Illinois STARnet Northwest Region I & Central Region III STARNET Northwest Region I and Central Region III  
Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education  
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Apps and More: Technology as Interactive and Adaptive Tools for Young Children

by Krystal Connolly, Mindy Ely, Sandy Ginther, Linda Robinson
December 11, 2014
Reg. 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Illinois Principals Association
2940 Baker Drive, Springfield, Illinois

Description: Apps and technology devices can be exciting learning tools for young children when the content and use is developmentally appropriate. Get the criteria to use in evaluating apps and consider designing activities to meet the Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards and individual children's goals. This session will also address universal design and how all children can participate in classroom and home activities. Supportive apps and accessories for iPads and other devices will be discussed and demonstrated. Many low-tech and no-tech adaptation ideas will also be shared. Participants are encouraged to bring an iPad or Android device to review selected apps and try adaptive input methods. A list of apps recommended for use during this workshop will be sent ahead of time.

Presenter Bios: Sandy Ginther left the medical field 28 years ago when her daughter was born with Down syndrome. She became active in endeavors related to children, education, and disability. She has been employed with the state's Project CHOICES, directed an Early Intervention Program, served as an Early Intervention Statewide Trainer, and is currently a Family and Early Childhood Resource Specialist with STARnet Regions I & III. Sandy has a B.S. in Communication from Illinois State University and graduate hours in Early Childhood from Western Illinois University, Portland State University and University of Colorado. Trained in various early childhood approaches, she brings a family's experience to the content. In addition to presenting early childhood topics, she frequently speaks on the need for an accepting society and the benefits of inclusive opportunities for all. Sandy has a long history of serving on boards, task forces, and other volunteer entities.

Mindy Ely is an Early Childhood Resource Specialist with STARnet Regions I & III. She received her BS. Ed. from Illinois State University with an endorsement in the area of visual impairments in 1993. Mrs. Ely began her career as a Teacher for the Visually Impaired and then as a Developmental Therapist for Vision. Later she worked as the Vision Specialist with Hearing and Vision Connections where she planned and provided training and technical assistance to families and professionals on issues related to blindness. Mindy has served on the Illinois Vision Leadership Council since 2001 and the International Blind Preschool Summit Group since 2006. She was a board memberat- large and then president of the Illinois chapter of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). She currently serves on the National AER board. In 2012 she was honored with IAER's Distinguished Service Award and the American Foundation for the Blind's Spungin Fellowship. Mindy was recognized as an Honored ISU Alumni in 2008 for her contributions to the field of Special Education. She served on the ISU Department of Special Education Board in 1998, 2009, and 2010. Considered one of Illinois' leading experts in early childhood and vision loss, Mindy has become a sought after speaker and consultant.

Linda Robinson is the Director for STARnet Regions I & III. She has previously been a coordinator, technology trainer, and curriculum specialist on a number of federally funded projects at the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood. Linda has presented at numerous state, regional, national, and international conferences over the past 25 years and taught an undergraduate course in assistive technology for five years.

Krystal Connolly is the Demonstration Center Coordinator at The Illinois Assistive Technology Program. She has been employed at IATP for five years and helped to develop and start IATP's iLoan program, which offers financial loans for assistive technology and employment.


Continuing Education - This training will provide 5 contact hours for the following:

  • CPDUs (Continuing Professional Development Units) for teacher certification
  • CDA (Child Development Associate) credit in area(s) 8
  • CE credit for SLP, SW, LCPC, PT, and OT professionals
  • Gateways to Opportunity credit in area(s) D
Full attendance is required to receive a certificate.

Illinois Assistive Technology Program Click here to register for this face-to-face workshop
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