Finding a voice

A ReaderPen looks like a chunky pen. It fits in your hand, it can travel from home to school in your pocket and can be used discreetly with headphones. The text-to-speech technology helps learners become more confident in reading and understanding words, thanks to the product’s dictionary function. The ReaderPen is changing the learning landscape for students who have weak executive functioning skills and for those who struggle to read.

The Scanning Pens team have been travelling across North America to find out about the learning journeys of students and educators who have been using the ReaderPen. This story comes from Milton, Ontario, where we met elementary students and educators from Halton District School Board.  

Halton District School Board have a huge community of 65 thousand students, of which approximately 5% really struggle with their reading and writing. Helping these children to achieve their learning potential is a high priority. For many, the challenging mechanics of learning to read runs parallel with weak self confidence that causes reluctance to talk, take part and enjoy.

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Halton’s students are achieving improved levels of literacy and confidence because of assistive technology that has become a part of their daily learning strategy. Chrome Books, Laptops, iPads and ReaderPens are all making a big difference and students who had previously been withdrawn are finding their voice. 

Scanning Pens sat down with a group of students with reading difficulties for a chat about how they were getting along with their new pens. One group of learners were warmly referred to as “The Tech Dudes” which is a friendly way to say “we use supportive tech and that is okay and kind of cool.” Their talented teacher understands that sometimes it can feel embarrassing to be learning in a different way from your peers. This strategy has helped these students to feel confident and proud to be using the tools they need.

The Tech Dude’s teacher told us that after introducing the ReaderPen, students who had previously refused to read aloud, had started to join in because they knew they could confidently contribute. It was exciting to hear how the children positively viewed their learning potential.

Find out what these bright and brilliant learners and their teachers had to say about the ReaderPen below.