(At CAL 2009 - Learning in Digital Worlds - and I will try to share this week or next. But here is my presentation...)
Can used computers, free software, and mobile phones provide the support needed which allows for post-secondary educational success for dyslexic students?
A year-long investigation of the use of ubiquitous computer and mobile phone technologies to support dyslexic and dyslexic/attention-challenged learners transitioning from secondary to post-secondary education. Student reading comprehension levels ranged from grade 4 (age 9) to grade 8 (age 13) and none had any technology support in secondary education, relying on teachers as readers and scribes. Half of the twenty students had limited or no interaction with “regular education” curriculum in
Students were evaluated, both for reading and attention skills and for attention/organization skills, shown a group of appropriate technologies, and were, through [a US funded] “vocational rehabilitation service,” supplied with computers and/or phones which had free software solutions installed. The students were trained in the use of these devices and supported in learning how to adapt these supports for their individual needs. They were assisted in applications for disability accommodations (digitally supplied texts and testing using text-to-speech software) at their colleges and universities. Software installed on rebuilt used computers included free text-to-speech systems, free web-based support structures such as Google Docs, Calendar, and Notebook, and Click-Speak in the Firefox Browser, as well as mobile-based speech-to-text systems. (all links are in PowerPoint)
One year results indicate significant success. Eighteen of twenty students were continuing their education. Of 113 classes begun by these students, 96 were completed and 85 passed successfully. This 90% persistence rate and 75% course completion record must be compared with overall (students with and without disabilities)
- Ira Socol in Brighton, England