Freedom Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
The WYNNing Word
Acadia University WYNNs with Literacy Software and Universal Design for Learning
Acadia University continues to take the lead in promoting the use of educational technology in a post-secondary setting. Lynn Aylward,
Ph. D., Associate Professor, Ph.D. Coordinator, School of Education Acadia University
, is a key faculty member for the University’s Inclusive Education Program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
“We were the first laptop university in Canada in 1995. It seemed fitting that pre-service teachers in our B.Ed. Program would learn about how technology can help them meet the diverse learning needs of their students,” proudly stated Dr. Aylward.
In Nova Scotia Canada, public schools follow a provincial policy of Inclusive Schooling. This means that assistance for any students who may require special education is provided at the local school and most often in the regular classroom. Dr. Aylward feels, “Therefore, every classroom teacher needs to have a plethora of teaching approaches and strategies to draw upon.”
This is where Acadia excels. The School of Education recognizes that in order for their graduates to become inclusive teachers, they need to be equipped with the skills and attitudes necessary for recognizing that students learn in different ways and may require different tools to complete the same task. Therefore B.Ed. program students and graduate students are required to take coursework that involves a technology component. The University will continue to support this philosophy when they launch a new elective, Assistive Technology into their B.Ed. program next year. The course will highlight how programs such as WYNN™ will provide the tools necessary for students to reach their full learning potential.
At the heart of Acadia’s Inclusive Education programs is Universal Design for Learning, UDL, which is a practical framework for using technology to maximize learning opportunities for every student. Acadia’s staff believes it is their job to help future educators learn to reach all students by setting appropriate learning goals as well as to choose and develop effective methods and materials that will aid the students to be successful.
In order to meet these goals, Dr. Aylward has developed the Universal Design for Learning Toolkit. “It is important to help future teachers to create inclusive classroom environments.”
To this end, she is always searching for appropriate tools to enhance this objective. Dr. Gregory MacKinnon, a colleague who teaches Science and Technology education, was introduced to WYNN by Bill Baker, Canadian dealer for Freedom Scientific, LSG. Dr. MacKinnon immediately took the demo CD to Dr. Aylward as he recognized WYNN’s literacy tools would be of interest to her.
After having a chance to review WYNN, Dr. Aylward felt this software would fit into the Universal Design for Learning framework. “I know some people would say that WYNN is a terrific program for special needs students, which is absolutely true, but I think WYNN is a rich literacy support program that works for all students. It should not be thought of only for Learning Disabled students. It is a perfect addition to the Hi Tech Toolkit for my School of Education students that fits into every student’s learning plan.”
In today’s economy the cost of a program is extremely important. We all want the biggest bang for our buck. We want our money to be well spent. Dr. Aylward reacts to this consideration as it applies to WYNN:
- Affordable option for schools, students, and families
- Intuitive interface allows a quick learning curve
- Not a complicated learning curve to master
- Interactive reading text with text notes and/or voice notes
- Audio MP3 presentations
- Interface aligns well with preferred literacy practices:
- Reading masks
- Writing outlines
- Matching menu bars to literacy processes
“These are significant factors to be considered when deciding which software program should be included in your toolkit. But, as research shows, in order to ensure a successful adoption of a particular software program by teachers as well as students, it must be user-friendly. WYNN meets this extremely important criterion. It has an easy learning curve right out of the box.”
Incorporating WYNN into Acadia’s Curriculum
“We aim to have our students use WYNN to create accessible learning materials such as talking books, annotated readings, and individualized vocabulary/word study programs - resources for all students. Plus our students are developing strategies for WYNN to support individual students in a classroom.”
Acadia also plans to include WYNN in its off-campus outreach children’s literacy program, LINKS, Linking Language to Learning. This is a tutoring program offered in conjunction with The Learning Disabilities Association of Nova Scotia. This project provides one-to-one literacy instruction to elementary students as part of a service learning component for the B.Ed. course, Learning Disabilities Research and Practice. Freedom Scientific, LSG is supporting this project by providing the instructors WYNN training. Some of the literacy instructors are already exploring the use of WYNN with their students in this setting. Dr. Aylward reports that WYNN is being met with great reviews.
The staff at the School of Education is finding the introduction of WYNN to mainstream literacy classroom practice is encouraging students to experiment with various literacy support features. This is helping students begin to understand both the challenges and benefits of such tools when used within a public school classroom setting. Dr. Aylward went on to tell us that the staff feels access to WYNN for all students develops effective pathways for teachers to adapt course material for specific learning purposes and to meet the needs of an individual student. This is valuable information for new teachers to understand before they enter the classroom. Acadia’s School of Education is teaching their students to be well-prepared with options to meet the needs of all learners.
We are all eager to hear about the lesson plans and activities these college students have developed to help insure the successful learning of all students! Good job Acadia preparing students for real world teaching!
If you would like to hear more about how WYNN and UDL are working together to provide useful tools for Acadia’s School of Education students, Professor Aylward and Professor Lynne Healey will be presenting at ATIA 2012 Orlando in January. Their session, Literacy Support Software/Apps, Universal Instructional Design and Differentiated Instruction, will address how the use of WYNN and related mobile literacy support apps in relationship with UDL can exponentially increase the access to curriculum for diverse learners.
If you are going to ATIA 2012 Orlando, don’t miss their session on
Saturday, January 28th,
8 AM – 9 AM in the Bonaire 8 room!
See WYNN in Action
Maybe you are not able to travel to ATIA 2012 Orlando, but perhaps you may want to attend one of these venues to learn more about WYNN 6.0.
MAINEducation 2011 - 24th Annual Conference – October 13 & 14, 2011 - Augusta Civic Center - Augusta, Maine
Tools for Life 2011 Conference – October 28, 2011 - Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Ohio Rehabilitation Association – November 1-4, 2011 - Columbus, Ohio
PaTTAN Assistive Technology Expo 2011;
- November 8th - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- November 9th - State College, Pennsylvania
- November 10th - King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Keep an Eye on the News
2012 Ed-Tech Readers’ Choice Awards
Think WYNN is a terrific literacy software program? Think others should know about it? Start spreading the news…..
Take a minute and go to eSchool News and nominate WYNN for a Readers’ Choice Award. Nominations should be completed by October 28th. The winners will be announced in January 2012.
Tip of the Month
Since WYNN 6.0 and the PEARL® camera have been recently introduced, we thought it might be a good idea to bring back Tip of the Month. There are so many new features in our latest version that we would not want you to miss any one of them! Check this one out.
Did you know you can now download books from Bookshare.org, Baen, and Gutenberg from within WYNN 6.0?
Perhaps your students will be reading The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane. Now it can be downloaded and read right from within WYNN! Just follow these easy steps:
- Click Launch on the WYNN toolbar.
Click Book Search and then Quick Search.
- Type the name of book and author, and then click Begin Search.
- Click your choice and then click Download.
- Click Open Files Now or Done (auto save).
And now you are ready to read…. ENJOY!
If you would like to download the WYNN 40-minute demo or order a WYNN demo DVD, please visit
Freedom Scientific, LSG.
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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.
PEARL® and TestTalker® are registered trademarks of Freedom Scientific, Inc.