Dybuster Colour Game – Using Colours to Map Letters to Sounds

Multi-sensory learning helps students approach a subject like spelling or maths through the use of different senses. When playing the Colour Game in Orthograph, Dybuster’s software for children with dyslexia, students associate letters with colours and also with sound. This activates new learning channels in the brain and helps children to map spoken sound to written letters, something that is difficult for dyslexics.

The video below shows the game in action and provides a voice-over guide. You can test the game yourself for free by visiting the Orthograph Trial page. No download is necessary; you can access the program in your browser.

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Weekly Roundup: Dyscalculia

Headlines

Education World reported last week that a new tool has been developed to help educators, parents, and therapists determine if a child is at risk for math learning disabilities such as dyscalculia. The Feifer Assessment of Mathematics (FAM) is designed to “examine the underlying neurodevelopmental processes that support the acquisition of proficient math skills”, according to the product distribution website. The tool includes subtests that aim to provide guidance as to which type of dyscalculia a child may be at risk for. Read more.

Resources

Web developer Richard Hemmings has put together an online collection of videos dealing with dyscalculia. We haven’t vetted all the videos personally; feel free to have a look and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Meet the Dybuster Team

It’s a bright sunny day in Zurich, the city where our company Dybuster is based (Orthograph and Calcularis were developed in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich). Also bright and kind of sunny, or at least orange, is the new hair color of one of our software developers, Michael. We decided to share the sunshine on our blog by making a quick introduction (with photos!) of the Dybuster team.

 

christianChristian Vögeli

Our company founder and CEO. Christian has a background in computer science and is now the head of Dybuster. The company is his baby; he lives in Lucerne with his wife Mirjam and three other babies.

 

 

carolCarol Hamer

Software developer and comic book author and artist. An American who has converted to French (wine and cheese are the main tenants of this faith).

 

 

justinJustin Henskens

Strategic marketing analyst, dyslexic, and huge Doctor Who fan. Fluent in five languages. Often the moving spirit behind lunch breaks.

 

 

felixFelix Fontein

Software developer and possessor of PHD in mathematics. Spends his free time reading books, taking photos, and writing programs.

 

 

michaelMichael Bürge

The one whose hair brought the sunshine today. Missing in this photo are the glowing red contact lenses. Michi works in software development at Dybuster.

 

 

James Wright

Social media manager, currently writing this post at this very minute. Artist and a dyslexic!

 

 

 

 

Not in the office today and so out of phone camera range were: Ueli Zberg, our point of contact for schools and a secondary school teacher himself; and Caroline Geissmann, our head of office administration who keeps Dybuster running smoothly. In the office but keeping out of phone camera range is the final member of our software development team, who asked to be described as an anonymous guy with a rainbow mohawk.

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Weekly Roundup: Dyslexia, Edtech

Headlines

Inspired by the news story about a dyslexic employee who won a disability discrimination case against Starbucks, Codpast founder Sean Douglas shared his thoughts on dyslexics in the workplace in this article. Full of practical tips for dyslexics on approaching employers about reasonable accommodations, the article is both sympathetic and empowering. Read more.

puppetResources

Edtech enthusiasts should check out educatorstechnology.com, a “resource of educational web tools and mobile apps”. Lsast week the site featured a list of storytelling apps for kids. All the apps allow children to put together their own animated stories and most feature tools for sharing the stories online with others.

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Guest Post: The Disability Co-operative Network

Our guest post this week is written by Becki Morris, who “works in and loves museums” and is passionate about “museum access for people with neurodiversity, including dyslexia and dyspraxia”. Discover the Disability Co-operative Network and their work in making museums more accessible to people with disabilities.

glass bridgeThe Disability Co-operative Network was launched on 15 September 2015 at the Royal College of Physicians for the heritage and cultural sector. The network’s aim is to share information, knowledge, and case studies, and to develop ideas.

The network also brings museums and the cultural sector into consultation with commercial and charity sectors and disabled people. Our over-arching goal: to develop change within the heritage and cultural sector for diversity in the workplace and access to museums for a wider audience.

This is achieved by a website for people to share their projects and experiences, creating a free digital resource to break down barriers. The DCN Twitter account keeps people up to date with the latest news, information, and website updates.  We are planning a blog as part of the site for disabled people to share their experiences of cultural venues.

We are currently collecting more case studies, links and further information including terminology to raise confidence, challenge preconceptions, and break down barriers. We are also developing working relationships with groups, charities and businesses in relation to how they develop networks and support for employers and employees within their businesses. This includes how they identify and challenge barriers to supporting talent in their workplace.

Our aim is to keep the network as accessible as possible without a membership fee so that finances do not become a barrier to participate.

For further information please contact the steering group at info@musedcn.org.uk or visit the Disability Co-operative Network website.

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Weekly Roundup: Dyslexia

Headlines

hands globeSpreading across the Internet this week was an interactive blog post created to try and replicate the experience of reading with dyslexia. Using JavaScript, a blogger caused the letters of a text to switch around and dance on the page. Comments from some dyslexics who discovered the post expressed appreciation that someone would try to understand their experience. The page was created after a friend of the author tried to describe to him what reading for her is like. Have a look and try to read the “jumping text” for yourself. Read more.

Resources

Digital education company TES hosts an online community of almost 8 million members and aims to provide resources to educators around the world. Teachers can sell and share original teaching materials on the site’s marketplace and use TES’s tool Blendspace to create lesson plans from those materials. A variety of categories and subjects are featured, including ones focused on learning differences. A search for dyslexia turns up plenty of materials aimed at teaching dyslexics. Members can rate and review the resources shared on the site.

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EdTech in Africa: Resource

infoDev is a program created by international development agencies, including the World Bank. It concentrates on the use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) in developing countries to address a variety of issues. Among these issues is that of education. The program has in the past supported pilot projects to promote the use of ICTs in developing countries and now focuses on research and training.

In 2007 infoDev put together a survey looking at ICTs and their use in education in Africa. The report was based on country surveys from 53 African countries.

Titled Survey of ICT and Education in Africa, the survey provides an overview of ICT/education policies in different countries and identifies challenges in implementing those policies. A highly interesting read for anyone interested in edtech in developing countries, the survey can be viewed in PDF format here. To read through the individual country reports, have a look at the relevant page on the infoDev website.

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Weekly Roundup: EdTech

Headlines

When it comes to edtech, the buzzword coding shows up in article after article. The idea that learning to code is an integral part of education is just about as popular as the idea that this could provide equal job opportunities in computer science to students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Coding ScreenshotIn an article in Atlantic Magazine, Melinda D. Anderson challenges this idea. Will the Push for Coding Lead to ‘Technical Ghettos’? posits that teaching minority students to code but not providing them with an extensive background in computational thinking will lead to those students occupying jobs on the bottom rungs of the tech ladder.

What do you think? Will coding alone allow for increased equal job opportunities across demographic sectors? Or could this backfire? Read more.

Resources

Looking for an overview of digital learning materials in developing countries? Many articles related to this topic have appeared on the World Bank Edutech blog. An extensive list of these articles is available here for quick browsing.

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ICTs and Girls’ Education

In the developing world 42% of girls are not enrolled in school. Over 50 million girls live in poverty.”

Global Education Fund

Continuing our series focused on edtech in developing countries, we are looking today at the potential in technology for furthering girls’ education. According to UNICEF’s entry on Girls’ education and gender equality, providing education to girls in developing countries comes with a host of positive impacts. Women who receive an education are more likely to delay childbirth, earn higher wages, and avoid HIV and AIDS than women who do not.

Keeping girls in school remains a challenge in many nations around the world, as does training female teachers and role models. What role could information and communications technologies (ICTs) play in furthering these goals?

Below is a video from UNICEF Activate Talk that took place in 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A panel of five speakers present their views on the power of bringing technology to bear on education and the possibilities this opens up for girls and women around the world.

Fuller details on the UNICEF website: Connecting Through ICT: Empowering Girls Through Education.

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