Why it can make teaching so much easier
When talking about professions, teaching would be classed as one of the more noble choices. It is often thought of as more of a vocation or calling. This is probably because teachers are responsible for not only educating pupils but for also guiding, nurturing, moulding, influencing and safe guarding them.
When asked the question, ‘Why did you become a teacher?’ Many reply, ‘Because I wanted to make a difference to the lives of my students’.
Today’s classroom includes both mainstream pupils, as well as those with special educational needs. Teachers are expected to cater for all abilities and although they have been trained for this, sometimes it can prove difficult. Introducing inclusive software where possible can make teaching a lot easier, according to Simon Luxford-Moore, eLearning Coordinator at ESMS (Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools) in Edinburgh.
“We had been using the same touch typing training program for years but it’s always been one of my mantras that there is always something better out there and our responsibility is to find what works for our learners. Our old program was very games based, noisy, lively and with a strong element of competition. While it was great fun, I felt that it was not meeting the needs of our children with dyslexia and ASD, as there were just too many things happening on-screen which could be quite distracting. I was drawn to KAZ touch typing software because they include a neurodiverse version within their school licence. I tend to work on the basis that if I can cater for that child with dyslexia or ASD, everybody will benefit.
KAZ agreed that we could trial the software, so we started with just one girl in Primary 5. She had wonderful creative ideas but because of her dyslexia she wrote very little and her handwriting was so poor that it was a real barrier to composition. She was delighted to be chosen to trial KAZ. As the program has both visual and audio input and builds up muscle memory, it covers all the bases.
The publicity claims that you’ll notice a difference after just 15 minutes. They are right. After just a few minutes she looked up at me with a big smile on her face. She learned to touch type very quickly, so we started using it more extensively.
We wondered if KAZ might be a product that worked better for girls and boys in our Upper Primary years, so we extended the trial, including a senior boy with dyslexia. They all really liked it and made good progress. 'The pressure was off,' said one child and another commented, 'I like the fact that I can make a mistake without it being highlighted or having to restart a level.’”
KAZ was rolled out to children in Primary 4 to 7 (Years 5-8) in August, which equates to over 700 children.
“I always think of the writing process as being like your very first driving lesson. There is so much to remember and think about that new drivers find it hard to do everything at once. Our pupils, especially those with neurodiverse conditions, feel overloaded and under a lot of pressure until they develop a level of automaticity. Thanks to KAZ, we can relieve some of the stress so children can focus on other aspects of the writing process. Touch typing lets children put down information in a digital form accurately and efficiently. Every child benefits and that is what the teachers and the parents want to see, as it is in the best interest of our children.”
Inclusive software caters for all pupils, allowing the whole class to work and learn together and helps make teaching just that little bit easier.
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