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March 30, 2009
Dubuque Area Schools, Video Games, and IEPs?

The University of Dubuque is proud to host the first annual Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Fun and Games Workshop on Saturday, April 4. Speakers, both regional and national, will present on topics such as video games in education, Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and Assistive Technology tools for students. All sessions will be held in the Dunlap Technology Center auditorium on the University of Dubuque campus.

"Any parent with a teen knows the influence of video games," said Brad Kaldahl, "the Game Guy", associate professor in computer graphics and interactive media. "The gaming industry is now larger than the movie industry. New technologies (like the wii) will change the way we interact with the computers. Some speculate the computer mouse may become extinct. During the workshop, Jim Kjendalen will demonstrate his recently released head tracking device for disabled individuals. Through Jim's generous support, my UD students and I are developing games to be used with his new hands free technology. You have to see it to believe it!"

"Prior to coming to Dubuque, I was doing research with Johns Hopkins University Neurologists using game technology for children with disabilities with amazing results," continued Kaldahl. "Microsoft is now investing millions into research using video games as an education tool for middle school students. Given our resources in Dubuque and the Midwest, with our work ethic and values, we have the opportunity to be the nation's leader in developing education and healthcare games."

Hosted by professors Cari Simison and Bradley Kaldahl, the workshop will include a session on switch and software entitled "One Switch Two Switch Red Switch Blue Switch", presented by Mark Larson, CEO, Marblesoft/Simtech software; a discussion on IEP federal laws with Art Milller, Director of AEA #4; presentations by UD students on the educational games they have developed; a dialogue with Jim Kjendalen , CEO of LaZee Tek , on LaZee Teks new computer interface product which allows Computer Access Via Tiny Body Sensory; and a discussion and demonstration of Iowa's computerized IEPs by Eric Honda and Dan Doyle.

Workshop Agenda:

8:00 - 8:50 a.m.
Art Milller, Director of AEA #4, discusses IEP federal laws

9:00 - 9:50 a.m.
One Switch Two Switch Red Switch Blue Switch.
Assistive Tech switch and software discussed by Mark Larson, CEO and Product development for Marblesoft/Simtech software.

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.
Computer Access Via Tiny Body Sensory is No Longer Science Fiction
Presented by Jim Kjendalen , CEO of LaZee Tek

10:30-10:50 a.m.
Adapted Video Games for Special Education presented by Brad Kaldahl, CG Games and Simulations

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Iowa's Computerized IEPs: A Demonstration by Eric Honda and Dan Doyle

12:00 noon
Prize Drawing

Participants who bring a thumb drive will be able to obtain free copies of educational games created by UD students. They will also be encouraged to bring ideas and suggestions for educational games our students can develop.

For more information, or to register, please contact Bradley Kaldahl, associate professor of computer graphics, games and simulations at 563-589-3189, or Cari Simison, professor of education and special education specialist at 563-589-3590,, or visit .