A small study in UK has found that dyslexic school students may benefit from using off the shelf software such as Microsoft’s OneNote to improve their performance in class.
The 11-week study of 20 students, carried out by the British Dyslexia Association at Knowl Hill School in Surrey, found that using Immersive Reader, part of Microsoft’s OneNote software, improved pupil’s reading comprehension and emotional well-being. Hearing their work read aloud made it easier to spot and correct mistakes, and could be done without involving a teacher or teachers aid.
“It gives them more independence,” said headteacher Jan Lusty. “If they’re really dyslexic and they can’t read really much at all, then they have to have someone else interpreting for them the whole time, reading and scribing.
“This puts that into their hands. They can do it themselves. And that’s the key thing for me and I think that’s why we saw an increase in their confidence over the period of the trial.”
Sixteen out of 18 showed an improvement in their classroom behaviour, and 11 out of 16 improved their reading comprehension.
“What I think is really exciting is that – through this partnership between the users and the developers, and the pace at which technology is moving – I can foresee within the next five years or so tremendous progress,” said Kate Saunders, chief executive of the British Dyslexia Association.
Ian Fordham, director of education at Microsoft UK, said that the company was hoping to conduct a larger scale trial.
“We’ve learned a lot from how young people have fed back into the reading, in terms of comprehension and fluency. We’re always feeding back into our product.”
See the infographic below for how OneNote can be useful to any student in a classroom setting, and read more about OneNote in the classroom here.