Announcing the New MyLife

Earlier this week Cognitopia released a major upgrade to the MyLife ePortfolio application for IEP Self-Direction and Person-Centered Planning.

MyLife is being successfully used in elementary, middle, and high schools as well as in college programs and adult customized employment and supported living services across the United States. The new MyLife is more intuitive, customizable and user-friendly, strengthening the focus on self-determination—a core value of the Cognitopia Platform. The new design reflects the incredible feedback and suggestions we’ve received from all of these user groups. Continue reading

Giving Students Meaningful Data to Measure their Progress

Measuring student progress is essential to understanding areas of student need. For individuals with intellectual barriers or unique learning styles, activities like standardized testing or even quiz scores and letter grades over time can be demeaning and seem pointless. Perhaps more valuable for students’ overall educational experience is being able to understand for themselves how they are doing on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis through meaningful data visualization. Continue reading

Empowering Students to Participate in their Own IEP Meetings

Individual education planning (IEP) meetings can often be stressful for everyone involved and not feel particularly good for parents and teachers alike. But IEP meetings can be even more painful for students when they are not included and not prepared for what the meeting will involve.

Like many educators, I am a firm believer in having the student involved and engaged in their own IEP meeting and I often get asked about how to best involve students in the meeting planning process. Continue reading

Cognitopia Webinar: “Do it, Track it, Show it”

Last month we had our first webinar “Do it, Track it, Show it,” where Tom Keating spent the better part of an hour introducing attendees to the fundamentals of the Cognitopia Platform. He began with a general discussion on how the Cognitopia apps support self-determination, transition, and independent living and then moved into some of the core design features that facilitate both independent and shared/team use. Continue reading

Using Goal Guide to Manage Routines at Home and in Middle School

Our work on cognitively accessible self-management applications has always relied on a participatory research approach that grounds development in the real-world life experience of individuals with disabilities and those who support them. We are fortunate to have a rich network of students and adults with disabilities, parents, and teachers who drive our iterative development approach by providing design input, using our beta version apps, and telling us how to improve them. Continue reading

MyLife: IEP Self-Direction and Digital Storytelling

When we started the MyLife project, our focus was on the development of a cognitively accessible, multimedia ePortfolio that would function as a kind of online résumé with a person-centered planning style. The end goal was to provide an intuitive, digital tool for students as end users that would let them document and share their educational, work, and personal experiences, and interests in a way that would foster more meaningful IEP participation and help with transition to adulthood. Continue reading

How MyLife Can be Used as a Student-Directed Assessment Tool

In a student’s mind, assessment is synonymous with “testing,” and nothing causes anxiety like the prospect of having to take a test. Most educators realize, however, that effective formative assessment of progress, learning, and educational experiences go way beyond test taking. Measuring student progress over time should include formal and informal assessment procedures and it requires tools that capture the full range of students’ experiences, preferences, and goals. Continue reading

Back to School and the IEP

Well, it’s back to school time, time to get off your butt and work, time to focus on your life, time to keep the time. It’s also time to get your goals established. Yeah, you have to deal with those people that want to make you jump off a cliff, but it’s also time to focus on yourself and what you need.  Continue reading