Digital Technologies

Supporting learning and self-representation of students considered developmentally disabled by using digital technologies.

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Living Inclusion

Building community by cultivating inclusive impulses in ourselves and those around us.

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Everyday Inclusion

Practical ideas for supporting students considered to have developmental disabilities in general education settings, extra-curricular activities, and family events.

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Anna Vives font

Posted by on Sep 12, 2013 in Digital Technologies

Anna Vives font

How does a font help you represent yourself?

When Marie completed an All About Me-type project for school, she chose to use a font created by Anna Vives, a woman with Down syndrome.

Our family became aware of the font when we sat down to watch a soccer match between FC Barcelona and Santos.

Our family loved seeing the Anna Vives font used on the jerseys of FC Barcelona.

We downloaded the font, and it is now an option when we open Pages for word processing.

When Marie used Pages to type some sections of her poster board, she tried different fonts.  When she highlighted her words and clicked on the “Anna” font, it was love at first sight.

“Oh my gosh. Cute!  I LOVE it.”

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iPad Set-up

Posted by on Aug 28, 2012 in Digital Technologies

iPad Set-up


Here are some details of our current iPad set-up and app use.




I run 3 iPads from one iTunes account.  Each iPad is unique and organized for the main user.  The children use original iPads (going strong in Otter Box cases with heavy use for 2 1/2 years). I use a 2012 iPad in a Portenzo case.

As I’ve organized the iPads for back-to-school, one big change I’ve made is to keep fewer apps on the iPads.  I want uncluttered iPads.

One way to de-clutter iPads is to delete bad apps.  I’m picky about apps.  I try lots of apps and discard most of them.

Another way to de-clutter is to make use of cloud storage.  Decide what apps the user needs to focus on and load only those apps onto the iPad.  Other good apps that you’ve purchased will wait patiently in the cloud until you want to load them on the iPad.

Folders will allow you to organize the apps that you keep on the iPad.  Folder are easy to create.  Just pull two apps together. A folder will be created for you and a name will be suggested.  You can rename the folder and add more apps.



Example 1


One iPad is organized for my 6 year old’s use. This iPad is used primarily for him to connect with the world, to play FIFA12, and to play word and math games .

When he turns on the iPad, he sees the first screen, which is clear of apps.  This first screen showcases a photo of his favorite soccer club (the photo below via FCB is set as the wallpaper) and the dock apps. His most frequently used apps are in the dock.  Those apps are  Words with Friends, My First Dictionary, a browser link to his website, Email, FIFA12, and Maps.




His other apps are stored in folders named for actions (Play A Game, Create Art, Learn Spanish, Read A Book, Tell A Story, Explore World, Check Weather, etc.).   All of his folders are on the second screen.  I keep two folders on the third screen that contain administrative apps to which only I need access.





Example 2


One iPad is organized for my 8 year old’s use.   This iPad is used for independent homework time and for fun and relaxation.

When she turns on the iPad, she sees the first screen, which is clear of apps and showcases a photo of her with a friend (I changed the photo for the screen shots below to protect their privacy). I don’t keep any apps in the dock.  All of her apps are stored in folders on the second screen.  Administrative apps and Netflix are on the 3rd screen.





Here are the folders and the apps she has on the iPad right now.

Play A Game: Bugs and Buttons, Checkers, Rat on a Skateboard, Where’s My Water?, World of Goo, Cut the Rope , Disney Spotlight Karaoke

Read A Book: various selections from Reading A-Z, Green Eggs and Ham, The Monster at the End of This Book, several Rock and Learn Readers, iBooks (where books we make are stored)

Play Math: Playful Minds, Rocket Math, Space Math, Montessori Numbers,  Montessori Bead Facts, Fast Facts Early Add

Write Words: Montessori Crosswords, LetterSchool, Word Wizard, WritePad, School Writing, FreeFall Spelling

Play With Words: Words with Friends, Jumbline2, W.E.L.D.E.R., SpellTower, PlaySquare, Word Bingo, Pixopop Sight Words

Explore World: Stack the States, Stack the Countries, Google Earth, WeatherBug, Maps

Teach & Learn: Futaba, ShowMe, Visual Planner, PuppetPals

Create Art: a selection from the iLuv Drawing developers


Example 3


I have a newer iPad.  This iPad is used for productivity, entertainment, and learning with the children.

Some notable apps that I use when working with the children include Speech Journal, Articulation Station, Scribble Press, Creative Book Builder, and Notability.

My apps are organized in folders by action.

One exception is when I have new apps to try.  I leave those apps out of folders–floating on the screen on their own.  This reminds me to try them out.  If I decide the app is good and suits a need, I will add it to the appropriate folder on my iPad or one of the children’s iPads.




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