We did some professional development recently regarding teaching students with dyslexia. Some of the strategies suggested for the classroom were…
- Speech to text (Google docs)
- Read Write (Chrome extension)
- Dyslexic font
- Multi-sensory approach to support big picture thinkers (eg, Use real objects as props, charts)
- Differentiating assessment (eg, video, oral assessments where possible to meet the standard)
- Offering/encouraging use of devices for assist learning. Eg, taking photo of information on the board, use phone to record instructions for later playback
- Breaking tasks down – into short achievable stages.
- Use large font with lots of space on handouts/power points
- Intentionally talk less often, or for a shorter time
- Offer brain breaks
- Actively promote peer to peer learning opportunities
Some (not all) of these strategies use computer technology. Given that many schools now require a device be purchased at Year 9, I asked Dyslexia Foundation (NZ) was “Are there any guidelines regarding student devices/software that can be given to parents of students with dyslexia?“.
Unfortunately there are no guidelines. Their answer “There are no guidelines as such, and this is a problem, because many children are using different devices and different apps and the school teacher doesn’t know how to help them, …”
A little surprising perhaps? For students recently diagnosed this information would be useful to themselves and their families.