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IT ideas to support students with dyslexia

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by debbiehep, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. I've developed a full synthetic phonics programme online. Some of the resources are suitable to study online, others need printing off for individual use.
    Many resources are free with no registration required which means that people can use the site for their professional development. See the homepage and the free unit 1 materials.
  2. I don't know how wide a 'defintion' of dyslexia you are looking at, but if you take it at the very basic level of difficulties with reading and spelling, then the the most effective form of support there is for them is ongoing teqching of reading and spelling. No iCT package can teach reading as it is completely unable to monitor what a pupil is actually saying when they read. Only a real person can monitor and make the instant correction needed. Intil software can do this it is useless for teaching good, accurate decoding and blending for reading.
    For spelling the most useful software presents the word to be spelled orally and reads back to the pupil what they have actually spelled, thus reinforcing the connection between phoneme and grapheme. . There is a nice little programme called AcceleeReadAcceleeWrite which uses this text to speech technology. It is simple, but effective, but could I think be improved on.
    You may well find other programmes recommended, but most that I have investigated are no adequate substitute for a person.
    I should add that I don't believe that 'accommodation' for dyslexics is a particularly good thing; what they need most is very good teaching and consolidation of their reading and spelling skills. Without that they cannot access the vocabulary which is only found in text and so their access to knowledge is limited. ( there is a very good article in the American Educator on this theme: http://www.aft.org/pdfs/americaneducator/winter1011/Adams.pdf )
    And before anyone says 'talking books' I think that places an incredibly high demand on memory.
  3. Apologies for all the awful typos!
  4. As a dyslexic I have to disagree with masie.
    Spell check is incredibly useful to me - there are words I can't spell to this day but I know I can put something into a spell check and get the right word.

    I also use Inspiration - mind mapping software - to get my thoughts in order and Dragon to dictate to the computer.

  5. "How do you know that the spellchecker is giving you the word you need? How do you cope with homophones?"

    Because I'm not an idiot, I can read, it is spelling that I find difficult and if I'm really stuck I do have some software that lists homophones and the meaning. Take a look through these boards and see how many people mix homophones, particularly ; their, there and they're.

    "Ah, well. I was confining myself to the basic definition of dyslexia, not the add-ons it has accumulated over the years."
    You mean the add ons that made teachers tell me I was lazy and couldn't be bothered? Have you seent he MRI scans that show that dyslexics brains work in a different way to neurotypicals?

    "I think it is the duty of teachers to do their utmost to teach children to read and write and be independent of aids like this. They are a last resort and very often an abdication of responsibility on the part of teachers."
    As a 12 year old I used to come home from school and spend from the time I got home to 10pm doing homework. I still didn't finish.
    Most of that time was spent writing, I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn't write it down.
    Sometimes people NEED technology to help them communicate - imagine Stephen Hawkins having to write by hand.The technology overcomes the barrier to a certain extent whereas it is the knowledge that is most important
    The origional poster asked about technology,I answered them. I'm dyslexic, I use technology to function, without it I would not have a degree or a career.

    As a teacher I think it is my duty to impart knowledge and give students the skills to learn and to express themselves, to reach their full potential. Reading and writing is part of that but it is not everything.

  6. Thanks for your feedback,I too am dyslexic and believe my life would be a lot harder without the advancement in technology that makes things like spelling a little easier for me.Forgot to mention the subject I teach is very visual and involves a lot of problem solving so many of my dyslexic students excel. Time to deliver my module is very tight and I just want offer my students any help and support I can with or without using technology with the academic side of the course.

  7. In reply to Sashh
    "How do you know that the spellchecker is giving you the word you need? How do you cope with homophones?"
    "Because I'm not an idiot, I can read"
    You seem to be implying that people are idiots if they can't read, in your response to this very sensible question, which I myself have asked. They are not idiots, it just means that the dyslexia has affected their reading as well as their writing (quite common) or that they were never taught to read or that they were taught very badly or that they have visual problems.... I could go on, but perhaps you get my drift?
    From Frith1
  8. I wonder what people make of this?

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