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Building Efficacy to Create an ULTRA Accessible Classroom

Pennsylvania Convention Center, 119AB

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Snapshots are a pairing of two 20 minute presentations followed by a 5 minute Q & A.
This is presentation 2 of 2, scroll down to see more details.

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Duval County Public Schools
Allison McGrath serves as a specialist in the Technology Innovation Department in Jacksonville, Florida. Ms. McGrath has been in the education field for 9 years in Duval County. During the 2020-2021 school year, she was selected as one of the top seventy-five educators from around the globe to be featured in Microsoft’s Legacy Project, Teacher Appreciation Gallery. Ms. McGrath now serves as an implementation specialist under the Utilizing and Leveraging Technology to Reinvent Accessibility (U.L.T.R.A) Grant and leads education through a variety of accessibility tools found with in Microsoft 365 products and Minecraft Education.
tech implementation specialist
Duval County Public Schools- Technology
Jason Pearce, is a Technology Innovation specialist for Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, FL. Jason has served as a 2nd-5th grade teacher and math interventionist in Title I schools. He has been recognized as a DCPS teacher of the year semifinalist and a multi-year Florida “High Impact Teacher.” Jason now provides implementation support for the Utilizing and Leveraging Technology to Reinvent Accessibility grant. U.L.T.R.A. provides science teachers innovative professional learning opportunities to expand their technology toolbox related to Microsoft applications, accessibility tools and Minecraft Education.
Technology Innovation Specialist
Duval County Public Schools
Kelley Predieri is a Technology Innovation Specialist for Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville, Florida. Kelley has been working in education since 2012 when she started as a 7th-grade ELA teacher, for all 8 years she was in the classroom she was labeled as a Florida high-impact teacher. Currently, she is Project Director for a federal research grant, Utilizing and Leveraging Technology to Reinvent Accessibility (ULTRA) which focuses on professional development in accessibility and gamification to increase student improvement. She is also the host of EdTech Bytes: an engaging podcast centered around all things education and technology.

Session description

Utilizing and Leveraging Technology to Reinvent Accessibility (ULTRA) is an education research grant aimed at building teacher and student efficacy in STEM through professional learning using Microsoft 365 accessibility tools and Minecraft: Education Edition. Learn how the ULTRA team provided professional learning and how ULTRA is revolutionizing efficacy in STEM.

Purpose & objective

Attendees will leave this session equipped with strategies for increasing teacher and student efficacy in STEM using Microsoft 365 products and Minecraft: Education Edition. Additionally, they will leave with a model/framework of how we have implemented these strategies and what worked or didn’t work and how we learned from these obstacles.

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The content ULTRA will provide will vary depending on the duration of the presentation, but will include program objective, how teachers and students are increasing efficacy in STEM, a variety of accessibility and how to use them, Minecraft: Education Edition implementation in classrooms and lessons learned throughout the ULTRA program years.

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Supporting research

Frizzell, A. A. (2018). The inclusive classroom: Perceptions of general and special educators' preparedness to meet the needs of students with disabilities (Doctoral dissertation, East Tennessee State University).

Hicks-Monroe, S. L. (2011). A Review of Research on the Educational Benefits of the Inclusive Model of Education for Special Education Students. Journal of the American Academy of Special Education Professionals, 61, 69.

Roberts, J., & Simpson, K. (2016). A review of research into stakeholder perspectives on inclusion of students with autism in mainstream schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(10), 1084-1096.

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Session specifications

Innovation in early childhood/elementary
Grade level:
Skill level:
Coaches, Principals/head teachers, Teachers
Attendee devices:
Devices not needed
Subject area:
Special education, STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards:
For Educators:
  • Advocate for equitable access to educational technology, digital content and learning opportunities to meet the diverse needs of all students.
For Students:
Empowered Learner
  • Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations, demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.