This post was due to be about how the technology we use in lessons can benefit students with dyslexia but in the planning of the post it occurred to me that the tools that are applied are actually just good practice for all students.

Today we had inset on various things that the school was working on, one being helping students with dyslexia. I had a student in my BTEC session with dyslexia and thought this session would really benefit me in being able to help him, was I structuring sessions to meet his needs?

After an overview of what the main issues were that a dyslexic student may face, I got thinking about how I teach now I have adopted using my iPad as a teaching tool and iPods as student tools. On reflection the things I have been getting ALL of the students to do are actually the correct things for aiding dyslexic students.

One thing that was identified was to give them something to aid them with remembering information to supplement their difficulty in retaining short term memories.

For this I have been getting students for a while now to use their devices to take pictures of the board or voice record discussions we are having. We use Evernote on personal devices or I use my iPad to record things and then share to their Evernote accounts.

The reason for this from my point was that students stored something to refer back to and it created time to discuss facts rather than waste time simply copying things down. The time spent discussing the issues has a much greater impact than just writing it in a book and potentially not reading it again.

The second key issue is the fact that dyslexic students struggle to formulate patterns when structuring writing.

To combat this students should be given opportunities to be creative as that suits their needs.

Well this is something I have wanted all students to do, it shows an application of their learning and gives them an opportunity to work independently and in a way that they have ownership of the task.
Examples of this have been in creating podcasts of student work in fitness testing or creating videos of mock interviews pretending to be sports people looking at issues in sport. Both examples have less focus in the written work but enable students to be creative in their response.

Now I am not saying that written work is not important, my previous posts are about improving literacy through sport, but I do feel there needs to be a balance and a way that students with difficulties can still show their ability and get feedback that installs a sense if achievement and will lead to them to keep trying.

Key points
Use apps like Evernote to record information that can be reviewed in students own time
Allow for multiple ways to present work not just written work but oral work or creative ways of presenting using tech if available.

The results are hard to ignore. The student I have is achieving well where he is given opportunity to be creative and his attendance and punctuality is excellent.