Scientific Learning Systems Group Presents
University Professor Finds Success with WYNN
"Knowledge is everything," says Dr. Janet Haynes.
Isn't this an opinion you would expect to hear from someone who has a Ph.D. in Education?
Of course it is, but Dr. Haynes has exceptional personal reasons for believing in this statement.
Despite her ‘A’ average throughout most of her educational years, Dr. Haynes felt inadequate as a student.
Discovering the tools that brought her success has not only proven beneficial to her, but it has helped both her family and students at the University of Minnesota as well.
Janet Haynes is an assistant in the Department of Social Work at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Haynes has
a learning disability, and she is the mother of four children who also have learning challenges. She has had good reason
to think about the concept of attaining knowledge.
Dr. Haynes did not discover her learning differences until she was in the final year of the Bachelor Program at Carleton University in Canada.
Throughout her program, she suspected something was wrong but did not know what it was. "As an adult learner, I just thought that I was not able to function in this type of learning environment and so I internalized my struggles.”
Although she could auditorily process information very rapidly, Dr. Haynes was having a difficult time taking notes in lecture classes.
She was not able to rapidly translate this information into the written word and quickly fell behind in class. Dr. Haynes felt inadequate as a student. She could not participate during lectures because she was too busy processing information.
She was particularly intimidated as she sat in her three-hour lectures watching her younger peers taking notes while she looked on.
When asked by her classmates how she was able to maintain her grade average without taking notes in class, Janet did not know
how to explain her challenges. “How could I tell them that I had to work through the night just to keep up and not appear less intelligent.”
Janet managed to survive the program until her final year when she marginally passed two courses. One of her professors, a practicing psychologist,
recognized that Janet was experiencing great difficulties and recommended that she be tested for learning differences immediately. A private learning
specialist contacted by the university recommended that an electronic notetaker be made available to aid Janet with recording information during lectures. It was
also recommended that due to her rapid processing speed and her rapid typing ability, a computer be used for the goal of translating auditory memory to visual output.
A Full Featured Tool Needed for Success
Dr. Haynes advanced to the Masters Program at McGill University. However, despite having a notetaker, as the reading load increased
during her research project, she soon found herself struggling to keep focused. Due to the volume of reading that was required, she knew a notetaker was no longer the answer to helping her reach her next goal, attaining her Ph.D. If she was to be successful in achieving her doctorate,
she would need to find a software program that would give her the right tools to facilitate academic success despite her learning exceptionality.
She went to The Center for Students with Disabilities where they introduced her to WYNN.
"I needed a tool that would enable me to transfer written material to the computer for the purpose of online reading both visually and/or audibly. Having this option would enable me to work for much longer periods without becoming overloaded and frustrated. WYNN was the tool needed!”
It was not only the tool she needed to help her graduate from McGill University, but also the tool needed to be more efficient in her new teaching position at the University of Minnesota.
As a graduate student and as an assistant professor at a university, there were, and are, many scholarly papers to be written and literature reviews
to be read. To that end, WYNN's scanning ability has been invaluable to Dr. Haynes's organization of materials. Once the reading has been scanned and
saved, she places the file in an appropriate category folder. Now she has access to information both visually and audibly at any time.
Using Strengths to Support Weaknesses
Using WYNN's Reading Styles Tools, Dr. Haynes takes advantage of her auditory strengths. She is able to listen to the readings at her own pace
and uses WYNN's Study Skills Tools to highlight important information. She is also able to capture and record her thoughts and
reflections directly into specific areas of the text for future reference. Highlighting in color allows her to easily go back and review
this pertinent information. WYNN gives her the capability to put that highlighted material into a list that can be saved for inclusion in future writings.
"It is not only the method you use to process information that is important, but the process itself must also enable you to retain the information
in order to build vocabulary and increase comprehension," states Dr. Haynes. "It is not a matter of intelligence, but rather, of finding
the educational tools that will facilitate learning and help to increase knowledge."
A Tool for Children and Adults
As a teacher and a mother of children with learning needs, Dr. Haynes wants to emphasize the importance of recognizing
when a learning a problem exists. "While we still struggle to avoid the labels associated with exceptionalities, parents should get their child identified at the first indication of a learning challenge. We, as individual learners,
no longer have to all fit in the same box – it is okay to be different. Learning difference does not equate to lower intelligence."
She goes on to say, "Finding the right tools to help overcome a learning challenge will increase the odds of becoming successful in the educational process. Isn't this the goal every parent has for their child?"
Since Dr. Haynes didn't realize she had a learning exceptionality until she was in college, she understands the importance
of identification at any stage of learning. She states, “Students with learning exceptionalities continue to be marginalized in schools. It is for this reason I constantly challenge teachers and administrators to provide special need students with alternative learning strategies that enable them to realize their full academic potential. Having experienced the impact of having a learning exceptionality, I know I must ensure that students with learning differences are provided with an environment that does not create barriers to learning and achievement.”
Dr. Haynes is always cognizant of students who might be struggling in silence with a learning exceptionality as she did. She encourages
these students to seek out the tools such as WYNN that will enable them to build and retain knowledge successfully. She wants these
students to be able to say, "It is OK that I learn differently. Given the opportunity and with the right educational tools, I can, and will,
achieve my full academic potential!”
Isn’t that a wonderful attitude to instill in any student!
Bravo Dr. Haynes!
For an in-depth look on the Canadian perspective on Learning Exceptionalities please read the article, Kids Living with Learning Exceptionalities.
Keep an Eye on the News
eSchool presents, Enriching Education Through Digital Sharing
Read how, thanks to new technologies, it is now easier than ever for schools and other organizations to create rich,
online repositories of learning “objects” that students, teachers, and other users can draw upon at their own convenience
to enrich their education. (See eSchoolNews.com for more information.)
Keep Up with Info About the Chafee Amendment
The 1996 Chafee Amendment to the US Copyright Law provides an exemption to the copyright rules for use by people with a verified print disability. Although originally written for blind people, the Chafee Amendment is now understood to apply to other print disabilities. Our customers have had many questions about their rights and obligations under copyright law and the Chafee Amendment. We provide the links below to help clarify this issue for our readers.
Tip of the Month
Converting Digital Books to WYNN Format
Use the Freedom Import Printer feature of WYNN Wizard to create a separate WYNN file for each chapter or unit:
- File - Print from the digital text's host application (for example, Adobe® Reader®)
- Choose Freedom Import Printer from the listed printers
- Set the page range in the Print dialog box to the number of chapter or unit pages
- Print - the document will open in WYNN
- Name and save chapter or unit in WYNN
- Repeat process until book is completed
- Recommend saving all the book files to CD
Use the Append to Current Document feature to place all chapters or units into one file:
- Open the first chapter or unit file that you have "printed" with the Freedom Import Printer
- Rename this first file the name of the book
- File - Append to Current Document
- Choose the name of the next chapter or unit
- Open - WYNN will add file to the book filename
- Continue the process until you have all the chapters or units included in the book filename
- Chapters or units will be added in the order you open them
It is possible to process the entire book at once, but it could take a long time, possibly 30 minutes or longer. Also, the Freedom Import Printer process needs memory for each page, and the large book size can exceed the computer's memory capacity. That is why it is recommended that you process a book in smaller increments of 25 pages or less. Also, please remember if you are using Adobe Reader and the document is locked for printing, the Freedom Import Printer will not work.
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About Freedom Scientific LSG:
Freedom Scientific, Learning Systems Group, headquartered
in Palo Alto, California, 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.