Weekly Roundup: Dybuster Calcularis & Dyscalculia

Have you tried Dybuster’s Calcularis?

Last week we shared on social media the introduction video to Dybuster’s Calcularis, it was so popular that it’s here again in the weekly roundup! Calcularis is Dybuster’s mathematics learning software developed in collaboration with neuroscientists and computer scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Promoting the development and coordination of areas of the brain responsible for processing numbers, amounts and mathematical tasks and can be used from the first year of school up to adulthood.

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Hands Up! Why We Should Promote Visual Arithmetic

Photo by bady qb on Unsplash

It is well known that schools tend to put mental arithmetic skills above the visual ones, as something like counting with your fingers is seen as a weakness in one’s calculation abilities. Educators and scientists have been tackling this obsolete cliché with research and scientific reports that seem to prove that visual aids are more than just helpful in the learning process.

Indeed, visual aids, such as the use of fingers, have a key role in children’s understanding of mathematics. This form of visualisation gives the abstract world of numbers a real side and establishes a connection to something tangible. This results in the creation connections from the prefrontal cortex (main memory / data centre) to the visual and motor cortex. Thus, when visual aid is used, thinking becomes outsourced to other brain areas generating a more efficient use the brain’s capacity.

However, these findings do not mean that you child will forever use their fingers to count. Over time a mental image of the fingers will become connected to the mental processes of counting, making the physical counting unnecessary. This is proven by numerous studies with primary school children that measured increased activity in the visual cortex while children were solving complex math tasks, even when they did not use their hands.

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National School Choice Week – SEA Homeschoolers Online Conference

Tomorrow at 4pm (PST) our very own Christian Vögeli will be presenting Dybuster Calcularis learning software for mathematical anxiety and dyscalculia at the SEA Homeschoolers online conference.

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What is Dyslexia and how can Technology Help with its Symptoms?

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a learning disorder that results in reading and writing difficulties. Dyslexia is found in populations around the world, however rates can be particularly high in countries where the written language uses irregular spelling or features combinations of letters with different sound possibilities. English is full of these combinations (such as the ‘ou’ in cough and through) as well as different spellings that all make the same sound (such as the ‘o’ sound in stole, coal, and bowl). It is estimated that 15% of the U.S. population suffers from dyslexia.

Dyslexic people have chronic difficulty with reading, writing, and spelling. Despite being bright and motivated, a child with dyslexia will have great difficulty making connections between spoken and written language. Dyslexics may be intelligent and creative people but suffer from low self-esteem or anxiety brought on by their learning disability.

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Dybuster Celebrates its 10th Birthday!

lachende schulkinder vor der tafel

10 Successful Years of Helping Children With Learning Disabilities

On the 22nd May 2007 Dybuster, a spin-off from ETH Zurich, sent in the post its first 23 software packages. Since then the Dybuster programs have gained over 100,000 users, which is a monumental achievement from those first 23 packages! Dybuster is constantly researching and developing to offer better user experience for our costumers. With the update of our software on the cloud, you can be at the forefront of educational assistive technology. We are delighted to bring this technology to the needs of children, so they can overcome their learning difficulties with this little extra help.

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Emmen School Uses Dybuster Software With All Ages

A few posts back we introduced Fehraltdorf school and how the special education teachers there use Dybuster software to help students with dyslexia and dyscalculia. Continuing our school portrait series we would like to showcase the public school in Emmen, Switzerland, where teachers use the software with students across many age levels.

The public school of Emmen, a town in Lucerne canton in Switzerland.

The public school of Emmen, a town in Lucerne canton in Switzerland.

Emmen is a town in the canton of Lucerne, with a large foreign national population. Many in this population are originally immigrants from former Yugoslavia.

The public school is made up of a primary and secondary school. The secondary school has a computer room as well as four computers per classroom. There are also a number of laptops that are shared among classes. Students can use Dybuster software at school in the computer room or else practice on their own at home.

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New Large-Scale Study Confirms Effectiveness of Calcularis

Calcularis, our software for dyscalculia, has been evaluated in smaller studies which clearly showed that the software was beneficial for increasing children’s proficiency in math. A large-scale study has now been completed in Germany with over one hundred children participating. The study looked at the software’s effects on students in general, rather than focusing on children with learning differences such as dyscalculia.

Child working with Dybuster software. Dybuster developed Calcularis, software for training math skills and to aid dyscalculics.

Child working with Dybuster software. Dybuster developed Calcularis, software for training math skills and to aid dyscalculics.

The results of the study determined that the software increased children’s mathematical abilities and were published on 2 June in Frontiers in Psychology.

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The Schools that use Dybuster Software: Fehraltdorf

We would like to introduce a few of the schools where teachers and students use our software for dyslexia and dyscalculia. Our first portrait is of the public school in Fehraltorf, Switzerland.

Fehraltdorf, public school in Switzerland that uses Orthograph and Calcularis.

Fehraltorf, public school in Switzerland that uses Orthograph and Calcularis.

Fehraltorf is a small town in the canton of Zurich in Switzerland. The public school is made up of a primary and secondary school.

Most classes are taught by grade and age level, but a few classes mix age levels together. Special education instruction is integrated into regular classroom instruction.

Each classroom is equipped with four computers. The school also has a computer room and twenty laptops for general use.

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Educational Technology for Learning Disabilities: Dybuster LinkedIn Discussion Group

dybuster linkedin educational technology for learning disabilities

Looking for discussion and debate on educational topics? Like to keep up-to-date on educational technology? Or maybe you want to share your knowledge and experiences regarding learning differences?

We’ve launched a LinkedIn discussion group to addresses all of these needs and more. With new members added weekly, we hope the group will provide information and resources, professional networking, and food for thought.

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Dybuster User Studies: How Effective is Orthograph?

Dybuster‘s software Orthograph was developed in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The principles behind the software came from neuroscience and computer science. An important part of the development process was rigorous user testing: how well did the software actually work? Did Orthograph really help dyslexics improve their spelling and reading.

First case study

The first study on Dybuster software was published in 2007. Eighty children between the ages of nine and eleven took part in the study, which was led by neuropsychologists Prof. Dr. Lutz Jäncke and Prof. M. Meyer. The participants included both children with dyslexia and children without.

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