Thursday, March 10, 2011

Words of Wisdom from Ira David Socal: "Writing without the blocks" using free/low cost technologies.

"Liberate students from the cognitive waste going to mechanical issues which have nothing to do with effective communication. Help them to become communicators and storytellers, and let your teaching focus on construction of effective writing, and what separates "writing" from "talking" in our culture." -Ira David Socal 

You don't need to be a student to appreciate this approach to writing and communication!

Ira David Socal, SpeEdChange 3/10/11

Ira Socal starts out his thoughtful blog post by mentioning that he dictated it using a Jawbone bluetooth headset and Windows 7 Speech Recognition, which is a free component of the operating system.  He's found that this is a great approach to use with students who struggle with the writing process.   He points out that there are many barriers that students face when attempting to write, especially for those who have difficulty holding a pen or using a keyboard efficiently.  He also points out that "keyboards injure more people each year than any other workplace tool."

Below are two videos Ira Socal shared on his blog:

How to set up Windows 7 Speech Recognition
MIT Freedom Stick (Michigan Integrated Technologies Supports)
Freedom Stick and Firefox Accessibility
"The MITS Freedom Stick is designed to provide students with information and communication access on any computer using a Windows or Linux operating system. When you insert the USB Flash Drive into the computer the LearnApps software should load giving you a menu in the toolbar on the lower-right corner of the screen. Please note, however, that when using the software on some computers you may need to open the drive and click directly on the LearnApps icon to open."

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