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Back to School Webinar....ICT Reminders

by Shirley Lawson

on Fri Aug 26, 2016

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CALL Scotland course,
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 Fourteen attendees from up and down the country logged in to this week's webinar entitled ‘Back to school assistive technology to support all learners’.  One of the attendees was then broadcasting the webinar to 10 more staff - an excellent way to learn collegiately after school hours.  

Shirley talked about the use of software and apps to support David, a 13-year-old dyslexic student, anxious about returning to school after the summer because he knows his increased workload will mean more reading and this is where his difficulty lies.

Where is the majority of his text-based curricular work?

  • On the web
  • Assignments online in Google Classroom
  • Class novels
  • Maths text books
  • Worksheets / printed materials

How can he be supported by technology?  Shirley talked about the use of Text to Speech software with the Scottish voices.  She demonstrated:

  • Ivona Mini-reader with a biology website that David would use for research in the school library on a Windows PC
  • Word Talk – for text to speech support in a Word Document for self-correction of word processed text.
  • Spell check in Word Talk – spelling options spoken back make choosing the correct word so much easier
  • How to search and download texts / books from the Books for All Scotland site (via the CALL Scotland website  with a Glow log in) David can access his class novel and TeeJay Maths text book on his tablet device and he is able to hear the words read out using Speech Selection and Speak Screen
  • The C-Pen reader – a scanning pen is a portable device that reads text out loud. This could be offered to David to use on paper based materials.

Lots of other good information and reminders for staff – please check out the archived webinar to catch up in your own time.

We took the chance to ask participants their opinions on how they liked the synchronous webinar format with the opportunity to use live chat but not have a microphone or webcam enabled.  General feedback was that they were happy with the current set up and did not require to speak or be seen.  Please let us know if you would like to be able to sign up for longer information sessions / training by webinar – we want to be responsive to your training needs.  Email call.scotland@ed.ac.uk

Tags: webinar, professional learning, dyslexia

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