Today I presented at the 3rd of 4 events set up by TextHELP Ltd. The events centre around “Tackling Literacy Issues in Northern Ireland Schools”. They invited me to present an overview of what Microsoft is doing in Education and specifically, how we are working with schools and Teachers in Northern Ireland. Teachers from all 5 NI Library Boards are attending and so far we’ve presented to over 130 of them.
TextHELP are showcasing the launch of “Read&Write Gold V.9 for Schools”. From their PR release:
“This literacy support tool assists students with their reading and writing abilities. The text-to-speech functionality of the software improves comprehension levels and access to the curriculum for all students. The software contains features such as spelling support, a talking dictionary, word prediction, study skills, a translator tool, a fact mapper, talking calculator and many more. Read&Write GOLD for Schools has been implemented across numerous Local Authorities in the UK including all schools in Lambeth, Oldham, North Ayrshire and Edinburgh.
Mandy Thompson from Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus states “We found that Read&Write GOLD dramatically increased the volume and quality of work that students could do as reading and writing were no longer a hindrance due to their new ability to edit their own work and hear what it sounds like as they type. Now, their ideas flow and they can get their thoughts down onto paper more easily.”
Also presenting at each event was Bernice McMullan of the British Dyslexia Association. Her topic was “‘Dyslexic Friendly Schools are Effective Schools’. Lisa Murray from Business in the Community was another presenter and her talk was on the ‘Time To Read’ programme.
Tomorrow finds me in Omagh presenting to the Western Education Library Board Teachers. It’s been a terrific experience and the commitment and passion of those involved as presenters and attendees has been inspiring.