Evernote application, you can send your mind maps via an email client that you have installed on your computer. Since the Evernote application is free, I would highly recommend that you install it on your computer so that you can have this seamless experience uploading your mind maps to Evernote from within ConceptDraw MINDMAP 7. Watch the video below to see the Evernote options that are built-in to ConceptDraw MINDMAP 7.

The Summit 3000 from MyCharge to the Rescue

While having an iPhone 4S has made me much more productive, it seems that wherever I am, I am always looking to plug it in for a quick charge. One of the downsides to owning an iPhone4S is the battery life-make no mistake about that. If I'm traveling and away for the office it not unusual for my iPhone 4S to be down around 10%  by the end of the day. That is where an external battery charger come into play. I recently had a chance to review the Summit 3000, from MyCharge which is a 3000mAh Rechargeable Power Bank and have to say it did a great job of keeping my iPhone fully charged while I was on the road. According to MyCharge, the Summit 3000 will give you 13 plus hours of talk time and 10 plus hours of Browsing on your smartphone.

The Summit 3000 is about the size of the iPhone 4S only a little thicker. What is unique about the Summit 3000 is that all the connectors are built-in so there is no need to worry about toting your cables with you. The Summit 3000 comes equipped with the 30 pin Apple Connector, Micro USB and a full sized USB Port.The Summit 3000 is extremely well designed and pleasing to the eye and feels good holding it your hand. The Summit 3000 can be easily and quickly charged with the built-in ultra-fast wall charger. To check the battery level of the Summit 3000 simply press the button on the front panel and an array of five LED's will light up and the Summit 3000 will announce using text to speech the battery level- nice feature!  Once fully charged you can charge up to three devices at once making this ideal if you own other electronic devices in addition to the iPhone.

In my tests I was able to charge my iPhone 4S which was at 50% charge in two hours. After I had charged my iPhone 4S to full capacity, I checked the Summit 3000 which still had 50% charge, which meant that if I needed to I could have gotten another nice charge out of the battery. I also tested the Summit 3000 with my Kindle PaperWhite which was down to 50% and it took about hour and half to charge it to full capacity using the Summit 3000.

The Summit 3000 is an ideal rechargeable battery bank that can be used to charge not only your iPhone but your iPad and tablets as well. I know that from here on in, I will not leave my home without my Summit 3000 in my case. MyCharge makes a full line of rechargeable batteries with real innovative features- but having the built-in cords makes it an ideal battery for the  person on the go. So now, I always have my Summit 3000 in my bag wherever I go,  and have the confidence knowing that my iPhone and electronic devices can be easily charged when I am on the go. Go to MyCharge to take a look at the full line of rechargeable battery banks.

CamNote is Launched for iOS & Android Smartphones

About two weeks ago, I was reading some blog posts on my Flipboard app when I came across a piece about a new app called CamNote for IOS and Android platforms which was just recently released. The blog was accompanied with a great video tour of the app which caught my attention. CamNote lets you have the best of both worlds-continue to hand write your notes on the CamNote A5 Journal or A7 Jotter as you have always done and then scan them in with your smartphone using the free CamNote app. The developer has done a fantastic job of developing an app that quickly and automatically recognizes the borders of the writing pads so that you can upload your notes to DropBox, Evernote, or Google Drive in one quick step. If you have ever tried to scan a document with your camera you will realize the benefits of using the CamNote system to archive and share your notes with others. The CamNote A5 Journal or A7 Jotter are well designed and the quality of the paper is fantastic and developed so that ink will not bleed through the page. Once you upload and tag your notes to Google Drive or Evernote you can take advantage of their OCR feature to search and find words in your uploaded notes. Organizing your hand written notes has never been so easy with the CamNote System. If you are interested in purchasing CamNote in the United States email me for the details. If you still enjoy using pen and paper to take your notes but want to take it to the next level, then you need to take a look at CamNote. The CamNote system is an ideal way to capture, archive and share your hand written notes with others- so give it a try!

Happy New Year from AssistiveTek, LLC

It has certainly been an exciting year in technology and I'm confident that 2013 will be an even more exciting year for us. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! Sincerely, Brian