What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology is any kind of technology and/or tool that can be used to enhance the functional independence of a person with a disability. Often, for people with disabilities, accomplishing daily tasks such as communicating with others, going to school or work, or participating in activities can be a challenge. Assistive Technology (AT) devices are tools to help overcome those challenges and enable people living with disabilities to enhance and have access to a quality of life, that may otherwise not be known, and lead more independent lives.

The mission of this blog is to serve as a voice of a constant researcher in the field of educational and assistive technologies so that the best products, strategies and services may be located easily, in hopes that they will then be delivered, taught and used to better the lives of people with disabilities.

Friday

100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration

100 Web Tools to Enhance Collaboration by Ozge Karaoglu

I love this list. Talk about getting people talking! How much fun would kids have using some of these tools in their classrooms. My favorites are listed below.
  • CoSketch is another whiteboard that you can collaborate to visualize your ideas and share them as images. The good thing is that, you don't have to register or install anything. It works in all browsers, it's real time and you can get an embed code for your drawing after you finish.

  • Creately lets you create professional looking online diagrams with your colleagues.
    DoingText is a web based text editor for collaborative writing. You tell others the URL and they write comments, make changes without signing up. It lets you track changes and comments by RSS feed, export text by embedding in other pages. You can go back to the previous version of every line or you can see an overview of the discussion history.
  • DabbleBoard is a whiteboard that enables you to visualize, explore and collaborate. You draw as you are drawing on a whiteboard and you can easily share your ideas. It also lets you conduct presentation and chat though you can not share files. You can read 10 reasons why to use Dabbleboard.
  • If you are using Twitter, you may want to try GroupTweet. It lets you create your Twitter account into a group communication tool where everyone in the group uses direct messages. When a member gets a DM, GroupTweet turns it into a new tweet that all followers in the group can see.
  • ImaginationCubed is a multi user drawing tool. You can use a pen, stamp,shapes, line or you can type. You can also change the color of the background. I loved this one, it's cool!
  • MeBeam is a place where you can create your chat room. You just type the name of the room and tell the people to meet you there.
  • I'm sure many of us are a member of a Ning group and Ning is the one of the best sites to create and join new social networks that interest us. You can upload pictures,photos, feeds, bookmarks and many more.

  • PageFlakes is a social personalized homepage that you can customize Internet using flakes which are small, movable of all your web favorites. You can add Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, photos, music, videos, calendar, to-do list, message board, RSS feed.
  • PalBee is a free online service that allows you to set up online video meetings with your friends or colleagues. You also have a whiteboard and it lets you draw, write texts, highlight or erase using different tools.

  • Phuser is a tool for groups to discuss or work together and privately. You can share photos, files, choose who joins, create and track discussions.

  • SpringNote is an online notebook for collaboration. You can write down your ideas, create to-do lists, do scheduling and work together for projects. It also has an iphone application.
  • Stixy lets you create online bulletin board to collaborate with family, friends, colleagues. You can share pictures, files, reminders, notes using different widgets that you can change size and colors. It's fun, free,easy and colorful. Stixy deserves a try!!
  • Wallwisher is an online notice board maker. You can use this tool to make announcements, keep notes. You can use links, pictures, music, video and pages. You don't have to register. You can have a look at Nik Peachey's Wallwisher as a great example.
  • Wiggio is an online toolkit that lets you work in groups easily. You can send emails, text messages,voice mails. It makes it easy to share files and polls. You can set video conferences and also keep shared calendar, keep track of group’s tasks and resources.
  • Webnote is a tool for taking notes on your computer and you can share your notes with others giving the workspace name or the URL.
  • WriteBoard is a-web based text documents that you can track every edit and change that are made by other users. You can role back to any version and compare different versions.
  • WikiDot is wiki builder to share content, documents and collaborate with your students, colleagues, friends. You can create pages, forums,separate wikis for groups or students, discuss topics, upload files, documents,notes, images and share them with others.
Create, collaborate and enjoy!


A few of my favorites:
  1. Delicious - integrates your bookmarks and keeps them in sync for easy, convenient access and allows you the ability to share with others.
  2. Glogster - is a great creativity site who’s tag line is “poster yourself”.  A ‘glog’ is basically an online poster web page.  Students can combine text, pictures, graphics, video, and audio to create an interactive online poster.
  3. Google Docs - allows users to do collaborative editing and sharing by providing online document storage.
  4. Google Forms - allows you to create a form in a Google Docs spreadsheet and send it out to anyone through email. The collaborator will not need to sign in, and they can respond directly from the email message or from an automatically generated web page. Creating the form is easy: start with a spreadsheet to get the form, or start by creating the form and you'll get the spreadsheet automatically
  5. Blogger/Edublogs - blogs, discussions, feedback - you are there but you really should investigate the possibilities of using a blog with your students! There are many resources but you might want to explore Web 2.0 in the Classroom idea listing and ReadWriteThink's Teaching with Blogs.
  6. VoiceThread - presentations with comments and feedback presented with visual markers, spoken or text format comments.

Check out Top 100 Tools for Learning 2009 from Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies.