Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
WYNN is Centerpiece to Australia’s Write to Read Project
The Westport Club, a local community club of the Port Macquarie–Hastings region
of New South Wales area of Australia, recently partnered with Quantum Technology to provide assistive technology that supports students with significant learning difficulties such as dyslexia.
The Westport Club’s vision is to "make a significant contribution to the quality of community life." They see their commitment as one that responds to the community’s specific needs by identifying and building relationships. So when Jim Bond, a dyslexia campaigner,
and Quantum Technology came to discuss the growing problem of learning disabilities
among Australian school children, the club was “all ears.”
Attention to this situation was brought to the forefront when a 2009 report from the Council of Australia Governments (COAG) revealed that working age Australians were below required literacy and numeric skills needed to meet the demands
of everyday life. This report led the New South Wales Department of Education to create new guidelines for the teaching
of literacy based on the recommendations of the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).
Some of their recommendations were:
- Improve curricula delivered in a structured, sequential, and explicit way for all students
- Intensive intervention for those children struggling to keep up with their peers
- Identify children who do not respond to well-supported teaching methods and work very hard with minimum progress as “children with dyslexia”
- Develop strategies and identify appropriate technology to compensate for learning problems
Since failure to learn to read can lead children to have a variety of life-long struggles, socially and behaviorally as well as educationally,
the Westport Club recognized that they wanted to make a difference in the lives of these children. In doing so, they would be improving
the quality of life for the children and for the community in general. They recognized that without intervention, dyslexia could have social and economic costs for the community in the future.
The Write to Read Project is Born
Working together, The Westport Club and Quantum Technology created The Write to Read project. The project will address the needs of the 5 to 10 percent
of the school population who are experiencing low self-esteem, severe frustration,
and perhaps some social and behavioral problems at school and at home.
They want the appropriate technology and training to be given to the children who
need assistance in the learning process and believe WYNN is the best technology to assist with this goal.
As acknowledged by the ACARA, reasons for struggling to read or write vary with the individual. Therefore, presentation of materials should also vary to meet individual needs. Quantum Technology suggested to The Westport Club that WYNN software be the centerpiece to The Write to Read project. WYNN provides an individual learning environment
tailored to each child’s needs and, therefore, could bring flexibility and modern technology into the classroom.
This conclusion was based on the following WYNN precepts:
- Contains a range of tools to help struggling readers to change the way information is presented
- Converts any text into speech – children may listen to their books, assignments, or tests
- Reads Web pages aloud, providing valuable information while children are studying
- Words are brightly highlighted as read, so students may easily follow along
- Provides writing assistance through Word Prediction
- Provides an array of study tools including the ability for children to record their thoughts
After reviewing WYNN, The Westport Club agreed with Quantum Technology that WYNN would be a valuable tool in the plan for improving literacy among the students of the area. The Club provided
monies to purchase WYNN for implementation into 11 schools in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region. These funds will also provide training of teachers and students by Quantum Technology.
Project Takes Off in June
The Write to Read project will be implemented in these schools starting on June 7, 2010. As part of this project, WYNN will help to provide greater independence to struggling students by enabling them to perform tasks they formerly had difficulty accomplishing. This, in turn,
is expected to lead to greater self-confidence, improved grades, a sense of achievement, and a new lease on learning through the use of assistive technology. The Westport Club’s vision of making a difference through The Write to Read project continues the Club’s strong tradition of support to the community.
Kudos to those who care and share!
Keep an Eye on the News
The Learning Systems Group will showcase WYNN™ and TestTalker™ at the upcoming events listed below. We invite you to join us to learn about our products. These events will provide information for:
- Incorporating UDL and RTI principles with struggling students
- Addressing learning differences
- Utilizing effective study strategies
- Incorporating our products in your classroom or work environment
- Implementing our easy-to-use interface to aid with success
For additional venues where we will be presenting our break-through products, call us at 800-444-4443 extension 1064.
Remember, when you attend a conference where WYNN is being presented, you have an opportunity to be a WYNN-Winner. Just stop by our booth and sign up for our drawing for a free WYNN Reader. You just may win!
June 15 – 18, 2010
Texas Assistive Technology State Wide Conference
San Antonio, Texas
Visit www.theansweris4.net for more information.
June 29 – July 2, 2010
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Visit www.aace.org/conf/edmedia for more information.
July 22, 2010
AzTAP Assistive Technology Summer Institute
Glendale (Phoenix), Arizona
Visit www4.nau.edu/ihd/AzTAP for more information.
August 5, 2010
Texas Region 5 Technology Integration Conference
Visit https://www.esc5.net/favicon.ico for more information.
Lesson of the Month
Many of you downloaded lessons from our new Lesson Plan Portfolio. As we see in this month’s WYNNing Word story, the sharing of ideas can be extremely powerful. So please take a little time to share your favorite WYNN lesson plan with our readers. You will be helping other teachers and their students to expand their knowledge of how WYNN benefits the learning process. Remember, if your lesson plan is approved and posted online, you will receive a $25 Target gift card. E-mail your plan to wynningword at freedomscientific.com or fax to 772-461-2812.
WYNNing Word Archives
Want to view past issues of WYNNing Word? Please go to Archives of WYNNing Word Articles.
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About Freedom Scientific LSG
Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group provides products that are acclaimed for their easy-to-use interface, innovative technology, and flexible but powerful features. Designed by educational experts to enhance the learning process for struggling students, WYNN provides reading and writing solutions. Freedom Scientific LSG also created TestTalker, which provides test-taking preparations and worksheet completion. To find out more about our products, please visit us at www.freedomscientific.com/lsg.
WYNN is a trademark of Freedom Scientific, Inc.
TestTalker is a registered trademark of Freedom Scientific, Inc.