Literacy Tools for Struggling Readers and Writers

Report
How Technology Can Help
Struggling Readers and
Writers
Children and Youth Institute, Michigan State University
Extension, 9/24/13
S
Cindy Okolo
Cindy Okolo, Counseling,
Educational Psychology, and
Special Education,
[email protected]
National Assessment of
Educational Progress (2009)
National Assessment of
Educational Progress (2009)
S
4th graders: 33% at or below the “Basic” level
S
8th graders: 22% at or below the “Basic”
S
4th graders: 53 % of African American, 52 % of Hispanic, and 48 % of American
Indian students below the “Basic” level
S
8th graders: 44 % of African American, 41 % of Hispanic, and 37 % of American
Indian students below the “Basic” level
S
Number of high school reading or above “Proficient” declining since 1992
(Sources:The Nation’s Report Card:
http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2010458Reading is Fundamental:
http://www.rif.org/us/about/literacy-facts-and-stats.htm)
National Assessment of
Educational Progress (2011)
Writing Tests
S 54% of 12th graders perform at “Basic” level
S 54% of 12th graders perform at “Basic” level
S Scores significantly lower for African American, Hispanic, and
American Indian students
S Cannot compare to other years: 2011 first computerized writing test
Nation’s Report Card, Executive Summary:
http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pubs/main2011/2012470.asp#section1
Importance of Literacy in Daily
Life
S
Literacy important to motivation
and self-esteem
S
Literacy important to
employment
S
Literacy important to leisure and
quality of life
S
“Rich get richer” and “poor get
poorer” (Matthew Effect,
Stanovich,
Literacy Problems for Students
with Disabilities
S literacy problems the major reasons students with disabilities are
referred for special education services.
S literacy problems are main obstacle students with disabilities
encounter in general education courses.
S students with mild disabilities must be educated in the general
education curriculum to the maximum extent possible
S students with mild disabilities are expected to meet the standards
of the general education curriculum
What’s the Solution?
What’s the Solution?
Not So Fast…
S
Can Text to Speech Tools Help
Students Read More and
Comprehend Better?
New Industrial Powers Emerge
Britain stood alone as the world’s giant during the early industrial
revolution. The country wanted to protect its lead in industry. Britain
tried to enforce strict rules against selling inventions to other countries.
For a while, the rules worked. In 1807, British mechanic William
Cockerill opened factories in Belgium. There he constructed spinning
and weaving machines. Belgium became the first European nation after
Britain to industrialize. By the mid-1800s, other nations joined the
race. Several countries began to challenge Britain’s industrial lead
….
S
Research shows that…Text to
Speech
S Helps some readers comprehend better
S Best for slower readers with good vocabulary and comprehension
S May limit comprehension for fluent readers
S If text doesn’t make sense to a student, hearing it read aloud
doesn’t improve comprehension
S Students may read more efficiently with text to speech tools
S Students may be more motivated to listen to text than to read it
S More motivated, read more, “rich get richer”
Can Speech to Text Tools Help
Students Write More and Better
Text?
Research shows that…Speech to
Text
S May be most beneficial to students who have difficulty using
the keyboard and/or are poor spellers
S Does not substantially improve quality of writing
S Unless combined with writing instruction
S May be more motivating to students who don’t like or
struggle to write
S More motivated, write more, learn to write better
Bottom Line…Technology is
Not A Panacea
However…..
Digital Literacy Tools Have
Amazing Potential and Power…
S When matched to student and task
S When combined with instruction
and support for use
S When used in mindful ways
What we DO know about
digital literacy tools…
S
They are underutilized
S
They are plentiful
S
Many very good tools are free
S
Many educators are not aware of
their availability or potential
S
Students don’t necessarily know
about them, or how to use them
either
FYI: Accessible Instructional
Materials
S Every child with print-based disabilities (as defined by Federal
Law) is eligible for “accessible instructional materials” (AIM)
S AIM has 4 components
S 1.
textbooks and related core instructional materials
S 2.
are provided to students with print disabilities
S 3.
in specialized formats ( Braille, large print, audio, or digital text )
S 4.
in a timely manner (same time as everyone else)
FYI: Accessible Instructional
Materials Student Eligibility Criteria
S they are served under Federal Special Education Law
(IDEA) and
S they are certified by a competent authority as having a print
disability as defined by copyright statue.
Blindness
S A visual impairment
S Physical limitations
S An organic dysfunction
S
AIM: Resources
S Bookshare: https://www.bookshare.org/
S Learning Ally: https://www.learningally.org
S American Printing House for the Blind:
http://www.aph.org/
S National Center on Accessible Instructional Materials:
http://aim.cast.org/about_aim_ctr
No Person with
Reading
Disabilities
Should Be
Limited by
Print
Digital Text
Affordances of Digital Text
S Text in a digital form
S Not just text on a screen
S Presentation can be separated from content
S Physical appearance of the text (color, size, font, contrast)
S Audio
S Images
S Video
S Support for word recognition, vocabulary, comprehension, and
memory
Sources of Digital Text
S
Books on physical media (e.g.,
CD-ROM)
S
Downloadable digital text
S
Text on the web
S
Audio books
S
E-readers
S
DIY
Text to Speech (TTS)
S In commonly-used software programs, apps, and operating
systems
S As tool in web browsers
S In specific software programs
S In many digital books
TTS: Adobe Reader
TTS: Operating Systems and
Software
S Operating Systems (e.g., VoiceOver):
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/osx/voiceover/
S Software, e.g. Microsoft Word:
https://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/using-thespeak-text-to-speech-feature-HA102066711.aspx
S Browser Toolbar:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speakit/pgeol
alilifpodheeocdmbhehgnkkbak?hl=en-US
TTS: SpeakIt!
Other Reading Support Tools
S
Dictionary
S
Thesaurus
S
Translation tools
S
Web masking
S
Bookmarks
S
Highlighting
S
Annotation
Liquid: Interactive Text
Readability: Screen Masking
(and More)
Diigo: Highlighting,
Annotating, Bookmarking…
Evernote: Highlighting,
Bookmarking, Annotating….
Writing Tools
S
Word processing
S
Spelling checkers
S
Grammar checkers
S
Word prediction
S
Alternatives to keyboarding
S
Speech recognition
S
Tools to organize writing
Writing Tools: Word Processing
S
Editing and revision more
feasible
S
Writing more legible
S
Writing more motivating
S Like it more, write more, get
better
S
Built-in tools to support writing
S
Shared audiences
Word Processing Options
S Change manner in which spelling checker operates.
S Change preferences to alter feedback provided by grammar checker
Auto Correct to automatically correct the spelling of words
commonly misspelled
S Auto Correct feature to expand a few letters into a string of text.
S For example, replace “LST” with “Literacy Software Tools”
S Auto Text function to enter phrases or strings of text that students
often type
Spelling Checkers:
The Good & Bad
S
Fewer errors when struggling
writers use them than when they
don’t use them
S
Difficulty suggesting spelling
replacements when words are
severely misspelled
S
Poor writers may have difficulty
rejecting suggested spelling
replacements
Grammar Checkers:
The good & bad
S
Suggestions assume correct
spelling
S
Students may not understand
suggestions
S
Students may select
inappropriate suggestions
Word Prediction
S
Predicts next word, offers
selections
S
Common in word processing
software
S
Specialized word prediction
programs
S More detailed options
S Audio feedback
S More context-sensitive
S Adapt to the writer
Speech Recognition
S
Dictate instead of type
S
Keeps improving
S
Different type of writing: need to
learn to dictate
S
Available in word processing
programs, operating systems,
mobile devices, and specialized
software
S
Available in web browsers
Concept Mapping and
Outlining
S
Visual representation of ideas
S
“I don’t know what to write”
S Activate prior knowledge
S Brainstorm
S See relationships
S Organize ideas
S
Switch automatically from concept
mapping to outlining
S
Help with text comprehension and
studying
Toolbar Support for Literacy:
My Study Bar
Toolbar Support for Literacy:
CAST Strategy Tutor
Comprehensive Literacy
Software Programs
S
Commercially-available
S
Often costly
S You get what you pay for
S
Multi-featured
S
Reading and writing features
S Digital text
S Reading and writing
S Studying
S Researching
Features in Comprehensive
Literacy Software Programs
S Scan and create high quality digital text
S Access to web
S Text-to-speech support for text-based and web-based
documents and pages.
S Dictionary, thesaurus, glossaries, and reference tools
S Outlining and concept-mapping features
Features in Comprehensive
Literacy Software Programs
S Annotating features, in which users can add notes (written or
voice) to text
S Prompts and templates for different genres of reading/writing
S Guide brainstorming and organizing ideas, expanding writing,
revising, and editing
S Study tools
S Teacher-created text supports and prompts
Features in Comprehensive
Literacy Software Programs
S Speech recognition features
S Planning tools
S Genre-specific writing templates
S Word lists to support vocabulary during writing
S Checklists to guide editing and revision
Some Thoughts…
S Students aren’t as good at using technology as we think they
are…
S Know a few programs well
S Often do not know what works well for them
S Often do not know how to personalize their own learning
S Need to be taught how to use tools
S Opportunities not taken
S Literacy tools + good instruction = better readers & writers
PAL in WYNN
S Promoting Academic Literacy (PAL)
S PAL tools embedded in comprehensive literacy software
program, WYNN 7.0 (Freedom Scientific)
S Designed to help students read and write in content areas
S Literacy tool + Strategy support
Literacy Strategy: PREPARE
S Preview
S Read
S Examine (in more detail)
S Pick (what’s important)
S Arrange (highlighted text)
S Rework (summarize, synthesize)
S Express (what you’ve learned)

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