Best of 2016: Spec. Ed./UDL | Contribute | Be an author | Change a life

For the abridged version: Share a top 1-3 resources you love to use with your students/children. We all can find long lists on the web. Let’s make this special. To contribute, use this DOCUMENT.

The story goes like this. I had a list of apps and resources ready to share for a training for special education and technology in general. Being in a position where I feel often like a Jack of all trades yet master of none, I decided to reach out to my PLN to see what else people were using. After all, there are MILLIONS of resources and apps out there. The response was fast and amazing. It got me thinking. What if I reached further? Who would contribute? What would I do with it all? Then it hit me. What if each year, at the beginning of the year, we created a Best of “year” compilation that can be shared. People usually do “Best Ofs” at year’s end. Let’s turn that notion on it’s head and start fresh with these great tools and resources. It may not cover EVERYTHING but who can? It is an authentic start with authentic authors.

So I continued to reach out and still more was shared. People modified categories. People added their names and affiliations. It just happened. So I am running with it. What you can do to contribute:

1. Share a top 1-3 resources you love to use with your students/children. We all can find long lists on the web. Let’s make this special. To contribute, use this DOCUMENT.

2. Share your name and affiliation/school/contact information. PEOPLE ARE OUR BEST RESOURCE. Let’s make a directory of people you want in your PLN.

3. Share this with someone that may contribute/also benefit.

4. Sit back and let me do the work. I will compile, send out a list, and (hopefully) make a yearly Published iBook to share from this living document. The authors? All of you.

Timeframe: THIS year will wrap up beginning of March. In future years, it will go from January thru Early February.

My current job is specialized yet all over the place. I support teachers and specialists in all areas as well as families. I’ve come to learn many of you out there are like me. I am not a national speaker. I am not a big name you will frequently read on Twitter. I am not a super-frequent presenter or traveler to conferences. At many conferences I don’t quite have a place. But like any of us, I have the ability to use social media to connect. To help. To share. To grow. To have a voice. And so can you. A project like this marries my love of social media and connecting with my love for technology for all learners.

The resource will be called “Dings in the Universe” based off the Steve Jobs quote:


This cover art was created by Joe Dickinson, a former student of mine in my class of students with autism.


Joe is an exceptional young man and artist. After communicating with him, this is what he came up with based on my focus on “Dings in the Universe”. A ding is a small event that makes an impact where it hits. Many small dings can make a great difference. In an of itself, even though it has an impact, a ding is a relatively small event, but a small impact from a lot of people leads to great things.

I shared this list with a parent yesterday and she found an app (choiceworks) she had never used before. She said that it is making a world of difference for her child in organization and scheduling…in just ONE day. This is why we do this. It’s not to be publicly recognized but to collectively change lives. Thank you for being a part of that if you choose.

— Mark


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2 Comments Added

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  1. Diana February 6, 2016 | Reply
    What a wonderful project. Please do keep me in the loop.
  2. deTechtive February 7, 2016 | Reply
    Diana, Thank you for your kind words. It has been positive so far. Thank you for the support and please share with anyone that may want to participate. I hope to get about 25 authors. Take care, Mark

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