Here at Texthelp we talk to educators around the world who are keen to bring differentiated instruction into their classrooms.
They’ve often got naturally gifted learners alongside struggling readers and writers, as well as English Language learners and students coping with dyslexia. That’s a pretty broad spectrum of needs to accommodate.
The good news is that our best-ever Read&Write literacy software includes plenty of tools to complement every learning style. We asked Education Consultant Richard Michael to guide us through the best bits:
Visual Learners perform best with content that’s rich in diagrams, graphs, charts and images.
Read&Write’s Picture Dictionary can help by offering a visual representation of unfamiliar terms. It’s great for students getting to grips with new words, especially if they’re learning English.
Our Fact Mapper can also help visual students organise their revision notes into a Mind Map.
The Vocabulary List lets students and teachers create a visual table of key terms at the beginning of a new subject area. And as an added bonus it offers an image and dictionary definition.
Dual Colour Highlighting helps students track and process on-screen text when they’re reading out loud. Highlight colours can be tweaked to suit anyone’s preferences.
Then we’ve got Auditory Learners who absorb information best by listening (and speaking).
Read&Write’s Text-to-Speech function reads web pages, Word Google Docs and PDF documents out loud at a pace that’s comfortable for the student to retain information.
There’s a choice of international voices – useful in foreign language departments, and for students with English as an additional language. And an additional bonus is the Screenshot Reader that speaks text within locked PDFs and images.
Our popular Audio Maker converts documents to MP3 files for listening any time on phones or tablets. Struggling readers appreciate using this feature to create their own ‘audio books’.
Newly-added Voice Notes let students add to assignments or provide additional information. While revising or researching students can add a voice note after hearing a really useful piece of information - and revisit later to expand on it.
Teachers can also save time with Read&Write, using voice notes to give feedback on students’ work instead of written comments.
Read&Write also includes valuable tools to promote inclusion in your classroom.
The Screen Mask adds a coloured virtual overlay to a laptop display or presentation screen, helping students who suffer from visual stress or Meares-Irlen syndrome.
Our Advanced Spell Checker helps students refine their own work by identifying alternative words and their definitions. Text-to-speech then lets students hear the word’s definition read aloud, to help them identify an alternative.
Prediction suggests word options, helping students craft longer, more complex sentences to enrich their written work. It’s also really helpful for EAL students and reluctant learners.
Students learning English as an additional language find our Translator handy to check their written text before it’s submitted to the teacher.
Have you and your students discovered any extra uses for Read&Write in the classroom? We’d love to hear about your own experiences: share them in the comments below.