Got Mail?! Using E-Mail to Support and Promote Literacy SkillsBy Ames, Bridget; Closing the Gap, Vol. 26, No. 3, pp. 1-4
Publication Date: August/September 2007
Description of an educational program which uses e-mail to support and promote literacy skills in special-needs secondary-school students. Participants are students with intellectual disabilities including DCD, autism and LD. The purpose of the program is to motivate learners, especially reluctant ones, to read and write more. It also addresses the issue of social isolation. The program incorporates News-2-You, a visually supported adaptive newspaper (www.news-2-you.com), the internet, and e-Buddies, an international program that pairs disabled students with non-disabled peers (www.ebuddies.org). Parents are also encouraged to write and respond to students. Participants acquired their own e-mail addresses with accompanying address books. Students use writing tools such as Microsoft Word, Clicker 4 or 5, Pix Writer, Co:Writer, and Read and Write Gold. Initially teachers would transmit students’ messages when composed; as students gained familiarity with the e-mail process, they were often able to send the e-mails themselves. Messages received are printed or copied/pasted with text-to-speech or PixReader. A BLOG was added to the program, where a new topic with a visual support is posted each week and students are encouraged to compose responses. Teachers are able to assess the participants’ literacy progress by analyzing e-mail samples across time from the point of view of increase in words and improvement in structure and form.
Assistive Products Discussed: CLICKER 6
READ & WRITE GOLD, READ & WRITE GOLD FOR MAC, & READ & WRITE GOLD MOBILE
Published by: Closing the Gap, Inc. (Website:http://www.closingthegap.com)