Monster 2 Keyboard

Monster 2 Keyboard

What Is Monster 2 Keyboard?

The Monster 2 Keyboard is ideal for young children and is the perfect entry into computing. Made in 2011 at a Weight of 1.0000g this device features large, oversized keys grouped in different colours, which helps alleviate the eye strain associated with using a computer keyboard. There is also a high-visibility model, with large black legends against a bright yellow background, and a high-contrast model with large black legends on a high-contrast white background.

Monster 2 Keyboard

Who can Monster 2 Keyboard help?

The Monster 2 Keyboard from Accuratus is designed specifically for children who are just starting to use computers and keyboards and it aims to help assist learning, with having an easy to remember colour-coordination system. With large key caps the Accuratus Monster 2 is also ideal for users who suffer from MS (Multiple sclerosis) and Parkinson’s disease. The Keyboard is also spill resistant which makes is perfect for people that find they are prone to the occasional spill. Plug and Play technology means that you can simply start typing straight away without any difficult and time consuming installation process.

 

Different features of the product.

There are many different features of the Monster 2 Keyboard, for example the USB interface, Large 1 inch square keys at 24mm. The device has two port USB 2.0 in the rear, a detachable wrist pad for comfortable typing and is the same size as a normal conventional keyboard. Within the design itself the Monster 2 Keyboard has spill holes in the base of the keyboard so that any small spillages can escape without any damage to key keyboard itself. The dimensions of this product are 465 x 180 x 27mm (L x W x H) being a starter keyboard it is rather light (770g) and has a cable length of 1.5M.

 

Find out more by following this link to the Monster 2 Keyboard on Dyslexic.com.

Audio Notetaker: Top 5 benefits of using the note taking software

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Sonocent Audio Notetaker is a popular software to support note taking for students in lectures and group meetings. It can also be helpful for employees to use whilst at work during meetings or brainstorming sessions. It is available on PC and Mac,with an accompanying iOS and Android app, Sonocent Recorder.

Put simply, Audio Notetaker breaks the note taking process into steps so that individuals with dyslexia can take accurate and comprehensive notes. Recorded or imported audio is uploaded to the software and displayed as coloured chunks for each phrase. Slides, images and text notes can also be added alongside the relevant parts of the recording to create handy resources.

There are many different types of note taking software for students and employees; however Audio Notetaker is always a popular choice because it works so well and has so many great features packed in. Here are my top 5 benefits of using Audio Notetaker to help you take notes…

This is a screenshot taken from Sonocent Audio Notetaker version 4

5 key benefits of using Audio Notetaker

1. Use colour highlighting to add meaning to your notes Using the coloured highlighter tool, you can add additional meaning to your notes by highlighting audio chunks that are important, audio that you didn’t quite understand, or audio that is a change of topic. Using this colour, you can extract your audio into new projects to create clear and concise notes.

2. Integrated with Dragon Naturally Speaking Using Dragon Naturally Speaking Premium or Professional (version 11 or above) voice recognition software, you can dictate summaries of your notes, write additional notes, or transcribe your recording straight into Audio Notetaker.

3. Import images, slides and PDF documents To create truly comprehensive notes, Audio Notetaker allows you to import audio, text, images, slides and PDF documents to your project. This is extremely helpful for students who are using the software to help them take notes within a lecture. Simply record audio using a digital recorder, use index marks when the slide changes and import the PowerPoint presentation from your lecture. When you upload your audio recording and PowerPoint presentation to your project, your audio and slides will match up together.

4. Record and annotate with your smartphone app Using the accompanying free app, Sonocent Recorder, you can take high-quality recordings using your smartphone or tablet. Just like the software, you can highlight key points in your audio using colour highlighting tools. You can also add images from your camera or photo library alongside your audio. Once you’ve finished recording, simply transfer your file to Audio Notetaker via Wi-Fi.

5. Use audio from different devices and locations Using Audio Notetaker version 4, there has been a huge jump in audio quality and you are now able to import audio from a variety of sources. Alongside your smartphone app, you can import audio from a digital recorder, videos, Skype, a podcast and much more. With the audio clean-up tool, you can instantly remove unwanted noises such as hisses or keyboard taps.It’s quite hard to narrow down the benefits of using Audio Notetaker software to just 5 as there are so many great features. To find out more, please follow this link where you can read more and purchase Audio Notetaker >> http://ian.lt/19ni1Ri

C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen Dyslexic.com Review

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Scanning pens, such as the C-Pen Reader, are a popular form of assistive technology which help those with literacy difficulties access printed text. They are especially handy for those with dyslexia as they can read aloud text from books, labels and documents. This tackles literacy difficulties surrounding reading that many dyslexic children and adults face on a day to day basis.

There are many scanner pens which are also approved by The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) for use in exams. This means that students with literacy difficulties can independently take their exam knowing that they can read and understand each question. Other portable scanner pens include the Exam Pen Reader from C-PenIRIS Pen and the Wizcom Reading Pens. To find out more about any of these assistive technology products, please visit the Scanning Pens page on Dyslexic.com.

Image of the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen

How does the C-Pen Reader work?

The C-Pen Reader is the latest scanner pen which was released by C-Pen in November 2015. C-Pen also created the 3.5 Bluetooth Portable Scanning Pen and the TS1 Digital Highlighter Pen. These products have now been discontinued, but the new C-Pen Reader is a great replacement.

It uses impressive optical character recognition (OCR)technology to read aloud printed text. With the integrated Collins 10th Edition English Dictionary, individual words can be highlighted and the definition read aloud. This is particularly helpful for dyslexic children and adults who struggle understanding complex words but prefer to hear words read aloud to them. The C-Pen Reader comes complete with a headphone jack so the handy tool can be made more discrete if you are listening to text in public places.

How does it differ from other scanning pens and digital highlighters on the market?

There are lots of different digital highlighters and scanner pens on the market, so what makes the C-Pen Reader any different? Well, it features a much clearer and more natural text-to-speech voice than most reading pens. This makes it a lot easier to understand the words and hear pronunciations. It is also much more accurate when scanning over a line of text. Some pens that read can struggle when moving at a faster pace; however the C-Pen Reader worked quite well.

The size of the C-Pen Reader scanning pen is fantastic. It is half the size of other reading pens and weighs just 50g. Measuring just 13.5cm long, it can be used by younger children from aged 6+ as well as younger children. Plus, its ergonomic design means that it’s very easy to hold and move along a page of text.

The C-Pen Reader is the first portable line scanner on the market that is both Mac and PC compatible. With no software needed, you simply need to connect the pen to your computer via the USB cable and it will appearas an external hard drive. You can scan pieces of text, store to the pens memory and transfer to your computer. This is an extremely useful feature if you are a university student or researcher. The C-Pen Reader also doubles up as a USB drive with 3GB of data space available.

A feature that is very useful is the Voice memo tool. The reading pen doubles up as a dictaphone and allows you to record audio and voice memos. These files are saved to the device and can be listened to or uploaded to your computer at any time.

How can I buy the C-Pen Reader Scanning Pen?

Simply follow this link to purchase the C-Pen Reader on Dyslexic.com >> http://ian.lt/1SVqn4l

Rachel Ingham: How does ClaroRead benefit dyslexic learners?

This is an image of Rachel InghamBy Rachel Ingham, Dyslexia (SpLD Consultant)

@RInghamUSL

The obvious benefits of using text to voice software, such as ClaroRead, need little explanation. It reads Word and PowerPoint documents, emails, the Internet and EBooks. This provides a wealth of educational and career benefits as well as providing a way to make reading a pleasure. However, like most technology, it can be underutilised. I would like to share some of the ways I have used ClaroRead to increase the learning potential for children and young people in the classroom. Its benefits in the workplace will follow in a future blog.

There were some compensations for being a teacher with dyslexia. One of them being I understood the difficulties of learning to read and the frustrations of being unable to read and comprehend in order to write and learn. Although I loved literature, the effort of reading lessened the pleasure and reduced the number of books I was able to read as reading was so laborious.

ClaroRead breaks down the barriers for the learner with dyslexic related reading difficulties by reading the unfamiliar words that cannot be easily decoded. It allows learners of all ages to independently access more complex informative text increasing the inclusive learning environment for individual or collaborative class based tasks. This independence allows the learner to choose areas of particular interest, motivating and enthusing them to research subjects further.

Problems with phonological processing for the learner with dyslexia are a well documented cause of reading difficulties. These difficulties can be ameliorated with good teaching increasing reading fluency and accuracy. Despite this, comprehension is often still negatively affected because of the level of cognitive processing required to decode, inhibiting the reader’s ability to gain a full understanding of the text. When text is read aloud the listener does not have to focus on the decoding, providing greater opportunity for comprehension and critical assessment of the information being studied.

Less understood are the problems relating to language and language development in the learner with dyslexia. ClaroRead provides the opportunity for the vital exposure to new words, often subject related, that are not commonly used in speech. Without the facility of accessing reading material with automaticity, the dyslexic learner’s vocabulary development is impaired which, in turn, affects their communication and writing skills.

A perpetual problem for some readers with dyslexia is the interference of other voices making it difficult to read with comprehension. With ClaroRead, the busy classroom is no longer an inhibitory factor as the learner can listen to the text through headphones. In addition, this provides an advantage of their hands being free to record the relevant data without losing their place in the text and thus enabling them to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding.

One of the greatest benefits of ClaroRead is as a proof reader. Learners, particularly those with dyslexia and or visual stress, miss many spelling errors and grammatical mistakes despite their dedicated efforts to seek them out. ClaroRead reads exactly what is written so the writer can hear what they have written ‘Brian breaks reduce stress in the learner’ instead of ‘Brain breaks reduce stress in the learner.’ It can also identify homophones which is crucial for the proof reader with dyslexia who is often unsure which homophone is the correct option. Picture or context descriptors help the homophone selection.

Not only is this a more effective method of proof reading, it is less arduous for the writer who has already put considerable effort into engaging with the difficult skill of committing their ideas to paper.

I often wonder if this history student would have recognised their mistake if they had used ClaroRead.

“It was important for the king to have the support of the no balls in court …”

Another advantage of ClaroRead for proof reading is that you can slow the voice of the reader supporting the slower verbal processing skills of the learner with dyslexia. Slowing the speed at which ClaroRead reads has an added advantage of providing time to record notes and to critically think about the reading material. Notes recorded for revision purposes can be revisited repeatedly without the constraints imposed by reading.

Everyone benefits from the use of ClaroRead in the classroom. Firstly, the learners are able to read more complex, informative text and gain more knowledge and understand with increased confidence. ClaroRead creates independence by reducing the anxiety and embarrassment caused by having to ask classmates and friends for help. Class discussion and collaborative learning settings are a lot more rewarding for all involved. Secondly, the teacher has a more inclusive classroom with engaged learners who can make independent progress.

We have discussed academic advantages and will close by acknowledging the positive aspect of being able to read for pleasure. To enhance this further the listener can choose the accent they would prefer, Heather from Scotland being a particular soothing choice. There are times when learners are required to learn to read and others when we should create the opportunity to enjoy literature without a needless struggle.

What’s new in Clicker 7?

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Clicker is a popular literacy support software which helps users of all ages and abilities to develop their reading and writing skills. This week, Dyslexic.com released Clicker 7 for sale online and we wanted to let you know what’s new in the latest version!

Using the Clicker Board, students can organise their ideas to help them prepare for writing. This tool allows them to manipulate and link any combination of words, pictures and sounds to get started on their writing. Users can now record voice notes on the software, enabling them to vocally rehearse their sentence before they write. They can hear this read back to them with the new children voices. Sentences and words are read back in a friendly, age appropriate voice that younger students can identify with, encouraging them to actively review and self-correct their work. Clicker 7 also features enhanced word prediction and an even bigger library of over 3500 curriculum pictures.

Clicker 7 supports teachers by making it even easier to customise activities for different ability levels in the classroom. It also gives instant access to the software’s training materials – this helps teachers to get started quickly and become a confident user in no time. With Word Pool, teachers can add in unusual words or names to Clicker’s knowledge base to ensure it is pronounced properly, suggested by the predictor and accepted by the spellchecker.

Clicker 7 offers more access support than ever before to enable every student to access the curriculum and achieve success. In the latest version, the software offers eye gaze support and SuperKeys – the unique access method for learners who need bigger target areas.

Clicker 7 is available to purchase from Dyslexic.com by following this link >> http://ian.lt/1ZbHKox

ABBYY FineReader Answers the Call to Help Students with Learning Challenges

Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning (CALL) Scotland is a unit within the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. It specialises in providing assistive technologies to Scottish students who have physical, communication or sensory difficulties and have trouble accessing standard curriculum materials.

Challenge

More than 5% of pupils in Scotland need help in accessing the curriculum. the Scottish Government asked the CALL team to investigate how many pupils require books in more accessible formats, which formats were needed and where improvements could be made by using technology. the type of technology was not limited but any solution would need to be cost-effective and work on a large scale to meet the range of support required. out of this research a report was published titled ‘Books for All’.

The ‘Books for All’ project found that the needs of thousands of pupils in Scotland with sight impairments and those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties, or hearing impairment, were not being sufficiently addressed. these pupils often require digital versions that can be read out by a computer or other multimedia resources and ‘Books for All’ found these to be in short supply. To enable a computer to read text aloud it is necessary to scan the book, or other source material, into digital format and then convert the image to editable text. From this intermediate file, the ‘Books for All’ team can produce a variety of accessible formats. However, because the information in these source materials is ‘trapped’ in a format that does not allow for easy editing and reuse – in most cases as paper documents – the team determined they would need an optical character recognition (OCR) software program to read and convert the text within the scans before they could create further materials for students.

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Solution

The ‘Books for All’ team chose ABBYY FineReader Professional Edition as a best-fit solution for their document conversion needs. ABBYY Finereader is a leading OCR software for converting scanned documents, PDFs and camera images into searchable and editable formats, including Microsoft® word and Excel®. Its advanced recognition capabilities provide full access to information locked on paper and images and virtually eliminates time-consuming retyping and reformatting. ABBYY’s exclusive technology ADRT® (Adaptive Document recognition technology) ensures accurate results not only when recognising single pages of text, but also in multipage documents. It re-creates a document’s logical structure, producing documents with precisely reproduced formatting attributes that will appear as native elements in a Microsoft word document: tables of contents, hierarchical headings, headers and footers, footnotes, page numbers, and font styles.

“We picked ABBYY FineReader for its ability to output in multiple formats and cost effectiveness – both key considerations to making the ‘Books for All’ project a success, helping students with differing disabilities communication, Access, Literacy and Learning (CALL) Scotland is a unit within the Moray House School of Education at the University of Edinburgh. It specialises in providing assistive technologies to Scottish students who have physical, communication or sensory difficulties and have trouble accessing standard curriculum materials have access to various curriculum material” states Paul Nisbet, Senior research Fellow at CALL Scotland.

CALL Scotland run training courses for staff and faculty members of schools throughout Scotland on how to create accessible books by using ABBYY FineReader software on their laptops. Staff members are walked through the use of FineReader, how to convert scanned curriculum material into editable Microsoft Word documents and how to convert these documents into the formats required for student needs. They now produce the widest range of accessible curriculum materials from sources including reading books, textbooks, exercise worksheets and assessments. the results of this work are Large Print, Adapted Print, Braille, and audio books as well as various accessible digital formats such as Daisy, PDF, word and eBook formats.


Results

One example of the impact the ‘Books for All’ approach has had on the lives of Scottish students are digital versions of Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) exam papers. Previously, a staff member would read the questions aloud to the pupil and then would write down the student’s answers. Now pupils with visual impairment or dyslexia can use text-to-speech to listen to the digital version of the exams, or zoom in on questions in order to more easily read them and those with physical disabilities can work independently to type their answers. The benefits gained from this program have been numerous. Students are more confident, independent and motivated when using digital exam papers. The number of employees required to staff an examination and the associated costs have been greatly reduced. The number of pupils now taking advantage of the Digital Exam papers has doubled year on year since they were first introduced, and in 2010 there were 1,962 requests to SQA for digital papers. CALL Scotland is now trying to raise awareness of the use of accessible books and resources so that pupils throughout Scotland can take advantage of this work. The team are working on a means for sharing existing assistive tools with teachers and students in different schools. The Scottish Government is currently funding work with Learning and teaching Scotland, a non-departmental public body that supports the development of the Scottish curriculum, to expand the ‘Books for All’ database.