Educational Theory into Practice Software

Real-World Curriculum

ETIPS - Make Thinking Visible

Ready Access

Ready access to supported, managed hardware/software resources is provided. Teachers must be provided with convenient and flexible access for educational technology. Although part of this is provided by the work environment, this resource area provides some access points and resources for classroom utilization and further exploration of the subject matter.

Tools for Special Education
  • List serves
  • White papers
  • Threaded Discussion
  • Expanded keyboards
  • Single switches devices
  • Speech recognition software
  • Word prediction software
  • Head-mounted infra-red pointers
  • Talking word processors
  • Graphic organizing software programs
  • Drill and practice software programs
  • On-line games and puzzles
  • Teacher made pages
  • E-mentoring
  • Distance Learning
  • Integrated software programs
  • Text-to-speech
  • Speech-to-text
  • Text-to-touch
  • Tactile graphics
  • Touch screens
  • Text on videos
  • Signed captioning
  • Sound maps
  • Talking books
  • Guided use of internet
  • Assistive technology devices
  • On line tutorials
  • Digital Pictures/Movies
  • DVD
  • Inspiration
  • Kidspiration
  • Computer conferencing
General Tools
  • Internet
  • Online reference tools
  • WebQuests
  • Spreadsheets
  • Databases
  • Word processing
  • Desktop publishing software
  • Web authoring tools
  • Email
  • Telecommunication technologies
  • Bulletin board, chat room, discussion forum, ex.
  • Discussion software, ex. Instant Messenger
  • Database, ex. ERIC
  • Computer simulation
  • Video clips
  • CD-ROMs
  • Online magazines and newsletters
  • School-based or teacher's website for posting grades and comments, assignments, attendance, summaries of lesson plans, ex.

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Description: Inspiration is a powerful visual learning tool that inspires students, grades 4-12, to develop ideas and organize thinking. Use Inspiration to assist you and your students in outlining, diagramming, concept mapping and webbing. Set up live hyperlinks to create direct connections to the immense resources of the Internet.



Description: Kidspiration helps K-3 students see, organize and develop their great ideas. Students can brainstorm ideas with pictures and words; organize and categorize information visually; create stories and descriptions using engaging visual tools; and explore new ideas with webs and visual mapping.



Description: For over 10 years, HyperStudio has been the de facto standard classroom multimedia-authoring program. The newest version, HyperStudio 4, represents the next level in desktop and online multimedia communications for educators and students. Use this versatile application with high school students to develop electronic portfolios.



Description: With its easy-to-use tools for creating presentations, Microsoft’s PowerPoint is an engaging form of communication in the classroom. Instructors and students use PowerPoint to add images of art, video clips of artists, and art techniques for instructional or creative purposes.

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Ways to Use PDAs in Your Special Education Classroom
  • Using PDA’s is one way to assist students in developing and maintain organizational skills.  It allows the student both immediate and visual access to his schedule, assignment due dates, and/or daily checklist.   

  • In Special Education, track student progress using FileMaker  Pro 5.5 on the desktop computer and FileMaker Mobile on the PDA.  Either teachers or students can enter daily data into the PDA and later HotSync the information to the main FileMaker document for quick updates .  These updates could then be printed for use at the time of the IEP.

  • For students with poor handwriting skills, the PDA provides a way for them to produce written language commensurate with their peers.  Using an attached keyboard or the graffiti function of the PDA, students are able to keep up with peers during class for notetaking, short answer assignments, or class other class assignments.  The portability of the PDA also adds to the flexibility of applications.

Software Applications and Hardware/Peripherals
Pocket Coach

Pocket Coach is a software programs that runs on Pocket PCs.  It provides an easy-to-use interface for recording one or more series of step-by-step audio instructions for tasks.  Pocket Coach alls for individuals to play back instructions in several different ways to suit the needs of the individual and situation.

Visual Assistant

Designed to run on Pocket PC computers, Visual Assistant uses your own digital pictures and recorded audio to provide customized step-by step prompting for nearly any situation.  It comes with an attachable digital camera and is completely self contained.


eStudent is an easy to use program that will assist your students in completing self-assessment, while developing an electronic portfolio.  Students allows for importing of images, audio and video-clips, as well as being able to transfer ideas electronically with peers and teachers through the intranet mail option.

Portable keyboard

A full size keyboard that folds up to the size of a Palm

Resources and Readings
Palm Extended Research Project

This site discusses a research project that is being done to evaluate the question, “Can handheld computers improve student academic performance?”

Teaching Today - Handheld Devices Make Inroads in the Classroom

This site houses an interesting article that discusses what a PDA is and how it can be used in the classroom to increase student achievement.


This site serves as a type of listserv providing web address to a variety of papers dealing with the uses of technology in everything from assessment and evaluation to assistive technology to engaged learning through the use of technology.