Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Talking Digital Picture Frame from Enabling Devices

A new mid-level AAC device from Enabling Devices this talking digital picture frame might be a nice second or third step into AAC on the way to a high tech scanning device.  This device can have one to twelve  25 second messages with auditory or visual scanning using the attached switch.  The device retails at $250.00.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Milestones last days of January I took ill.  Very ill.  Intensive Care Unit for days ill.  I was in the hospital for 10 days in a country where insurance companies see to it no one stays in the hospital longer than 2 days that says something.  I missed 2 weeks of work and the third week was a school break for everyone, lucky for me, because I needed that time to rest and go to what felt like too many doctor's appointments.

So first off, I am fine now.  However, during that time I missed some milestones.  Such as this blog's 1000th post and 600,000th visitor.  Turns out iPads for Our Rooms, written when I was ill but not quite ill enough to go to the hospital yet, was the 1000th post.  The 600,000th visitor happened sometime in the past 48 hours or so.  I hope you enjoyed your visit whoever you were!

Another milestone, this one I didn't miss, was yesterday was my 34th birthday.  It turned out to be quite an excellent birthday as it was also my first day back in the classroom after 3 weeks of being away.  My wonderful co-workers remembered a tale I told them about a favorite kind of ice cream cake and managed to track one down a state away for us to enjoy!  Lack of a freezer in the classroom meant we enjoyed our little party at nine in the morning as the fridgid New England temperatures they we counting on to keep it frozen in a car truck weren't going to cut it.

Even better though, perhaps the best gift, was just being back with my students.  One student came in off the bus and gave me the biggest, most loving and welcoming series of smiles I have ever seen!  That my friends, is why I teach.  (Even if that smile was far surpassed when I let her "taste" the fudgy ice cream cake later!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Batteries is one of those things we go through in our classrooms like water.  Sometimes our districts/agencies/schools order them from a catalog like WB Mason, Staples or Office Max; sometimes we get to pick the catalog we order them from and sometimes we have to pay cash out of pocket (a lot more often than I like). 

Consumer Reports  tested and rated AA batteries and found that the best way to buy batteries is purpose specific.  So if you are buying batteries for your digital camera or video camera (or other intensive output devices) go with the Energizer e2 Lithiums, which cost more at the outset but save you in the end.  Of course they don't say what to do if you are buying for the assistive technology in our classrooms, but it sounds like you should consider Panasonic Digital Extreme, Rayovac, and Kirkland Signature (from Costco only) alkalines.  Stay away from CVS brand though.  Intensive search engine browsing could not find any reliable info on the best 9-V batteries for our Big Macs and Step-by Steps.

Good luck finding a tiny screw driver to open those battery doors!

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