Technology Integration for Students with Dyslexia
SECTION THREE / REFERENCES
A Methodology for Providing Technology for Students
Technology has the potential to be one of the most powerful tools to support students identified with dyslexia. The challenge, however, is to ensure that the technology is current and effective and that the educators have the skills to effectively use the technology. In an ever-changing technological world, educators must adjust and adapt in order to prepare students for the challenges of the post-secondary setting. Consequently, technological training, in both hardware and software uses, is critical for teachers and students. School districts have the challenge of staying on the cutting edge and providing teachers with the needed pedagogical support to meet the needs of all students using technology.
Districts/campuses have a responsibility to appoint a team to implement a process for providing effective, current technology to students. Assisting all students with suitable technology is critical; however, appropriate technological support for students with dyslexia is particularly vital. In order for districts/campuses to provide the most current, appropriate technology for students with dyslexia, the following process should be considered by the appointed team:
Attend trainings on the benefits of technologies in supporting students identified with dyslexia. Training is available in a variety of formats, including the following:
- On-line Course(s) Posted via District Websites - Courses provided by the State Dyslexia Office, the regional education service centers, and/or districts are available on ESC and district websites.
- Project Share Course(s) - Courses provided by the State Dyslexia Office, the education service centers, and/or districts, are available via Project Share.
- Project Share Wiki/Blog - An on-going, online chat opportunity maintained by the State Dyslexia Office is offered via Project Share.
- Workshops at the 20 ESCs - Training sessions by individual service centers is available for campuses and districts within their regions.
Create an Inventory of Resources
Create an inventory of resources to determine what purchases have been made, including both hardware and software.
Conduct research and visit other schools to gain the latest research, best practices, and successful strategies for using technology with students.
Evaluate technologies that will support students with dyslexia in accommodating their learning differences. Teachers from all content areas should be involved in this step of the process, as many of the challenges for students with dyslexia come in the reading of content-rich text.
Ensure Pedagogical Support
Ensure pedagogical support for teachers to meet the needs of students.
Match the Needs of Identified Students
Match the needs of identified students with the appropriate technologies so that students with dyslexia have technological access across all content areas.
Identify Gaps in Technology
Identify gaps in technology so that districts can determine what technologies they already have and what new technologies should be purchased.
Ensure that teachers are thoroughly trained on the use of the technology chosen
Ensure that teachers are thoroughly trained on the use of the technology chosen, including the various features of technology that is already available to them (i.e., word processing tools, tablets, smart phones).
In addition to the challenge of staying current in new technologies, educators must also be able to evaluate technology and determine an appropriate implementation plan. They must discern whether a particular technology is a good match for a particular student. Selecting suitable tools in any field is a challenge, but perhaps more so in the field of dyslexia, where student needs are so varied. Consider the following methodology for providing technology for students with dyslexia. Planning and organization are critical for the success of any implementation:
A Methodology for Providing Technology for Students with Dyslexia
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Atkins, Daniel E., John Bennett, John S. Brown, Aneesh Chopra, Chris Dede, Barry Fishman, Louis Gomez, Margaret Honey, Yasmin Kafai, Maribeth Luftglass, Roy Pea, Jim Pellegrino, David Rose, Candace Thille, and Brenda Williams. "Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology." Evaluation Reports--Policy and Program Studies Services. Education Publications Center, Nov. 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2012.<http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html>.
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Hecker, L. and Engstrom, E. U., (2005). Assistive Technology and Individuals with Dyslexia. Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 2nd Edition, A Course Companion Web Site from Brookes Publishing.
"Looking at Student Work" as a Successful Strategy for Integrating Technology." Center for Implementing Technology in Education (CITEd). Center for Implementing Technology in Education(CITEd), 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cited.org/index.aspx?page_id107>.
Peterson-Karlan, George R., and Howard P. Parette. "Supporting Struggling Writers Using Technology: Evidence-based Instruction and Decision-making." Techmatrix. The Center for Implementing Technology in Education, 2007. Web. 25 Apr. 2012. <http://www.cited.org>.
Pisha, B., & O'Neill, I., (2003). When they learn to read, can they read to learn? Perspectives, 29(4), 14-18.
U.S. Department of Education, Building the Legacy of IDEA 2004, http://idea.ed.gov