Technology and the Dyslexic Student
Western Governors University
When a child is dyslexic and is trying to learn it can be very difficult to impossible. The dyslexic student may not be able to read at his/her age appropriate level and writing can even be harder. In order to read a book for a book report the student may have to read the book at a very slow pace and then have to read it again to comprehend or someone has to read for them. The problem is not necessarily comprehension of the story just the reading level of the book, the reader may be grades below his/her true abilities. It can be very hard to learn on their own because someone needs to read to ...view middle of the document...
It is a Windows based PC software that can be found in most computer stores. The software is a giant upgrade from the older programs where you had to talk very slowly and still did not have a good outcome. The software is simple load it in and set it up, plug in a microphone headset and begin talking at a normal speed, then the words appear on the screen. Another plus is that the software will read back what you just wrote to check that it understood the reader. With such software the dyslexic student does not have to fear writing a paper or not be able to truly say what they want just because they don’t know how to write it. Because of its ease of use and improvements in technology more and more students are using this software not just at home but also in the school. The program has been used at the collegiate level for written essay exams and works well enough for the students to get their point across. This one piece of technology has the potential of truly changing how dyslexics do homework and take tests in the class room. (Perks, J., 2003)
Computers are a major part of the technology surge for the dyslexic child. Endless amounts of software programs can be written to assist the child in certain area in learning. One such program, “Hyperstudio”, was used in a study to see if a multi-sensory program would help the dyslexic student stay engaged and be independent in writing an assignment. The software did make a difference for all students and it had a wide range of outcomes. (Dimitriadi 2001) Multimedia authoring programs combine the multi-sensory environment required by the dyslexic student and are content free for pupils to develop their own ideas, in this way they emphasize the creative process. A program like this has no set parameters and is open ended. The student can almost come up with whatever they want to do whether it is animating content or change the color of the letters, they have the control. Since this study was done in 2001, (Dimitriadi 2001) Power points have exploded and is similar to these type of programs in their ability to be open ended and by having a lot of options for the student to be creative without getting frustrated and disengaged. When separated from the picture and animations the students were able to read their papers without the usual difficulties. If visual learners, such as dyslexics, can put a picture or an object with the word or words to help them to remember what they have written, this type of software will only help in giving the student more confidence to go further.
In order to be comfortable with this technology the student must be taught how to use it side by side with the materials that are being taught. (Silver-Pacuilla, H., 2007)With that said the student will not be able to tell if this piece of technology will be useful if it is not taught to him right and alongside assignments that he is expected to complete. If the tools become a distraction and are not allowed to be used during...