Adapative Technology Tools

Are you familiar with adaptive technology? Do you have students with physical disabilities? Here’s a list of adaptive tech tools and resources for you to use:

1. Section 508 Checklist: http://webaim.org/standards/508/checklist
Standards for Website content to meet the needs of persons with disabilities based on the U.S. Rehabilitation Act.

2. iSpeech: http://www.ispeech.org/
Converts text-to-speech (TTS) or speech-to-text (STT) for free. You can control the speed of the voice delivery. It catalogs the number of recordings in its library.

3. US Government: http://www.disability.gov/technology/accessible_technology
Provides webinars and updates on the latest technology available or the lack thereof in various situations.

4. Boston College & Boston University: www.cameramouse.org
Assists individuals with limited movement to use their head to direct the mouse cursor. FREE!

5. The Principles of Universal Design (UD), North Carolina State University:  Universal Design poster
These principles will help you create activities and an environment accessible for all learners.

6. Internet Explorer (IE): IE is generally the browser that’s widely used by persons with disabilities because it offers special features to meet their needs.

7. Microsoft Windows: See Accessibility Tools

8. YouTube Channel: They offer an auto-caption feature that can benefits not only deaf users, but also people who watch videos in really noisy places, like airport terminals. The tool will be able to translate captions into your choice of 50 languages. For now, however, auto-captioning works only with videos in English.

9. Apple claims to create its products with accessibility in mind as standard features http://www.apple.com/accessibility/

10. Captioning Key is funded by the National Association of the Deaf and The Described and Captioned and Media Program. It provides a PDF document on specific quality assurance guidelines for closed-captioning.

Additionally, check out the most thought-provoking videos that I’ve ever seen on rethinking the concept and words associated with persons with disabilities called “Opportunity of Adversity” by Aimee Mullins.

Please share your resources for adaptive technology with me, and I’ll post them on this blog and my PLE.

Sandra Rogers

Learn How to Create an eNewspaper from Your Twitter List

What is Paper.li?  Have you seen those on twitter?  It is very easy to create and the possibilities are endless! Here’s an explanatory video created by Benoit Curdy.

Telecommuting Jobs with ETS for Teachers

Dear Teachers,

Would you love to work from home?  How about applying for freelance work with the Educational Testing Service (ETS).  I’m an online rater for ETS and score the spoken Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), as well as the written California Assessment of High School Exit Exams (CAHSEE).  I have a California teaching credential and therefore qualify to score the CAHSEE, as well as a Masters in TESOL that qualifies me to score the TOEFL & TOEIC.  There are many other k-12 and college entrance tests that you could score if you qualify.

While at the TESOL convention, I spoke to ETS regarding my desire to score the written TOEFL, something I haven’t done before.  Plus, I love the job’s  high level of professionalism on a daily basis: interrater reliability calibrations, reviewing benchmarks, utilizing a rubric, and instant feedback from a scoring leader.  Moreover, I like the flexibility of telecommuting/working online.  ETS allows you to pick your work schedule: a.m., p.m., week days, weekends, even holidays!  One thing that I’ve learned is that you have to be flexible with your work schedule.

ETS handed me a flyer with a list of freelance work and internships!  Their summer interns develop test materials for the TOEFL, TOEIC and/or K-12 assessments.  View their internships online at http://www.ets.org; they have some in Princeton and Ewing, NJ and San Antonio, TX.  Send questions to the ELL Summer Institute Coordinator, Jeanne Malloy at jmalloy@ets.org.  I noticed that there are other internships  throughout the year.  Remember that you’re never too old to intern and/or learn something new.  Interns earn $25 an hour while online raters earn $15-18 an hour depending on the programs.

Freelance work includes writing for the TOEIC listening test; send your resume to Carol Gitzendanner at cgizendanner@ets.org.  As well as, rating TOEFL and TOEIC tests from your home computer.  Additionally, they’re looking for photographers at the professional and amateur level; send your email to pfreeland@ets.org or ncates@ets.org.  On their career page, you can also find full-time work.  I don’t live any where near Princeton or Ewing, NJ nor San Antonio, TX; consequently, I telecommute to work as an online rater.

Best wishes in finding your new online job!

Sandra Annette Rogers

We created a Wiki for our TESOL Intersection Presentation

How can 7 people plan a presentation for a TESOL Intersection?  By using Google Docs, wikis, emails, and Skype.  If you can’t make it to our TESOL 2011 presentation, you can visit our wiki and see all the details.  This intersection is between the Computer-assisted Language Learning (CALL-IS) and Elementary Education Interest Sections.  Additionally, you can hear the webcast recording that will be hosted on the CALL-IS wiki.  See info about my schedule at TESOL in a previous blog.

http://esoltechprep.pbworks.com/w/page/36440308/FrontPage

Web cast recording of this session:
https://sas.elluminate.com/site/external/jwsdetect/playback.jnlp?psid=2011-03-18.0719.M.7AE801FFB697DA460D4BF25AA8C21B.vcr&sid=75

I’d love to answer questions or discuss your feedback.

Sandra Rogers

Blogging for the TESOL 2011 Convention!

I’ve been professionally blogging since 2009, so when TESOL asked for bloggers for their annual convention, I sent them my bio.  I was delighted to find out that I was one of six people selected!  Right away, I thought of ideas to blog: jobs, financial aid opportunities, superstar encounters, and professional development. Since then, I’ve been asked to stay on as a blogger.  Here’s a link to the following blog posts:

http://blog.tesol.org/author/srogers

1. TESOL Rock Stars

2. TESOL Financial Aid Opportunities

3. Great Job Opportunities at TESOL’s Marketplace: Part 1

4.  Great Job Opportunities at TESOL: Volunteer for the Peace Corps (Part 2)

5. Webcasts for those not attending TESOL

6. EVO Provides Free Professional Development Annually

7.   Japanese ESL Teacher Who Experienced Earthquake Determined to Attend TESOL

8. Did you find a job at the TESOL Marketplace? (Part 3)

9.  How to Use Paper.li to Enhance Your PLN

10.  EVO is for Newbies and Techies Alike

11. CALL Resources on Diigo for Teacher Training

12. 3 Basic Tech Tools for Beginning Online Teachers

13. Vote For EVO as a Top Tech Innovator on the Chronicle

14. Another Basic Tech Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

15. Join Your Organization

My humorous blog about the TESOL Rock Stars has garnered the most attention.  I even had TEFL International retweet my blog with a “congrats”.  I’d love to hear your feedback.

Your Blogger,

Sandra Annette Rogers

My TESOL Schedule for 2011

New Orleans Waterfront

Dear Teachers,

I’m pleased to announce that I was awarded the TESOL scholarship to attend their annual conference.  It will be held in New Orleans on March 15-19th of this year.  If you’re attending, I’d like to invite you to hear me present at the TESOL convention.  Furthermore, I’ll be posting highlights of the conference on Twitter @teacherrogers and the TESOL blog http://blog.tesol.org/tesol-convention-blog/introducing-the-2011-tesol-convention-bloggers, so you can follow me remotely.

I was awarded a TESOL professional development grant, so I’ll be going early to attend the Pre-Institute workshop on Pronunciation on the 15th.  Then I’ll attend the Plenary and special performance by Carolyn Graham at 5:00.  Ms. Graham is a professional musician and creator of Jazz Chants series, one of my favorite listening resources.

Another opportunity to network will be at the CALL-IS Open meeting to be held in the Electronic Village (EV) from 6:15-7:15 in Room 01.  The CALL-IS is also asking for volunteers.  I volunteered for eight hours last year in the EV and got to meet a lot of people.  Plus, you can have $50 refunded from your conference fee, if you volunteer for TESOL.

Here is a list of my presentation schedule at TESOL:

1. Internet4Young Learners, EVO 2010 Session

This will take place in the Electronic Village at PC#10  from 9:00-9:50 on March 17.  This is an informal presentation that will repeat every 20 minutes, and participants are encouraged to rotate through other presentations that are occurring simultaneously.

Handout: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Yc0jEVxe97JDH7cgcSKTi_7MKf83bCYRq7ljaGQoark

Update: This session will be webcast!! http://www.call-is.org/info/course/view.php?id=22

2. Technology in ESOL Classrooms & Preparing Teachers for Successful Integration

I’m co-presenting this Intersection with Dr. Christel Broady, Dr. Karen Kuhel, Stacey Abbott, Margaret McKenzie, Benjamin Fabie, and Ellen Dougherty.

This will take place in Room o1 from 10:00-11:45 on March 18th.

3. EV Classics Fair of the Electronic Village Online (EVO) 2011 Sessions

I’m coordinating the logistics of this presentation to bring presenters from Colombia, Argentina, and SecondLife.  The presenters are as follows:

A. Moderators: Marcela Jaramillo Restrepo and Malcolm Peñaranda Yañez

EVO – Reflection & Practice on the Integration of Virtual & Physical English Classrooms

B. Moderator: Susan Hillyard- EVO Drama

C. Online Moderators and their SL names: Dennis Newson [Osnacantab Nesterov] , Dr. Kalyan Chattopadhyay [Kalyan Horatio], Nahir Aparicio [Nahiram Vaniva], Mary Pinto [Mary Rousell], Carol Rainbow [Carolrb Roux], Heike Philp [Gwen Gwasi]

EVO VILLAGE – Language Learning & Community Building in Second Life

This will take place in the EV on Mac#4 and PC#6 from 2:00-2:50 on March 18th.

Handout: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=11YwBGrUdKccqO3cwbUhMSbYed5gVXmGPhu77dxjKxo0

Update: This will be webcast: http://www.call-is.org/info/course/view.php?id=22

4. Intermediate Listening College Course from summer 2010

I will talk about a wiki and various listening tools that I integrated into my ESL course.

This will take place in the EV on PC#9 &10 from 8:00-8:50 on March 19th.  This is an informal presentation that will repeat every 20 minutes, and participants are encouraged to rotate through other presentations that are occurring simultaneously.  To learn about more technology presentations, peruse the Electronic Village program of events: http://www.call-is.org/info/file.php/1/program11-2.pdf?MoodleSession=lho5nlegtno87go2rv4pujt3c2

The convention is occurring during my university’s Spring Break, so I plan to take full advantage of all the ongoing activities.  I’ll provide updates as we near the conference dates.  I’ve added the CALL-IS program of events at TESOL as a link in the blogroll.  Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more about TESOL grants, here is their PowerPoint informational presentation:  There’s a TESOL Grant for Everyone!

Sincerely,

Sandra Annette Rogers

Volunteer for the Peace Corps

Peace Corps Honduras 1985-1987

Dear Teachers and Students,

In recognition of all the displaced workers, especially recent graduates, I’d like to share my experience volunteering for the Peace Corps.  It’s an alternative to the 9 to 5 job and can lead to an international career.  Given the current economy, looking for work outside the US may be the right move for you! When I graduated from college, I joined the Peace Corps in 1985.  I remember how many of my friends and even professors thought that it wasn’t a good idea for my career.  In fact, I had difficulty finding references for my application because my professors didn’t approve of my decision.  One professor did; she told me that it would be the best decision that I ever made.  She was right.

How was I selected to go?  I had received my bachelor of science in clothing, textile and design and was accepted to work as a nutrition educator because many of the volunteers in this branch were also working with clothing cooperatives, as income generating projects for destitute women.  I also grew up with the Spanish language spoken at home.  I served in a small village in the state of Copan in Honduras, Central America.  I was a nutrition educator and worked with the local nurse and school teachers to give presentations on health and nutrition, as well as arts and crafts.  Besides working in the village, once a month, I assisted another volunteer in teaching some children in a remote village where there was no formal schooling.

I received three months of language training in Tegucigalpa, as well as cross-cultural communications and nutrition classes.  All the volunteers lived with Honduran host families to help us acculturate to our new setting and learn the language.  We even attended language classes on Saturdays.  Training was extremely stressful but also a wonderful time to meet other volunteers from all over the US.  After passing the language exam and being sworn in, I was placed in San Jose de Copan.  It was an impoverished village with dirt roads, no electricity or indoor plumbing.  However, my village was better than most because past volunteers had worked there and implemented several projects.  The history of collaboration between the Peace Corps and Josefinas (as the villagers were called) contributed to my success as a volunteer.

I continued working with an existing clothing cooperative, but provided more authentic designs to the products.  I incorporated the Mayan Indian designs from the nearby ruins of Copan.  In the past, volunteers have helped the villagers produce embroidered clothing with tourist motifs such as palm trees, setting suns, and hibiscus.  I was able to improve on the design of the clothing by utilizing my degree. After I felt comfortable in my new setting, I started other artisan projects.  There were several women who worked with different mediums: clay, seeds, guacales (gourds), and loofahs.  It was such a great experience to work with these women and market their products.

During my two years’ service, I also made great friendships with the Honduran families in my village.  I like to read literature and write poetry and was able to do both of these, as there was nothing to distract me.  I wrote about the characters in the village.  Even after I left Honduras, the images, smells, and music remain with me.

The Spanish language has stayed with me, as well.  When I returned to the US, I was able to teach Spanish to pay for my graduate studies, as a teaching assistant.  I received tuition remission and a stipend plus teaching experience at the college level!  My professors were amazed!  I had to take a few advanced grammar classes to professionalize my speech because the majority of my Spanish language interactions in the village were in the local dialect and not formal speech.

Fortunately, I’ve used Spanish as part of my work since that time.  I  became a bilingual elementary teacher and used my Spanish to educate children in East Los Angeles to become bi-literate.  I also worked for an educational publisher that produced Spanish and English as a second language books and materials.

I didn’t realize what irreplaceable gifts I’d receive from serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  The gift of interacting with a culture different from your own; the gift of learning a second language; and the gift of having served others!  I first got interested in the Peace Corps when noticing a poster on the wall in my college.  It said, “Peace Corps, the toughest job you’ll ever love!”  They weren’t kidding around.  It definitely is difficult on your health, your mental health, and your long distance relationships.  Check out these links for more information:

http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=learn.whatispc

http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.returned.thirdgoal

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps to promote world peace and friendship.  The Peace Corps’ mission has three simple goals:

  1. Helping the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. Helping promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. Helping promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Sandra Annette Rogers