The following presentations can be provided by SPELD SA to schools and community groups.

Presenters

Angela Weeks

Teacher and psychologist, clinical director of SPELD SA

Jan Polkinghorne

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

Sandy Russo

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

Frances Scobie

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

The Software Advisory Team

Jan Polkinghorne, Sandy Russo and Frances Scobie


Presentations by Angela Weeks

Teacher and psychologist, clinical director of SPELD SA

  1. Parent Information Session: Dyslexia – what it is and how to help
  2. An Introduction to Dyslexia and Other Neuro-behavioural Disorders
  3. Understanding Mathematics: a practical approach for parents
  4. Why dyslexia is not a vision problem
  5. Dyslexia (for psychologists and health professionals)
  6. Achieving their potential – Developing a whole school policy for assisting students with specific learning difficulties
  7. Teaching phonics
  8. Dyslexia in the mainstream classroom R-12
  9. Dyslexia: How to recognise and accommodate junior primary and primary students in the classroom
  10. Dyslexia: How to recognise and accommodate secondary students in the classroom
  11. Teaching Students with reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, in a one-to-one or small group situation

There are handouts for all sessions and resources to look at.


Why dyslexia is not a vision problem (Angela Weeks)

This session includes the following:

  • The dyslexic brain
  • Core difficulties
  • How dyslexia affects learning
  • How dyslexia is diagnosed
  • Definition

Dyslexia (for psychologists and health professionals) (Angela Weeks)

  • What is dyslexia?
  • Definition; core difficulties
  • Risk factors; Diagnosis
  • Educational implications

Achieving their potential – Developing a whole school policy for assisting students with specific learning difficulties (Angela Weeks)

Examines alternative ways of grouping and teaching students to accommodate the special needs of students with specific learning difficulties as they move through primary school

Teaching phonics (Angela Weeks)

This session looks at the what and why of teaching phonics, how to teach phonics and provides a brief introduction to two phonics programs, a whole class program for junior primary students (Jolly Phonics) and a program for older students which is taught on a one-to-one or small group basis (The Hickey Multisensory Language Course)

Dyslexia in the mainstream classroom R-12 (Angela Weeks)

This session focusses on the following:

  • What is dyslexia
  • How dyslexia affects a student's learning
  • General guidelines for accommodating the needs of students with dyslexia in the classroom

Dyslexia: How to recognise and accommodate junior primary and primary students in the classroom (Angela Weeks)

This session looks at the common features of dyslexia and provides suggestions on how to tailor teaching practices to develop these students’ skills and accommodate their needs in the classroom.

Dyslexia: How to recognise and accommodate secondary students in the classroom (Angela Weeks)

This session looks at the strengths and difficulties of students with dyslexia and provides suggestions on how to tailor teaching practices to develop their skills and accommodate their needs in the classroom.

Teaching Students with reading difficulties, such as dyslexia, in a one-to-one or small group situation (Angela Weeks)

This session focusses on the underlying difficulties of students with dyslexia and the components of an effective intervention program. Angela will describe some practical strategies for helping with reading, spelling and written language and look at some useful resources.


Presentations by Jan Polkinghorne

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Phone: 0414 724 602

  1. Computers as the Key to Reading
  2. Computers as the Key to Writing
  3. Don’t Modify the Task – Modify the Means of Response
  4. Talking to Type - Voice Input; Does it Really Work?
  5. E-Text the way to Inclusive Education
  6. Talking Word Processors- Do they help?
  7. Talking to Write
  8. Macroworks Software for Learning... not just edutainment but learning tools
  9. Using MS Word as an Assistive Learning Tool
  10. Using Movie Maker as an Assistive Learning Tool
  11. Inclusive Education through Interactive Whiteboards

Computers as the Key to Reading (Jan Polkinghorne)

An overview of computer software to help students learn to read, from junior primary to secondary. How text to speech and learning to read can and should be used concurrently not in isolation.

Computers as the Key to Writing Jan Polkinghorne

An over view of the difficulties involved in the process of writing both an how computers can be used to help both for those suffering from dysgraphia and those who struggle with organisation of ideas and getting the ideas down.

Don’t Modify the Task – Modify the Means of Response (Jan Polkinghorne)

The traditional response to those who cannot read and write has been to modify the length of the response required from them. Many of these students are in the average to above average ability levels; they just cannot read and write. To modify the task is a “put down”. In this day and age with so much IT available to us we can and should find other ways to help these students convey the full extent of their ideas and not be limited because they cannot read or write.

Talking to Type - Voice Input; Does it Really Work? (Jan Polkinghorne)

A comparison of the various types of voice input programs and which ones are suitable for which needs.

E-Text the way to Inclusive Education (Jan Polkinghorne)

How the ability to have a text file read aloud can help both teachers and students and the various ways in which electronic text can be obtained and used in learning.

Talking Word Processors—Do they help? (Jan Polkinghorne)

What talking word processors are available for students of various ages and why they can help both the younger students learning to write and older students still experiencing difficulties.

Talking to Write (Jan Polkinghorne)

The ability to use voice input programs is something which needs to be learned. It is not just a case of talking into a microphone and having the computer do the work. There are things we can do to maximise the chances of success long before we introduce students to the software. The long road to success: - What to do and how to do it.

Macroworks Software for Learning... not just edutainment but learning tools (Jan Polkinghorne)

Macroworks is a small Australian software company specialising in software for learning not just edutainment. They have developed a range of maths, spelling and reading programs useful for all ages. What is good about them and how can they be used both at home and school.

Using MS Word as an Assistive Learning Tool (Jan Polkinghorne)

MS Word is a program which is available in many homes and schools. There are a number of hidden functions which many have never seen or used which help to make it more useful to students with learning difficulties and those who work with them.

Using Movie Maker as an Assistive Learning Tool (Jan Polkinghorne)

Movie maker is available on all computers with Windows XP and above. It is an excellent medium for both teachers and students because it is so easy to incorporate sound, graphics, video and text into a presentation. Teachers can use it to aid students’ understanding and students ca use it to demonstrate their knowledge.

Inclusive Education through Interactive Whiteboards (Jan Polkinghorne)

Because of their multimodal capabilities, IWB are an excellent medium for inclusive education. From the student who can only access with large arm movements to the student who needs text read aloud or the visual learner, a skilled IWB user can create lessons to involve all in the learning process. Research already shows that skilled use of IWB can reduce behaviour problems, decrease absenteeism, increase interest and rapidly increase teacher IT skills. They are an excellent means of harnessing the power of IT for whole class, group and individual work.
What are the indicators of a skilled user and how do we become one? What are the steps we should be taking to make lessons more interactive? If an IWB is doing no more than a data projector & computer could do then it is a very expensive “toy”.


Presentations by Sandy Russo

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

  1. Blogs and Podcasting for Inclusive Classroom Practice
  2. Assistive Technology–Fulfilling the Needs of Adult Learners
  3. On Line Tutoring How It Works and Who can Benefit
  4. Texthelp Read and Write Demonstration
  5. Texthelp Read and Write Training
  6. Making independent writers of students with working memory problems
  7. Getting students ready for high school, the uses of My Study Bar for older students Year 6 up
  8. Using Voice Technologies for learning
  9. E-books and Readers, which one suits my student?

Blogs and Podcasting for Inclusive Classroom Practice (Sandy Russo)

Blogs and Podcasts can be instrumental when creating a fully inclusive classroom. For the student who has a learning disability, the student that lives in an isolated area, or the teacher who has lessons to share, Blogs and Podcasts used well, can enrich the learning experience of all. Presented on PCs, Macs, MP3 players and iPods, Blogs and Podcasts use aural and visual digital formats to present and receive information that can be shared with an online global community. The focus is on what a Blog and Podcast is, and how teachers can use them in an inclusive classroom environment.

Assistive Technology – Fulfilling the Needs of Adult Learners (Sandy Russo)

How adults can best use available Assistive technology to help them with their specific needs whether they be educational, job related or personal. Where to source the technology and how to use it.

Online Tutoring How It Works and Who can Benefit (Sandy Russo)

A look at the system SPELD uses for online tutoring. Who can uses the system and how much it costs. What are the advantages, limitations and what is needed to get the sytem working.

Texthelp Read and Write Demonstrations (Sandy Russo)

How can Texthelp Read and Write assist the students at your school. What are the differences between Texthelp Read and Write and Claroread? Are they the only options available? What does the school need to have in place to use this technology effectively?

Texthelp Read and Write Training (Sandy Russo)

Training modules can be developed to suit your school and its needs. For teachers, SSO's, students and anyone with access to the program. Learn how to use the toolbar effectively. A single workshop or a series of workshops; don't let the program gather dust on your computer's harddrive!

Making Independent Writers of Students with Working Memory Problems (Sandy Russo)

Many students that have learning difficulties experience difficulties remembering all their ideas when it comes to writing. Writing involves many processes and by the time pen touches paper and the challenge of working out how to spell the first word or even which word to use is reached by a struggling writer, the rest of their ideas have disappeared from their memory. Often these students are asked to work with a supporting adult, time restraints mean that ideas are often put into the hand of the writer. Often students who are receiving help quickly learn a form of learned helplessness, where if they wait long enough they know their helper will put some words into their writing for them. They receive help in how to spell those words without having to work out the sounds for themselves and when they have no help, they will refuse to write anything because they think they cannot.

This session will look at how from an early age SSO’s, parents and teachers working with such children can create independent writers using tools such as Audacity to plan and record ideas, simple mind mapping techniques, multisensory strategies to help them hear sounds in words and word prediction programs such as Word Q3 to expand their written vocabulary.

Getting students ready for high school, the uses of My Study Bar for older students Year 6 up (Sandy Russo)

MyStudyBar is a tool, which helps overcome problems that students commonly experience with studying, reading and writing. The tool consists of a set of portable open source and freeware applications and assistive technology in the same floating toolbar (similar to Texthelp R&W but free). The toolbar includes organisational tools such as mind mapping and a calendar, Text to speech, visual aids and markers to assist in reading and note taking, a talking dictionary, word prediction and more. The program can be loaded on to a USB stick and then used on any computer. Not just for students with specific learning difficulties, the applications on this toolbar should be taught with universal design in mind, to the entire class. In this session, we will explore the features of the toolbar and give tips on how to use them effectively within your classroom and in one to one sessions with students.

During this session there will be a demonstration showing the difference between Read and Write Gold 10 and MyStudyBar and participants can have a 30 day trial of Read and Write Gold 10.

Using Voice Technologies for learning (Sandy Russo)

Working from simple voice recording to high-end voice input applications like Dragon Naturally Speaking. How to prepare all students to use voice recording from reception and gradually develop skills to use voice input when needed. How, as teachers, to decide who needs high-end technology and when to introduce it. How to get it to work for students, which students to train, tips and tricks that will save you time. Please note voice recognition technology is often recommended but not necessarily the answer for all students.

Don’t make the mistake of giving a student in year 11 Dragon with no prior experience in using voice recording technologies, help them succeed by scaffolding them throughout their schooling.

E-books and Readers, which one suits my student? (Sandy Russo)

Although E-books have been around for many years the public is now embracing the technology at an increasing rate. An E-book may be a digital version of a book already in print, or a book specially produced for electronic distribution.

There are so many E-books in different formats and E-readers, text reader software and E-reader apps available to read them with, that there are some issues that need consideration before you decide whether;

  • to trial a free E-reader software version for your computer, phone or i-Pad;
  • purchase on a commercial version of the E-reader software; or
  • purchase a dedicated E-reader.

This presentation will allow you to see the difference between some of the most popular E-text readers available and which learning difficulties they suit. We will explore different e-reader formats and where you can purchase them. Some e-readers will be available for demonstration during the session.


Presentations by Frances Scobie

Teacher, software advisor and tutor

Textease CT at home and at school (Frances Scobie)

Textease CT is an inexpensive talking word processor. The program reads text aloud, has a talking spell checker, the ability to record sound(s), easily accessible word and picture banks and much more. When used effectively the program makes reading and writing much easier. Appropriate for students from pre-school to lower secondary. It is also a brilliant teaching tool for interactive whiteboards.

Come along and learn the basics and see how easy this program is to use.


Presentations by the Software Advisory Team

(Jan Polkinghorne, Sandy Russo and Frances Scobie)

Microsoft Word an Assistive Technology Tool-From research to response (Hands-on Training) (Sandy, Frances and Jan)

Follow a research project through from task to response through the eyes of a person with learning difficulties. See how the computer, used effectively can make the make the task much easier and allow the true potential of a student to be seen. You will use assistive technologies such as text to speech, hidden functions in Microsoft Word and a number of other free programs.

Use a scaffold to respond to the task using voice, graphics and text through a number of presentational options such as Microsoft Word, Movie Maker or PowerPoint.


SPELD SA can also create a presentation or workshop around your specific requirements (with notice).

Costs

Onsite—from $120/hr

Your venue—from $150/hr

Travel costs may apply outside the metropolitan area.

Contact us

SPELD SA is generously supported by

thyne reid foundation Department for education and child development australian executor trustees

SPELD SA would like to acknowledge the support of the Douglas Whiting Trust in the development of this website.

More benefactors and supporters

We are a proud member of AUSPELD

auspeld

AUSPELD is a member of the IDA Global Partners Program

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