It’s great to see that the excellent DocsPlus Chromebook app has been updated to incorporate the DocReader and customisable ‘Exam Mode’ settings introduced earlier in the Windows and Mac versions of the software. These exciting additions will facilitate the use of the app in exams for those students who qualify for additional access arrangements.
If you are already using the app, then it will automatically be updated. If you don’t yet have the app and would like a free copy, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
for Chromebook trial success
ASN team at Cathkin High School, a mainstream secondary school in South
Lanarkshire, supports students with a wide range of needs. including learners
with dyslexia, ADHD and autism. The team has been trialling the DocsPlus
Jensen, Principal Teacher of ASN, describes the difference that DocsPlus has
made to the students’ literacy output in a short space of time:
“There’s no doubt that DocsPlus had a massive impact on the pupils
during our trial. It improved their self-esteem, confidence and motivation with
writing tasks. Certainly in the English department we found that their level of
writing improved significantly. The letters the pupils wrote were comfortably
at level three – before this, these pupils would have been producing work at an
early level two, so there was definitely a tangible improvement in the quality
of their written work.”
were some lovely comments from the students too:
“The spellchecker really helped. It helped me believe in myself,
and gave me confidence with my writing.”
You can learn more about the trial here.
WordQ for Chrome from Quillsoft is a great tool for helping struggling writers. This app (deliberately not an extension) is robust, works offline, and integrates well with Google Drive. It’s the best low-cost solution we’ve come across during our extensive sweep of available tools.
We at ATSS have always loved Book Creator and have suggested its use and trained numerous folks to use it and embed it into all sorts of curricular areas over a number of years. Book Creator has continuously developed over time onto different platforms and to offer additional tools and features.
This most recent development opens up an new world of possibilities for teachers to create interactive resources for their students while providing pupils with a fantastic work space in which they can showcase their work no matter (almost) what format it exists in.
I like this video because it includes and talks about important elements of Clicker that are often overlooked. Issues such as the variety of access methods and snippets of tailored choosing activities that can be seen in the background. One boy is using it for writing (which is great) but it’s by exploiting the power and adaptability within Clicker that’s paying off for these youngsters and their teachers.
The Assistive Technology Support Service has been sifting through various tools that might meet the many and varied needs of teachers and pupils as Chromebooks roll out across Highland schools.
PDF annotation seems to be a significant need.
Many pieces of teachers’ work for pupils already exist as PDF worksheets. The ability to annotate such material opens up many opportunities for pupils to interact directly with these worksheets as we move towards 1:1 device availability.
Kami is a good example of such a well-functioned tool to allow pupils to:
Digitally answer questions directly into the workspace
Comment directly on PDF texts
Draw shapes and diagrams to express knowledge and understanding
Utilise text-to-speech to support those with reading difficulties
Kami integrates with Google Classroom and Drive so files can be shared easily in both directions.