Low technology could go all the way back to the caveman chipping pictures into stone, but more than likely it’s pencil and paper. Simple, no power needs and available almost anywhere. Sometimes the simple solution might be the best. Higher tech from this would be substituting a pen for the pencil. We’ve been trained to use this type of technology for most of our lives. Downsides would be the inability to easily share, legibility and durability.
High technology solutions would include laptops, netbooks and tablets. Dependent upon the type of software, note-taking could be done in outline format, visual mapping or some combination. Pro’s would be easily shared, legible and easily backed up. Downside would be ease of use, loss of power and unfamiliarity with the technology.
Actually recording a lecture can help with the review and learning. Knowing that there is an audio backup available, can allow the student to concentrate on the lecture and the concepts and fnoormulas being presented. By focusing on making sure the formulas are recorded on the note-taking device, the recording can be used to further review the material.
There are several different types of recording devices, a straight forward portable digital voice recorder and a device keyed to the notes (LiveScribe).
Portable Digital Voice Recorder
Look for the following features: ease of operation, ability to transfer to a computer, an index or bookmark feature, folders, fairly long battery life and memory enough to hold at least eight hours of recording.
In the past, I’ve use the Olympus WS-310 recorder (built-in USB connection, one AAA battery, able to operate single handed…). That model may not be still available, but look for similar features in whatever device you look for.
The LiveScribe is a digital recorder but also allows you to key the recording to your written notes. It does require special paper (which can be printed on your own printer), but has the flexibility of indexing and rechargeable.
Rather than having to scan through the recording to locate the instructor talking about the specific problem, you can tap the LiveScribe on the note and it will automatically begin playback at that point.
Using the recorder(s) does mean that the student needs one additional skill – we’ll save that for Part 3a
Flowcharts for math problems are one way to define a solution to a generic problem. In “traditional” use a flowchart is used to program a computer. But in general terms, if a machine can be taught to solve a problem over and over again, there is no reason a student cannot use the same steps to solve the problem. One added benefit for the “human” student is that the teacher can help them apply the steps to a series of increasingly complex problems that are similar but follow the same algorithm.
Students with slower processing speeds or executive-function problems are often no different from their peers in math proficiency in first and second grade; but as they confront multistep computations in upper elementary school tests, their scores tumble because they lack the skills necessary to produce organized, efficient output. These students aren’t losing their earlier skill base. New tasks demand efficient processing in different domains. The mathematics problems they now encounter need organizational skills involving planning and sequencing, as well as skills like handwriting, copying text, note taking, and other outputs requiring accuracy and efficiency [Emphasis mine]. These skills are often difficult for dyslexic students. Students who struggle with processing multistep problems can improve their accuracy by employing several strategies that involve “walking” and “talking” problems through.(Woodin)
Math writing software
Woodin, Chris. “Math Processing Breakdowns * The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity.” N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2015.
In mid-August, Nuance (developers of Dragon Naturally Speaking) announced through a video demo, several new products. One was Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional for Individuals (down not have group management) for $300 USD with an upgrade price available for previous users. A second was Dragon Anywhere which allows users access to DNS on Android, i)S, Windows and Mac. Dragon Anywhere is a subscription model and will be available later this fall.
More features for the products can be found in the DNS FAQ PDF
NP Training will review and provide training for software and hardware with a bias towards disability uses (Assistive Technology). However most of the software and products can also be used by everyone and will help them in their everyday lives.
Come back frequently to catch up on the latest developments in AT and the software world.