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Day 18 – Who needs handwriting anyway? #28daysofwriting – Assistive Technology

Having poor handwriting in the grown up world is not taboo – not like being unable to read anyway. We tend to joke about bad handwriting; doctors and teachers are professions renowned for scruffy handwriting. For a child with illegible writing in school however it can be utterly miserable – there’s no pride, just shame, …

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Day 14 – Assistive Technology – VoiceDream – #28daysofwriting

Wow, we’re half way through. When I started this I wasn’t really sure if I’d make the 28 days but I’m feeling more confident now. It’s a real discipline to write everyday and I’ve enjoyed it. I have had a brilliant response from people for the assistive technology series – thanks to all those who …

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Day 12 – Clicker6 – Assistive Technology – #28daysofwriting

Crick has a very big stand at Betts. They are a very big company in the SEN world. This can make you suspicious – is it all flashy bang wallop? I don’t think so, in fact I think Clicker is one of the best Assistive Technologies for young, struggling readers and writers. I’m not on …

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Day 11 – ClaroReadplus – Assistive Technology -#28daysofwriting

I’ve written about a free text-to-speech (Balabolka day 4) and how it’s incorporated into MyStudyBar (also free Day 3). I’ve written about a commercial one (ReadWriteGold day 9). Now it’s the turn of Claroreadplus – another paid for toolbar. The choice between this and ReadWrite is mainly preference (I think ReadWrite is a little more …

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Day 10 – AudioNotetaker – Assistive Technology – #28daysofwriting

Prefer your notes in audio? That’s all very well but it’s difficult to go back to organise and highlight relevant sections. This great piece of kit treats audio like text and it’s a brilliant idea. I first discovered AudioNotetaker by Sonocent at Betts 14 and have watched them grow since. Good products do and the …

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Day 9 – Assistive Tech – ReadWriteGold #28daysofwriting

TextHelp is one of the biggest commercial providers for text-to-speech and their ReadWriteGold is very fancy. You know we’re always moaning about white goods? Knowing that washing machines do a gazillion things but we only use the 40 degree mixed wash? ReadWriteGold is a little like this – yes it reads text to you but …

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Day 8 – Free electronic copies of text books #28daysofwriting

OK You have your free text-to-speech – ‘Balabolka’ Day 2 blog TICK You have your free voices – ‘Ooo Daniel’ Day 5 blog TICK Your students are ready to go … Right, you say ‘read pg 64 of your text book’ – oh. CROSS So, what you now need are your text books in an …

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Day 7 – Structuring Documents – Assistive Technology – #28daysofwriting

When I found out about structuring documents, I couldn’t quite believe I didn’t know about it. Now I show school staff and students and I get a similar reaction. By structuring my document I am using the language a computer understands – this is vital for a screen reader and I think government docs have …

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Day 6 – Inspiration #28daysofwriting Assistive Technology

There are many concept mapping tools on the market. I mentioned MyStudyBar on Day 3 – part of the bar comprises XMind which is good. I want to concentrate on Inspiration though as it’s my favourite. Inspiration has multiple functions: You can create a mindmap or a spider diagram. You can then toggle between the …

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Day 5 – Voices – Assistive Technology #28daysofwriting

I’m not quite as famous as Ethel Cain (first speaking clock voice) but I was the voice of Falkland Islands telephone exchange in 2000 – Ethel and I had our voice recorded with a finite amount of things to say however, but a synthetic voice is different because a computer generates the sounds of words …

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