This post was created by PGCert participants as part of their assessment for Unit 1 of the course. The brief was to choose two specific learning needs and evaluate technologies that could help students with these needs to learn more effectively.
Evernote is a note-taking, task management and organisational app which can be accessed via a mobile device and/or desktop computer. It can be used to create, store and organise text, photos, videos, audio files including dictation and links to websites. The cloud-based software enables the user to store and sync uploaded information across devices ensuring a certain degree of flexibility in its use. But why is that useful for those with Dyslexia?
According to the British Dyslexia Association, Dyslexia is actually related to the processing of information. ‘Dyslexic people may have difficulty processing and remembering information they see and hear, which can affect learning and the acquisition of literacy skills’, furthermore, ‘Dyslexia can also impact on other areas such as organisational skills’.
In an article titled ‘Creative solutions to making technology work’, Price (2006) considers the data derived from several case studies which focus on the methodology employed by students with Dyslexia when using assisted technologies. The research study is foregrounded within a conceptual framework of Vygotskian scaffolding. Price contends that, within a constructivist paradigm, assisted technology as a means of assisting could be considered a ‘technological scaffold’. However, the author also acknowledges that, as with all scaffolding techniques, the same evaluative measures need to be considered to enable its implementation to be both appropriate and effective.
As Alsobhi, Aisha, Khan, Nawaz and Rahanu, Harjinder have noted, the failings that many E-learning resources fall prey to are in addressing the individualisation of those with Dyslexia – the neurological difference is unique to everyone with experience of this specific learning difference, (2014). Software technologies need to be large enough in their scope to allow for the personalisation of how their application is used.
Evernote allows users to capture, collate, structure and therefore synthesise the information in a way that is most appropriate for them. People with Dyslexia can therefore use applications like Evernote to work and learn effectively in a manner that is conducive to their specific cognitive profile.
Aisha, A., Khan, N., and Harjinder, R. (2014) Toward linking dyslexia types and symptoms to the available assistive technologies. In: The 14th IEEE International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies – ICALT2014, 07-10 Jul 2014
British Dyslexia Association, https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/, Accessed 01/12/2019
Price, G. (2006) Creative solutions to making the technology work: three case studies of dyslexic writers in higher education, ALT-J, 14:1, 21-38