What is it about the start of a new year that provides such hope? 2019 is not a year to reflect on but one to move on from, and with the beginning of 2020, I am looking forward to getting back to things I value.
One of the things I value is sharing ideas and tips on incorporating educational and assistive technologies to support students with languages based learning disabilities (i.e., dyslexia, ADHD) This is a passion of mine, for I have seen the effects that the right technologies can have for a learner. Additionally, the impact EdTech in the hands of an educator can have to enhance access and engagement for ALL learners.
Most currently comes to mind the current discussions about reading instruction. Thanks to Emily Hanford and her work to exploring the science behind reading instruction, there has launched a fevered debate about the efficacy of reading practices.
A summary of much of the discussion can be found in the post:
New salvos in the battles over reading instruction
I will also add to the debate a post by my Headmaster, Dr. Ben Powers, The Southport School, Let’s Agree to Follow the Same Science: A Response to Richard Allington.
Technology can have a role in this conversation about reading instruction, allowing for differentiation and accessibility, accounting for the needs of all learners. Following the principals of Universal Design for Learning, incorporating technology in reading instruction can support the design of lessons that provide for multiple means of engagement, representation, and expression. These resources give a glimmer into the tools and tips for incorporating EdTech into effective reading instruction:
Technol-OGy: EdTech to Enhance Structured Literacy Instruction. (Video of International Dyslexia Association conference presentation available for purchase)
5 ways EdTech Tools can Support Small Group Reading Instruction (edscoop article)
Intervention: Integrating Technology, Oral Language, and Reading (Video from The Dyslexia Foundation conference)
Using Technology to Engage Students with Learning Disabilities (book for purchase)
The landscape of educational and assistive technologies is prime to support all areas of instruction to benefit students with dyslexia. These are available in everyday devices allowing students to engage in individualized activities to practice decoding and spelling while also utilizing tools to access materials to build vocabulary and comprehension. I look forward to bringing this discussion and resources further at FETC, Friday, January 17, 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Additionally, I will be offering a free 20-minute intro webinar via The Southport CoLAB on January 22 @ 4:00 pm: Engaging Students in Reading Instruction through Educational Technology
Join the critical conversation surrounding effective reading instruction for all learners.