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Technology supporting secondary and tertiary students with literacy difficulties

A workshop presentation by

Barbara Landsberg

This workshop will guide participants through the features of the key software programs currently available in Australia to support students who experience difficulty with literacy. Teachers will relate to the many students who struggle to derive meaning from the texts they are reading in print and online. They will also relate to the difficulties experienced by students who struggle to compose written work.

Simply "using a computer" is no solution for these students. They need the added support offered by specialised software programs to allow them to work independently on reading tasks and on generation of written work. For students to benefit maximally from the clever supports built into these programs, teachers and learning support staff must be aware of the availability and of the features and applications of these software packages. This workshop will demonstrate the key features of the following literacy support programs - and discuss their application in secondary and tertiary level education settings.

WordSmith - A fully integrated tool using an extra toolbar in Microsoft Word to offer voiced spelling, thesaurus and homonym support. The WordSmith toolbar also offers support for scanning print documents directly into Microsoft Word which can then be spoken aloud and edited as a live Word document ready to share with other students. Students using this program can keep up with the research and comprehension of printed documents required of them in secondary education and beyond.

Please cite as: Landsberg, B. (2002). Technology supporting secondary and tertiary students with literacy difficulties. In S. McNamara and E. Stacey (Eds), Untangling the Web: Establishing Learning Links. Proceedings ASET Conference 2002. Melbourne, 7-10 July.

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Created 8 Aug 2002. Last revision: 8 Aug 2002.
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