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Explore and create
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Explore and create : BYODex

Monday, June 24, 1:00–2:30 pm
Location: Franklin 3-4, Marriott

Sean Arnold   Annabel Dotzman   Luis Pérez  
Explore how digital accessibility tools can level the playing field to make learning engaging and meaningful for all students. Empower student voices and provide multiple means for student mastery through Apple, Google, Microsoft and third-party platforms that exemplify accessibility as well.

Audience: Teachers, Principals/head teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Necessary: Google Docs/Drive, Flipgrid
Recommended: OneNote, Office 365, Flocabulary, Newsela, Book Creator, a device with either MacOS, iOS, Android, or Windows 10 (to access accessibility features)
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Universal design for learning/differentiated learning
Grade level: PK-12
Subject area: Special education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Select, evaluate and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
Empowered Learner
  • Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Educational technology is best when it is designed with the needs of students in mind. Then the tech can be used, not just for modest improvement, but as a transformative tool to bring learning to students in ways that weren’t previously possible. We want to show the why and how educators can use digital accessibility tools to improve learning outcomes for all students, not just those with learning challenges. We will demonstrate some of the most inclusive tools for Apple, Google, and Microsoft so educators can both see what is available and evaluate how best to serve their students. We will walk attendees through integrating the tools into lessons and share the exemplary ways New York City’s District 75 (the world’s largest special education district) has implemented rigorous and accessible learning. We will also demonstrate how other 3rd-party platforms have successfully integrated accessibility tools into their platforms. We will also show the tools and training methods used to successfully implement accessibility evaluation and training systems that are individually focused even when you have a million students. This will include student testimonials that demonstrate the success of these efforts. We’ll show how the ultimate goal should be increasing student independence and self-advocacy.


Full details and a more precise breakdown of timing and resources can be found on the agenda at bit.ly/ISTEaccess Times are based on a 90 minute BYODex.
:00 Introduction: presenter background and examples of working with students with disabilities and digital accessibility tools.
:02 UDL Overview: We will begin by having participants explore the types of low and high-tech solutions that exist to provide access to people around the world. We will also debunk some common misconceptions. We will examine some of the successful implementations that have been done in District 75, the world’s largest special education district, including communication, telepresence, and curriculum systems to provide high-quality instruction to all students. This includes examining how 21st-century learning can be adapted to be inclusive for maximum access. We will connect the offerings to the pillars of universal design.
:15 Digital Accessibility: We’ll give an overview 4 practices for incorporating accessibility via hardware, software, OS, and instructional modifications.
:20 We will then dig deeper individually into the accessibility tools offered in Apple, Google, and Microsoft operating systems for people with visual, hearing, physical, or learning challenges. We will dig deeper and demo/guide participants in a few key tools like MS translate, OneNote, and MS Learning Tools, reading view, iBooks, Guided Access, BeeLine Reader, Read & Write, and OpenDyslexic. It will culminate in acknowledging how to implement the 3 key factors for quality inclusive instruction: motivation, meaning, and made for all.
:60 3rd Party: We will explore a few examples of digital platforms that are making accessibility a key component like Flocabulary, Book Creator, Quizlet, and Flipgrid and show their basic accessibility features.
:80 Wrap Up: We will allow time for some questions and share resources the participants can use to continue their learning on digital accessibility.

Supporting research


More [+]


Sean Arnold, NYC Dept. of Education

Sean is a special education teacher and STEM coach in New York City’s District 75, citywide special education and is committed to reaching ALL STUDENTS through innovative technology and practices. He has won the ISTE Outstanding Teacher Honorable Mention, the ISTE Inclusive Learning Network Outstanding Educator Award, the NYCDOE Excellence in School Technology Award, and the EDxEDNYC Excellence in Technology Award. He is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Innovator, and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert, along with many EdTech certifications. You can learn more about his efforts at BraveInTheAttempt.com.

Annabel Dotzman, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Annabel Dotzman is a Technology Integration Coach, PreK-12 for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. With eight years of classroom experience and certifications from Google, Apple, and Microsoft, Annabel promotes the use of educational technology as a means to level the educational playing field for all learners. She provides training and support to Archdiocesan educators on the integration and best practice use of educational technology across the curriculum. Annabel has authored articles on the effective use of technology in the classroom and has presented at the 2019 PETE&C and NCEA conferences.

Luis Pérez, National AEM Center

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