Assistive technology can help students with dysgraphia to a great extent. Dysgraphia is a writing disorder and can often be confused with distraction and lack of motivation. Children with dysgraphia are at the risk of falling behind in school if they are not diagnosed and successfully treated. Thanks to education technology, there are several effective ways to help these students.
Dysgraphia is a learning disability that affects spelling, handwriting, spacial planning on paper and one’s capacity of thinking while writing. Students who are affected by it will have difficulties expressing themselves in writing. And due to all these challenges and struggle they face from an early age, students with dysgraphia tend to become overwhelmed, lose motivation and avoid tasks that involve writing altogether. Students with Dysgraphia do not understand the information they are writing, and this risks to keep them behind the rest of their class.
Assistive technology can help kids with different types of writing challenges. Handwriting tools help kids who struggle with the physical act of writing. There are many writing tools on the web that can be used on computers and the result of this has been really amazing. Some of these tools help students circumvent the actual physical task of writing, while others facilitate proper spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, and organization.
Product manager of Microsoft Education shared at Bett 2018 how they are building in-dictation for PowerPoint & other office apps that will help students with special needs. His tweet below shows a glimpse of the same:
Did you know that PowerPoint is getting built-in Dictation? At #Bett2018 we announced that PPT & other Office apps will get this capability. Check out the video below #mieexpert #edtech #AssistiveTech #dyslexia #dysgraphia #accessibility #MicrosoftEDU pic.twitter.com/gHYgswipzi— Mike Tholfsen (@mtholfsen) January 27, 2018
Another software called Tegami, which is run using a tablet computer, represents a major step forward in terms of analytical precision and accuracy of input. It was developed from a database of writing samples from 300 children, around 25% of whom suffered from dysgraphia. The program was able to detect the learning disability 98% of the time.
The big preferred standpoint of Tegami is that it can help pinpoint the reason for a child’s dysgraphia since it investigates no less than 53 distinct attributes of a kid’s writing which are estimated up to 200 times each second. These characteristics incorporate the angle of the pen, the measure of weight the kid applies to the tablet, how quick the child writes and any adjustments in that speed, regardless of whether the kid’s hand trembles and provided that this is true, with what frequency and which letters or characters are generally discriminative.
With assistive technology students with dysgraphia can independently take notes, wrote essays and respond to tests in a digital environment. Kurzweil 3000-firefly is one software that can enable a student with special needs do all these tasks. It helps the student to complete work in less time with increased accuracy, organizations and legibility.
Grammar and punctuation marks gets a little difficult for students with dysgraphia. Already, there is so much in their mind they are struggling to apply and remember, these rules get lost in the whole process of processing and expressing the point/information. Finding ways to practice and learn these rules without actually writing can be really helpful. Punctuation – End Marks and Grammaropolis is one example of an app that teaches these rules in a fun way using drag and drop.
More resources that you must check!
1. 8 Tools for Kids With Dysgraphia
This post mentions of some really cool tools that will help your students with dysgraphia. It also mentions great tricks that will come in handy.
2. Assistive Technology for Dysgraphia and Writing Disabilities
This enlists a lot of high-Tech, Mid-Tech and Low-tech tools to help with all your assisitive technology worries when teaching students with dysgraphia.
3. Assistive Technology For Writing By Linda Balsiger, M.S., CCC-SLP This PDF is by a special educator. It will help you get a better understanding about how to use simple solutions like keyboarding, to more sophisticated programs such as note-taking pens and speech-to-text software for your students with dysgraphia. You can download this PDF from this link.
4. Assistive Technology Tools: Writing
Give a quick read to learn about assistive technology tools — from abbreviation expanders to word-recognition software programs that will address your child's specific writing difficulties.
In what ways do you use technology for the needs of your students with dysgraphia?
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