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.
Get your Kami Chrome extension here.
Kami website here
This video about PMLD and literacy speaks for itself. Jonathan uses an etran frame supported by skilled communication partners to engage in learning and life.
Webpages can be very messy places to read from: broken or wandering text – often split at odd paces to accommodate a picture or advert, font sizes that are too small and shapes not really considerate to those with reading difficulties.
The Safari browser for Mac/iPad/iPhone has had Reader View built in for quite some time allowing users to strip the extraneous stuff out of the page leaving clean, plain text which can also be sized and have its font and background settings changed.
There’s an extension for Google Chrome that does, virtually, the same thing – it’s called Reader View and you can download it/install it to your Chrome browser here.
The extension looks like this when your browser is on most front/home pages that are links rather than text-based articles.
The extension icon changes when Reader View is available (text-based articles).
When the icon is clicked the page will change from a standard page to a clear, stripped down Reader View with font size, shape, and background colour/themes available down the right-hand side of the page.
This is the type of extension that should be made available for all pupils who have dyslexia, visual impairments, or any difficulty with reading that might be helped by seeing cleaner, clearer, more appropriately sized text. Using text-to-speech support software is also often easier to utilise with text that is spaced out in this way.
As more and more of our pupils are supplied with devices on a 1:1 footing it starts to make use of the tools in everyday learning more possible. I think it would be fair to say that most digital mathematical experiences for pupils in primary schools have tended towards games and content-filled puzzle websites rather than tools that help them visualise and manipulate numbers and objects during their problem solving activities.
With more resources at hand, pupils can now be given the chance to use digital numberlines, number frames, manipulatives to help with numbers, fractions, and patterns, and use geoboards – without elastic bands!
This set of tools (available for both Chrome & iPad) from Clarity Innovations would be a great place to start connecting maths teaching & learning with digital resources more directly.
Pieces – Basic
Number Rack (Abacus)
Maths Vocabulary Cards
Learn more and download your apps here.
They work brilliantly on your IWBs too for teaching and demonstration.
Watch this YouTube Playlist (8 short videos) to understand what Fluency Tutor offers.
Download the Fluency Tutor app here.