Assistive Technology that SHOULD be standard in schools.
Why have i put this video together? Pa, i believe that there is a fundamental problem in our schools when we consider dyslexic learning students with specific learning difficulties account for about 25 of our student population with approximately 10 Posto. Having some experience associated with dyslexia, our education system has been set up to provide a one size fits all approach to learning that inadvertently plays the weaknesses of our students with dyslexia. For a student with dyslexia and other specific learning. Differences learning at school can often feel very uncomfortable when it, when expected to fit in with the expected mainstream way of learning. There are good and bad schools in terms of support for dyslexia, but there is no standardized approach across the whole education system and many young people go undiagnosed and unsupported, resulting in poor attainment and challenges with self esteem, confidence, motivation and, naravno, autonomy in learning. What are some of the challenges that our dyslexic learners are facing in school? Pa, we know that there are potential strengths with being dyslexic, such as creativity, problem solving people, skills etc, but there are also many weaknesses that also come with the territory. In this mind map. I have listed an overview of some of the weaknesses associated with written work reading, as well as behaviour i’m sure that you can see how these dyslexic weaknesses will get in the way of being able to meet the expectations of today’s curriculum. If left without support, students will not be engaged with learning and will struggle to gain a similar level of detainment as their non dyslexic peers, despite often exceeding their peers.
In terms of the amount of effort put in to achieve their grades, the odds are literally stacked against them. I believe that schools and colleges should make available certain types of assistive technology for all students within schools and colleges, as this will level the playing field for dyslexic learners and will help other learners too. So let me share with you my assistive technology shopping list for the types of assistive tech that i believe should be made freely available in schools and colleges. These are mind: mapping software text to speech software speech to text or dictation software and access to pdf or electronic textbooks, as well as note taking software and touch typing software. U redu, let me illustrate why i think this tech should be standard in schools and colleges using some user scenarios. Let’S start with writing essays. The usual way of doing this, for the teacher is to set the task and title for writing essays within schools. There is, i believe, an over reliance on the use of handwriting schools. Da, it is important, but for many handwriting is uncomfortable. To je., slow and it’s stressful, especially when the require requested task is time critical. So why do schools seem to focus on handwriting as a dominant skill when later in life, they are more likely to need touch typing skills within the workplace? Surely there should be a better balance between the two? Firstly, i believe that schools should make available software. That teaches young people to touch type once touch typing skills are in place.
They are more likely to be successful at getting lengthy texts written productively unless they struggle with decoding what they want to say into typing. If touch typing is something of use, it will probably be more enjoyable, as this skill allows for more focus on learning, rather than the focus on how uncomfortable it is to write. Kaz type is a very popular typing shooter that a student can use in their own time. They claim that they can teach people to touch type in 90 minutes and they have a dyslexia version so as to make it easier to view on screen. Then we can use our touch typing skills to put together my maps on software that is designed to enable our students to enjoy getting ideas out of their minds and onto a visually engaging platform. This process can be done also by dictation too. The benefits of a mind map are that they are visual and non linear in nature, and this plays to the strengths of many dyslexic learners in the mind map. All they need to be concerned about is getting ideas out of their brains and into the mind map. We don’t need to worry about spelling and grammar at this stage that comes later many mind. Map software products will enable the user upon completion of the mind map to export the mind map into microsoft word. What is brilliant about this is that all of the nodes of the mind maps become titles, and so the user ends up with a formatted draft of their essay.
Now they can edit the essay using text of speech to read it out and spelling and grammar checking tools in ms word to correct mistakes. Microsoft word has has text to speech built in along with the spelling and grammar checkers. So as a starting point, this is probably already available across the school if they are using the latest versions of of office 365.. Sometimes it is useful to have specifically developed text to speech software installed. That adds features such as picture based. Homophone checking a common product is claro software, which can be used with any program that allows for the input of text. So this approach to essay writing maximizes idea, generation and recall of learning and makes it easier to express all this in an essay format. Do you remember those days when you had to walk around school with a heavy rucksack for the textbooks? Pa, i have some great news for you. Students with a print disability are legally entitled to have their textbooks provided in digital format. This not only means that they have automatically shed a few kilos in their rucksack, but now they can access textbooks via tablet and pc computers wherever and whenever they need them. Pages can be read out loud with text to speech software such as claro, and there are a range of accessible features available on tablets and pcs that lend to making reading textbooks easier than reading from the print in schools and colleges.
Sencos can apply to join the rnib bookshare service and then set up profiles for students that are dyslexic and download the textbooks that they would use in class and access them at school or at home. Note taken in class can be so challenging for the dyslexic learner. Working memory is stretched as students look up and down from the board copying loads of text by hand whilst processing what the teacher is saying not to mention how uncomfortable it is to write notes by hand for some. But there is a range of assistive text, strategies available that can make this process easier. Firstly, why copy down when you can take a picture? Da, i know that some schools say no to having smartphones in class, but simply taking pictures of the board really helps with engagement once captured. The student can focus on the learning and not worry about trying to catch up with their handwriting. That photo could then be saved into a note, storing app such as microsoft onenote, whereby the student can then review later on and add further notes by typing or marking up content with a stylus. Another great way of note taking is to record the audio of the lesson or lecture once recorded. The student can reflect back on the learning content by listening to the audio. There are apps available now that even allows the student to annotate sections of the recording. So as to draw attention for further review later on, currently a favorite of mine is gleam.
A web browser based audio note, taking app that can be used to record annotate and take touch type notes. I hope that you can see from this video the wealth of assistive technology that is available to support dyslexic learners in studying at their best. There are real advantages in increased mental, Pa, being productivity and autonomy when using assisted technology, not to mention the improvements to be gained with revising and ultimately achieving high attainment. The problem we have is that many schools, even nassenkos, are not aware that this technology exists, let alone convince them to make these tools mainstream for all. If you feel that the school that you are associated with is one of them, maybe you could share this video to their senko. I would like to thank kaz type for sponsoring this video and i’d like to invite you to download their five tips on building touch typing skills. And finally, if you found this video useful and you want to access more useful content from the studying the dyslexia blog, then please go to www.studyingwithdyslexiablog.co.uk and co dot subscribe and i will keep you updated. If you are a parent, then make sure you indicate this on the form, as i have something really special to share with you.