Because of modern developments, gone are the days when a disability hinders a person’s right to learn in proper settings like schools and universities. Today’s digital technology has paved the way to help struggling students — especially those suffering from Dyslexia — easily access educational materials and help them learn effectively.
What does “special needs” mean?
Special needs pertain to the students’ difficulties with learning in a standard-setting. Because of these special needs, the NSW Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation believes that inclusive education and inspired teaching give young people with disabilities the best educational outcome.
Disability, in this case, is defined but is not limited to, students with:
- Physical disability
- Vision impairment
- Hearing impairment
- Vision and Hearing impairment
- Mild to Severe Intellectual Disability (e.g., Dyslexia)
- Behavioural issues
- Mental health issues
Although the Australian government offers many programs and services that cater to students with special needs, the sheer number and assortment of disabilities mean that custom-made solutions are necessary.
With them, struggling students can have the freedom to learn on their own. Examples are Google Chrome extensions that aid learning.
Digital Literacy for Students with Special Needs
Google Chrome Extensions are programs that help extend the web browser’s functionality. Some of them are developed to help struggling students with homework in ways other than just “searching the web”.
Many of these small programs are available in the Chrome Web Store and the Chromebook. However, not many students know about them.
Well, here are some good Google Chrome extensions that you can use for free:
Grammarly is a tool mainly used to check various types of writing errors such as mistakes in punctuation, spelling, and grammar. It provides real-time suggestions on how to correct the mistakes.
The app is free, but it also offers a paid premium option. The premium version provides added services like plagiarism checker and style and vocabulary suggestions.
For students with Dyslexia and other special needs, Grammarly can do wonders in providing immediate feedback on their essays and homework.
Just like Grammarly, Ginger is also a writing tool that corrects grammar and spelling errors. Unlike Grammarly, however, Ginger can run seamlessly through different user interfaces and support MS programs like Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.
It is also more useful than Grammarly for students who write in languages other than English. The software is free; however, you can use it only to a certain extent as it sets a weekly usage limit.
If a student’s project is on a specific Microsoft software and is in a different language, Ginger can be a good tool to use.
3. Read&Write for Google Chrome
This extension boasts about “having it all.” It has a word and picture dictionary, word prediction, text-to-speech, speech maker, translator, screenshot reader, highlighters, voice note, and many more.
However, these features are available for a fee, although there are some that students can access for free. Educators can get the premium version for a year at no cost.
With its various features, dyslexic students can greatly benefit from it.
4. Rocket Readability
Rocket Readability is an easy-to-use extension that gets rid of the distractions from a web page. It allows the user to block things like ads, which can, in turn, boost productivity.
Students can even customize the texts they are working on and save them on their Kindle or other reading devices.
With this Chrome extension, it will be easier for students to focus on reading.
Scrible is the ideal app for notetaking. It can help students identify key information from a website. It even allows them to underline the text and take notes using its sticky notes and multicoloured highlights.
The annotated notes can be bookmarked and saved for later use. With these features, it will be easier for students to learn and comprehend their lessons.
ClassDojo involves the students, their families, and their educators. It connects everybody through its communication features.
The app allows teachers to send photos or videos of the students from the school and send feedback to parents about the student’s skills and behaviour.
With ClassDojo, parents can monitor their children’s status immediately, allowing them to decide on the appropriate actions for their children’s special needs.
Not sure if your kid has special needs?
Parents want what is best for their children’s development. However, determining what their children need can be overwhelming.
To get help, check out Dystech. We offer online Dyslexia screening for parents and a literacy measurement platform, Dyscover for literacy professionals to determine whether your child needs supportive learning services. With Dystech, you can ensure that your child gets an inclusive and quality education. Learn more about Dyscover features here.