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Aiming for Access
June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.
12 Apps for Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia That Parents and Teachers Will Love
A wonderful website for parents, Understood.org, is busy sharing information on an array of topics related to students with learning and attention issues.
Parents and teachers, too
Teachers, administrators and related services personnel partially comprise the information stream. Safe to say that all members of a school team can benefit from the wealth of information offered on this site, including events that are streamed live.
One with appeal for all was broadcast recently for parents whose children have features of or who are diagnosed with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and/or dyscalculia. Jamie Martin, an assistive technology specialist and consultant, picked and shared his favorites. That link posted online on July 7 is included at the end of this article.
Here are the apps Jamie discussed that were released or updated in a significant way during school year 2015-16. At the time of his presentation, some were on sale. Note that readers can view his slide in the video that pinpoints one or more targeted audiences. In some cases he adds English Language Learners.
- Easy Spelling Aid is a spelling, reading, dyslexia and translation helper to use when a user encounters problematic words and is communicating in another language.
- Hang Art is an IOS with an Android version, is based on the classic word game Hangman. Kids use the building blocks of spelling, writing, and drawing to boost vocabulary.
- Endless Spanish offers "Spanish Immersion" for native Spanish speakers and advanced learners, and "Spanish with English Translation" for most native English speakers.
- Endless Learning Academy is an early learning app with the Endless monster crew. Some sounds were identified as lacking accuracy.
- Newsela is updated with a writing prompt both on the web and in the app. Newsela builds reading comprehension by delivering relevant, daily articles from trusted news sources with a choice of five reading levels, embedded assessments, and curriculum alignment information.
- Claro Scan Pen has users take a photo of a printed text document, letter, or exam paper so that they can then select text using a finger (or stylus) and hear it spoken aloud instantly. No internet connection is required.
- Voice Dream Reader adds a visual bookshelf in this update, along with a pronunciation dictionary so users can correct inaccuracies. A new setting can be used electively for word tracking/pacing/spot tracking by struggling readers.
- Co:Writer Universal for Google Chrome uses grammar- and vocabulary-smart word prediction to help students express their ideas in writing with a built-in speech recognition aid. The app is available now for individuals by subscription so families don't have to rely on schools. The app works with a third party keyboard. Topic dictionaries support writers by providing listings of specific vocabulary words.
- ModMath is virtual graph paper developed by a parent and offering a free basic version for iOS with in-app purchases for higher math. In a major update during the last school year, there is a cleaner look and numeric keypad that aligns math problems. A new camera feature allows for pictures of math problems that can be inserted into the virtual paper and shared.
- Photomath reads and solves mathematical problems by using the camera of a mobile device in real-time. A reveal feature shows users how to solve math problems.
- Whink productivity tool for iOS devices offers a gel ink pen and smart eraser to help make handwriting smooth and flawless. Jot down notes by typing, recording or sketching. Mark up documents and organize notes easily. This app uses two apps at the same time to take notes on an iPad while reading or watching a video and more.
- Squid productivity tool for Android devices helps users take handwritten notes using an active pen, passive stylus, or a finger. Markup PDFs to fill out forms, edit/grade papers, or sign documents. Import images, draw shapes, and add typed text to notes. Select, copy/paste, and move content between pages and notes. Organize your notes within notebooks.
View the "New Apps for Dyslexia, Dysrphia and Other Learning Issues" webinar on YouTube.
Learn and ask questions about apps throughout the summer at 10 a.m. on July 22-24. The Understood.org calendar is filled with learning opportunities along with these three Weekend Wisdom sessions. Check out all the learning opportunities.
- Explore the Understood.org website for a stunning array of resources contributed by Understood.org's partners.
- Check out @UnderstoodOrg's weekly #LDchat every Wednesday at 12 p.m. ET.