What the literature (both printed and online) is telling us
Research in Learning Technology
Research in Learning Technology is an international journal of the Association for Learning Technology, and is available free and online. All articles to Research in Learning Technology are posted online immediately as they are ready for publication. The journal aims to raise the profile of research in learning technology, encouraging research that informs good practice and contributes to the development of policy. www.researchinlearningtechnology.net
An article from the latest volume of Research in Learning Technology that caught my eye related to the use of Facebook by students labeled as dyslexic in the UK. Barden, O. (2014). Facebook levels the playing field: Dyslexic students learning through digital literacies. Research in Learning Technology, 22. www.researchinlearningtechnology.net/index.php/rlt/article/view/18535
Closing The Gap Solutions
Closing The Gap Solutions, www.closingthegap.com/solutions, is published six times a year as an online resource. It highlights assistive technology products appropriate for people with disabilities and explains how this technology is being implemented in education, rehabilitation and vocational settings around the world. Sign up for a free two day subscription trial via www.closingthegap.com/samples.lasso
Assistive Technology Resources Roundup
Assistive Technology Resources Roundup, via www.edutopia.org, provides “websites, blogs, articles, and videos that provide information and tools related to understanding, selecting, and assessing assistive technology and accessible instructional materials” http://goo.gl/159TP7
Text to Speech
The ability to access text via text to speech technology on a computer or mobile device may seem simple enough, but for some students the combination of text appearing on a screen together with the device speaking that text aloud can be truly transformative. Students who may benefit from text to speech technology include students with low vision and who are blind, students who are not reading in their first language, students struggling with reading, and students with cognitive load challenges.
Where can you find out more about text to speech:
Mac OS — Text to Speech: www.apple.com/accessibility/osx
Windows – Narrator www.microsoft.com/enable/products/windows8
Mac iOS — Speak Selection www.apple.com/au/accessibility/ios
Examples of text to speech tools and programs across technology platforms.
iOS apps focusing on text to speech:
Text to speech on an Android device:
NaturalReader Text to Speech
Voxdox — Text To Speech Pro
Talk — Text to Voice
Accessibility, text-to-speech, & voice settings – https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1062965?hl=en-AU
Text to speech software:
Ghost Reader Plus
Screenreaders & other text to speech applications:
Text to speech in an exam situation? Auckland’s Sacred Heart College is using this technology to provide a ‘fair and equal test’ http://www.inglewoodhs.school.nz/DataStore/Pages/PAGE_773/Docs/Documents/SCN_0002.pdf
Innovations and possibilities
Augmented reality (AR), where the physical, real-world is augmented or supplemented by technology generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data, is increasingly being explored in education to support teaching and learning.
Augmented Reality in Education http://augmented-reality-in-education.wikispaces.com/
Augmented Reality: 32 Resources About Using it Education http://goo.gl/MzrF4O
See my YouTube Playlist relating to Augmented Reality http://bit.ly/GregARYouTube
We are only scratching the surface of the possibilities this technology provides for students with diverse learning needs.
McMahon, D. D. (2014). Augmented Reality on Mobile Devices to Improve the Academic Achievement and Independence of Students with Disabilities. Available from http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4001&context=utk_graddiss
That’s it from me. Until next time keep seeing the possibilities,
Previous Digital Directions
Digital Directions #1 http://www.spectronics.com.au/blog/new-technologies/digital-directions-my-top-picks/
Digital Directions – Top Picks from Greg O’Connor also appears in the newsletter for the New South Wales State Chapter of the Australian Association of Special Education.