Dyslexic students – no recommended devices?

Alphabet inside of men's heads face to face contrasting order and chaos

Alphabet inside of men’s heads face to face contrasting order and chaos. Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

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.

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