Over time, a lot has changed in the education sector in the United States. Today, if you briskly walked into the classroom ready to remind yourself of the good old school days of your youth, you would be in for a rude shock. You would completely not relate to the current classroom environment. Books and pens have been replaced as note-taking tools by computers, tablets, and iPads. Even more shocking, the classroom might not even be a physical place where like minds converge for learning purposes. It is simply a virtual space where learners access learning materials, hold class discussions, and take their examinations after studies. The education revolution is real, and it is spearheaded by the introduction of online learning.
In terms of learning foreign languages, students with dyslexia are often disregarded as those that lack proper abilities to study another language besides their own. Yet, this assumption is rather far-fetched.
According to the Society for Neuroscience, almost 44 million American children and adults have dyslexia, and about 3.5% of American students already receive special education services for their special learning needs. So many U.S. citizens should not be deprived of the opportunity to learn a foreign language because of dyslexia, but many people simply don’t understand the specificity of this learning difficulty.
In general, dyslexia is defined as a specific learning difficulty that influences the way information is perceived. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a child or an adult with dyslexia cannot learn a foreign language. Dyslexia can have a significant impact on writing and reading skills, as it affects the way how information is perceived, organised, sequenced and stored, which can be difficult, taking into account that a good memory is a prerequisite of learning a foreign language successfully.
There’s no denying that the landscape of education is changing. With the advent of computers, the internet and mobile phones, there are so many technologies available today that were not present in the 1950s, or even five or ten years ago. A decade ago, the iPad didn’t exist. Now you’ll find them in millions of classrooms around the country.
These new technologies are completely altering the education landscape, from the way students learn to where they are physically located when they consume educational material.
In this article, we’re going to give you the what, why, and how regarding the ways education technology is reshaping the education world, including both the pros and cons.
What is Education Technology?
At a high level, education technology is any kind of technology that is specifically used to promote or enhance education. This could be software, hardware, devices, online programs, servers, cloud storage and so on.
Education technology, often referred to as “EdTech” for short, can be used in many different schools and locations and has been a growing force in education for years.
Now I’m sure every parent goes through the stressful shift from primary school to high school and the fears of this change being too much for their child, but there is extra pressure for those with children that have learning difficulties. This is because there will always be a difference between the support your child received at primary school and what’s available at the high school. So we have prepared a list of recommended resources that are suitable for this transition period and for supporting your child throughout their time in high school.
This week we have a guest post from the Ruskin Mill Trust a brilliant organisation who provide specialised bespoke teaching with a focus on practical skills as a form of therapeutic education. This form of education can be beneficial for those with a learning difficulty and certainly will help any student gain the self-confidence to find their place in the world.
‘The measure of success for a student at one of our Ruskin Mill Trust colleges is as wide and diverse as the range of issues and conditions experienced by the young people themselves.’
This is how Aonghus Gordon, the Founder and Executive Chair of Ruskin Mill Trust (RMT), introduced a recent talk about the Vision and Method of RMT, Practical Skills Therapeutic Education.
Mr. Gordon described three short case studies to show something of the diverse range of outcomes achieved by students at RMT colleges. The first, a student who experiences elective mutism and who continues not to talk who has now learned to express herself confidently through various alternative means of communication. The second, related to a story of a young man who, before attending a RMT college, had been through a series of placement breakdowns and had been a serial non-attender. The student progressed to attending college daily and engaging well with his Study Programme despite always struggling to start the day on time. For the final case study, Mr. Gordon spoke about a student who began his course at a RMT college with no qualifications who has recently graduated from university.
Millions of children are heading back to school, but what are they doing to prepare themselves for those first weeks back? We at Dybuster are here to help with a few hints and tips to get your child over the anxiety and back into the full swing of things.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics you can’t start early enough! Reading with a child in early infancy can boost vocabulary and reading skills four years later, before the start of school.
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.
Since its founding in 2007, Dybuster has had the privilege of working with over 1000 schools and more than 35,000 children (discuss: dyslexia and dyscalculia is produced by Dybuster International). In May 2015 we went to visit a couple of the schools that use our software made to help children with dyslexia and dyscalculia. Getting to meet some of these children was the best part of our school visits!
Though Dybuster software is used around the world, the programs were initially developed in Switzerland at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. So our learning games for both dyslexia and dyscalculia really took off first in Switzerland before spreading to other countries like the U.S. and Canada.
The first stop on our road trip was Uttwil, a tiny town in the canton of Thurgau. The school is also small: only 160 students in the first six grades. Our software has been part of their curriculum since 2011. The village is right on the shores of Lake Bodensee and a lovely place to visit. After first consulting with the school´s special education teacher, our CEO Christian Voegeli spent some time in the classroom.
Speaking with teachers is an important part of our school visits. Learning software does not replace traditional learning but is meant to enhance and support instruction from a teacher. By meeting with teachers in their classrooms we can find out what they need and how better to suit their requirements.
Next stop on the trip was Nidererurnen, another small town, this one nestled in the beautiful mountains of canton Glarus. Here we visited another elementary school and talked to the kids about the programs.
These visits were a highlight of the end of the school year for us. In the midst of rolling out new features such as the Orthograph Module Editor and the Dybuster Cockpit, it was great to take some time and meet with the people the software is actually for children and their teachers. Many thanks to the students and teachers who shared their school day with us!