This is a guest post from Scanning Pens, one of the exhibitors at the 2022 Literacy Texas Annual Conference. Visit their booth in the Exhibitor Hall starting Sunday evening (July 31)!
Reading is a key that has the power to unlock many doors throughout a lifetime. It can be the catalyst that allows development in education to take place, open up career opportunities and further study, and it’s the cornerstone of how we communicate and navigate the world.
We know that neurodiversity (including dyslexia, ADHD and dyspraxia) presents a host of unique challenges when studying and reading. For some, it can induce reading anxiety, or make reading feel impossible – and that’s where we see these doors begin to lock from the inside, cutting readers off from the activities and experiences that they may aspire to. Confidence gets lost, reading develops negative associations, and many children and young people disengage from learning – which can have whole-life consequences.
So how can we open these doors again, and create a landscape where all readers are confident, able and empowered to take on reading?
Finding the right reading support can be a complex issue as no two readers are the same: many educational settings turn towards human support readers to help individual learners with reading tasks, however this method can end up being counterproductive when it comes to fostering reading independence. The idea of having a human support can make reading feel difficult when that support individual isn’t there, meaning that reading becomes something that happens in school time, instead of anytime and everywhere. It also implies to some that reading has to be assisted, and some will begin to doubt their ability to read alone. It also should be noted that in classroom settings, the act of having a support reader present consistently can make some learners feel singled out and policed, even when they haven’t done anything wrong.
So that’s where the ReaderPen comes in.
The ReaderPen is a piece of Assistive Technology by award-winning assistive tech suppliers Scanning Pens. It looks similar to a highlighter pen, but with a digital functionality that can transform the reading experience. Users simply scan the words on the page and can experience them in audio in a way that clarifies meaning, supports developing skills and empowers them as they read. It helps beat anxiety, as readers feel independent and able to tackle reading alone – and built-in dictionary support ensures that new or complex words aren’t simply read, they’re learned too.
They’re a cornerstone of creating a learning environment that’s neurodiversity-positive, have the power to level the playing field when it comes to exams and testing – and thanks to a long-life battery, can be easily used on the go, outside of the classroom too.
The ReaderPen is a support mechanism that not only targets reading anxiety at its source, but helps educators manage their time too. If a class teacher can pull away from individual reading support, it means that they’ve got more time to focus on whole-class activities and the administrative tasks of the lesson. It can also represent a much more school budget-friendly means of ensuring that every child who needs reading support has access to it, with no ongoing salaries or subscription services- and it can be accessed via the funding made available by the US Department of Education.
Reading support is all about giving learners of all ages the confidence and independence to experience their education in comfort. Find out more about award-winning assistive tech solutions and how they transform lives at www.scanningpens.com; or check out the ReaderPen today.
Thank you Scanning Pens for your support of the 2022 Literacy Texas Annual Conference!