Top 5 Edtech Resources

dybuster top five edtech resources

The roundup of our weekly edtech roundups! Below find our top picks for edtech online resources, listed across categories.

Blog

Tech Thursday, from Dyslexia Action. Edtech for dyslexics. This blog publishes how-to articles on using different technologies, all aimed at making life with dyslexia easier. You’ll find information on both assistive and mainstream technologies.

Reviews

Looking for the latest educational apps and digital tools? educatorstechnology.com has you covered, with reviews and lists of resources for teachers.

World View

How is technology employed in education around the world? Visit the World Bank Edutech blog for the global picture on educational technologies. The blog is written by Michael Trucano, the World Bank’s Senior Education & Technology Policy Specialist and Global Lead for Innovation in Education.

Magazine

For browsing through the latest topics and trends in edtech, check out Edtech Magazine. The website will send you to one of its two sections according your choice of focus on higher education or K-12.

Giving Back

Finally, learn how to contribute to increasing literacy and furthering children’s education around the globe by visiting allchildrenreading.org. The foundation launches competitions and awards grants for innovative use of technology in education. Foundations, companies, and individuals are all invited to partner in these endeavours.

Video Tutorial for Calcularis, Software for Dyscalculia

Calcularis includes seventeen different learning games, all them designed to help students with dyscalculia improve their math and number skills. The software selects which games will help a student learn best, based on that child’s strengths and problem areas.

The games work to develop a user’s number processing abilities and grasp of a mental number line, such as in the Landing Game where a falling cone must be landed as close as possible to the target number on a number line. Other games allow students to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The Shelves Game, for example, breaks multiplication down into repeated additions.

For a quick introduction to Calcularis, check out the video below. You can also try the software for free on our website.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

[bctt tweet=”ICTs and Girls’ Education” username=”@dybuster_EN”]

All Children Reading: Literacy and EdTech

All Children Reading is a project launched in 2011 by USAID, World Vision, and the Australian government. Its purpose? To promote literacy in developing countries through technological innovation. In a quote from the official website, the organization states:

…a 2013/2014 UNESCO report indicates that 250 million children across the globe are not learning basic literacy and numeracy skills.

In a first round of grant awards, All Children Reading chose 32 projects in over 22 countries to support. From interactive whiteboards in Haiti to a low-cost digital platform for mother-tongue educational material in Zambia, the projects all strove to bring the power of reading and writing to disadvantaged children. A full list of the grant-recipients along with project descriptions is available here.

blackboard

From 2014 through 2017, All Children Reading will again be funding projects and also supporting a number of competitions to further develop ICT solutions to illiteracy. One of the most exciting calls for submissions is EduApp4Syria, launched in partnership with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The project aims to develop a mobile app to aid Syrian refugee children in learning to read in a way that is fun, engaging, and improves their pyschosocial well-being. For more details click here.

You can find the latest updates on the All Children Reading website or blog.

[bctt tweet=”All Children Reading: Literacy and EdTech” username=”@dybuster_EN”]

EdTech in Developing Countries

There is no doubt that education is one of the most potent tools for combatting poverty (see this U.N. report on Education First for more information). Yet the need for teachers, school supplies, and other resources remains dire in many countries.

We are going to be doing a series of posts on educational technology in developing countries here at the Dybuster blog. We warmly welcome readers to share their thoughts and experiences as we begin to explore this topic. Leave your comments at the end of a post or get in touch via our contact form.

Our first research on edtech in developing countries led us to the EduTech blog on the World Bank website. Written by Michael Trucano, the blog is a must-read for anyone looking for insights into the use of ICTs (information and communication technologies) around the world.

The post that initially led us to the blog was this one from 2014: In search of the ideal educational technology device for developing countries.

Trucano lists what he considers to be top considerations for designers looking to create devices for populations in developing countries. His first five priorities:

  • affordability
  • accessibility
  • connectivity
  • electricity
  • usability

Read through the article to get the full picture on each of these attributes. However the author’s perhaps most salient point comes right at the end:

If you really want good answers to these sorts of questions, you should ask the people themselves to whom you hope to sell such devices. Better yet: Work with them (observe them, talk with them, hire them, fund them) as part of your design process. 

Michael Trucano – Read more.

What do you think? What considerations should edtech designers and producers keep foremost in their minds as they look to create devices for developing countries?

Dybuster Coach and Analytics

Dybuster software is designed to allow children to practice reading and math independently. Orthograph and Calcularis guide the user through a series of learning games that increase with difficulty according to a child’s progress and learning needs. The software has been shown to help children with dyslexia and dyscalculia improve their spelling and math skills.

However the software is not designed to replace teachers or therapists. Teachers and parents are the most important guides of a child’s learning path. To give those guides the best possible overview of a student’s progress, we include Dybuster Coach with every school and home license of our software.

Both Orthograph Coach and Calcularis Coach give parents access to in-depth feedback on how often their child has used the software and how long each session has lasted. Reports include which words or math problems have been practiced and which ones still pose difficulties. Statistics predict error probabilities. The Modules feature in Orthograph Coach allows parents to create lists of words tailored to their child’s practice needs.

Teachers and specialists can use the analytics in Dybuster Coach to track an entire classroom’s progress, compare how different students are doing, and create individual reports. They have an immediate overview as to which students are developing what skills, as well as information on length and frequency of the practice sessions. This detailed feedback can then be used to supplement a teacher’s other instruction or to aid in a dyslexia or dyscalculia intervention program.

To test out Dybuster software for yourself, please visit the Orthograph trial page (software for dyslexia) or the Calcularis trial page (software for dyscalculia).

Dybuster Coach: track and analyze a child’s progress as he or she develops letter and number skills.

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