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

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

Using My Life to Build a Digital Portfolio

I met Dorothy Miller for the first time a few months ago. She’s young and beautiful and has the kind of optimism and enthusiasm one might expect from a person about to enter the workforce. Dorothy wants to make the world a better place, starting with children.

Due to her dysarthria, Dorothy uses the TouchChat program on her iPad to communicate with staff and students in her first year at the local community college. Dorothy’s ultimate goal is to receive her early elementary teaching certification. Continue reading