Zap yourself Organized with the Rocketbook Wave

Occasionally I like to support crowd sourcing projects that won’t break the bank and may have the potential of providing a new tool to my toolbox. The Rocketbook Wave has been just that kind of project and has become a staple in my work bag. It can also serve as a powerful tool to those students who struggle with organization but prefer the low tech pencil and paper.

Here’s how it Works

The notebook is available for purchase in two sizes and comes with a free accompanying app. The user then uses heat sensitive Frixion pens to take notes as needed.The best part is that a student can use one notebook across multiple subjects and does not need to worry about skipping pages. Each page comes with 7 icons at the bottom. The student can then “tag” which subject the note belongs to by coloring in the appropriate tag.
When finished note taking, the student thenscans the notes using a mobile device. Scanning is actually extrememly fastand effective given the notebook’s darkbrown border. No cropping or re-sizing needed like other scanning apps. Once all the pages are scanned, the student then sends the notes to its given cloud storage folder in either a PDF or JPG format. If writing using multicolor pens, these are preservedin the scan as well.
Now here comes the best part, when the notebook is filled up, the student can then place the entire notebook in the microwave, the ink will disappear, and the notebook is reusable once again!
I have been using my Rocketbook Wave for the past 2 months and fell in love with it. It has been a great tool for helping me organize my notes. Notetaking has been one area where I still treasure the kinesthetic pencil on paper experience and no touchscreen stylus will replace that feeling. Not yet atleast. A variety of writing implements are available through Amazon ranging from multicolor thicker markers to .7mm and .5mm pens. The markers also come with an eraser (friction heat) for on the spot editing.

 

The first wave of funding through Indigogo is closed however a new Kickstarter campain is open until April 1st. A $27 contibution will get you one Wave notebook and a Frixion pen. Check out the project and more details here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/642311833/rocketbook-wave-cloud-connected-microwavable-noteb

Chrome as Assistive Tech Infographic

The variety of web apps and Chrome extensions has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Many of these tools are available to students either for free or offer lower cost alternatives to what traditionally was considered cost prohibitive support. I complied a Coggle infographic to organize  some of the apps, extensions, and add-ons I use most frequently to support my students. Know of a good tool that’s not on the list? Be sure to comment.

As a side bar… most of these tools require a working internet connection. This on its own is prohibitive for many families. Everyone On (everyoneon.org)  is an organization that works in low income communities and schools to provide a router and affordable internet connection for household that qualify.
https://embed.coggle.it/diagram/56aeb2334f77943445e639df/44a4c419ece1f77b3e76a86fe3e5c7102ae75e859bcc15d3c720a0d5aa68e81e

Using Table of Content Add-ons to Support Executive Skills in Google Docs

More schools are beginning to integrate the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) tools into their curriculum and instruction which is a great step forward for students who use assistive technology. No longer are these students the only ones keyboarding in class, having to modify classroom materials to meet their learning needs. While this is tremendously helpful, some of these students continue to struggle with organization and executive skills. Having a Drive full of random documents is slightly better than a backpack full of misfiled papers. Much the way that students are unable to put away physical papers into correct folders the same begins to happen in digital form.

Microsoft’s OneNote platform is able to provide students with a binder equivalent of file managment. The student only needs to open one file (Notebook) and all the subjects for that semester are laid out in tabs and pages. This is a tremendously helpful system for students who struggle with organization by giving them one central location for most of their writing. This organizational support however is lacking (hopefully only for now) for students on the GAFE platform.

Binder layout with subjects and pages
OneNote Binder Layout

There is however a workaround using Google Doc’s Table of Contents structure and available add-ons which place the organization structure in the tools tab on the righthand side of the document. Currently, there are two add-on available Table of Contents and Document Navigator. If students are able to use the heading structures effectively in Google Docs, these tools provide easy navigation across one document for multiple subjects. Here is a starter doc where the classroom subject holds the ‘Heading 1’ formatting and each classroom task holds the ‘Heading 2’ formatting. Subsequent dated entries can hold the ‘Heading 3’ formatting and so on. Color coding can also be applied by subject.

Google doc with color coded heading and organized outline in tools
Google Doc with Table of Contents Add-on

Good luck!