Apr 18

Accessibility Features for Everyone on iPads

 Accessibility Features for Everyone on iPads

Students looking at an iPad


Did you know that your iPad has great features built in that can enhance learning and literacy? Accessibility features built into the basic Apple apps can support all learners in powerful ways. All of the apps created by Apple support these features in both iOS and Mac OS.


Reading Support

iPad Settings ScreenSometimes it’s important to READ and HEAR the content that is critical. Turning on the Speak Screen or Speak Selection in Settings allows someone to quickly have any text read aloud.  A web page in the Safari browser, a document opened in Pages, and Notes taken in class can be accessible to read and hear. You can even choose to have the words highlighted as they are read aloud.

Reader View in Safari

Distracted by the jumble of ads or sidebars on a website?  Switch on Reader view in Safari to get only the article. No clutter! Couple that simplicity with Speak Screen and only the important information is read aloud!

screenshot of web page with reader view turned offscreenshot of web page with reader view turned on


A dictionary is built in to the iOS. Highlight a word and tap “Look Up” to open the dictionary. 

Writing and Presentation Support

Using Pages or Notes to write, you can have your essay read aloud to you. Do the first edit of your writing using Speak Selection.  Sometimes hearing your words can help you “hear” what you’ve written. You might choose a better word when you hear the way a sentence sounds OR “listen” to your presentation to hear how an audience will experience the words.   

Needing more focus?iPad Settings screen

Guided Access keeps you on a single app and disables the Home button. You focus on the task at hand and get the learning done!

Check out on the Apple Support page to learn more.  https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/learning-and-literacy/

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2018/04/18/accessibility-features-for-everyone-on-ipads/

Apr 17

Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center

Sign Up Today for the Summer High School STEM Classes at the Innovation Center!

flyer for summer STEM classes

This summer the Innovation Center is offering three for-credit High School STEM classes, and one non-credit opportunity for students.
For-credit classes (0.5 credit elective):
June 4 – June 28th
Mondays – Thursdays, 8:30am – 12:30pm
$150 to attend.

*Apple Certified Mac & iOS Technician
*Introduction to Programming
*IT Fundamentals (CompTIA Certification)

CyberSecurity boot camp (non-credit)
Mon – Thurs, June 11-June 14, 1pm – 3pm,
$50 to attend.

Interested students can sign up at http://innovation.svvsd.org

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2018/04/17/summer-high-school-stem-classes-at-the-innovation-center/

Apr 16

Is your child ready for a smart phone?

Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and the blog, Raising Digital Natives, recently wrote this article for families, Hold the Phone: 8 Signs Your Kid Isn’t Ready for a Phone.

We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with Dr. Heitner and school leadership teams this summer to explore opportunities to strengthen school-family connections!

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2018/04/16/is-your-child-ready-for-a-smart-phone/

Mar 20

We are Meteorologists!

Kindergarteners at several of our elementary schools have been working hard as weather reporters. Students have been using green-screen technology to simulate a weather broadcast. The reports contain updates on the current weather conditions, a forecast for the next day, and a reminder of the appropriate clothing for the next day’s conditions.

Videos are shared with parents and families through the digital portfolio app, Seesaw.  Family members are able to “like” and “comment” on their own student’s work once approved by the teacher.  Teachers have seen a direct impact on student attitude and engagement through the use of digital sharing with families and the creation tools in Seesaw.

At one school, students had the opportunity to meet a sports broadcaster from Corpus Christi, Texas. Teachers organized a virtual meeting so students could tour the newscasting facilities. The broadcaster showed students the studio’s green-screen used during news productions.  

Students were enthusiastic to learn about career opportunities that they are practicing for in now in kindergarten!

Click here to see a short clip of the virtual field trip.


Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2018/03/20/we-are-meteorologists/

Mar 20

Talking to Kids about Technology Use

During a recent podcast, How to Talk to Kids about Tech Milestones and Digital Readiness, Drs. Robyn Silverman and Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and Raising Digital Natives, chat about how we can be better models for our children, how to set technology limits collaboratively, and how to stay curious about the way kids are using technology.

If you don’t have time to listen to the entire discussion, consider skipping to these sections:

  • minute 5:30 – How do you know when your child is ready for a tech milestone (phone, social media, etc.)?
  • minute 18:20 – Should I monitor or mentor (or both)?
  • minute 45:25 – What’s one crucial tip Dr. Heitner has for parents?

Permanent link to this article: https://tech.svvsd.org/family/2018/03/20/talking-to-kids-about-technology/