Using Moodle, we, teachers of English as a Foreign Language, can help pupils who struggle because of a Learning Disability. Enter Moodle’s Assistive or Enabling Technology!
In 2000, I took a two-year course (having an in-between year when I had to tutor a struggling reader) in Teaching English to those with Specific Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia) from The British Dyslexia Association and Bar Ilan University. Having become aware of something I had hardly known anything about, ever since then, like many colleagues, I have made it a point to try to cater to the special needs of pupils with a Learning Disability. This is, in fact, in line with the policy of the Israel Ministry of Education.
To be sure, I am crazy about Moodle for a wide variety of reasons. Well, here is one more reason: Using Moodle’s Assistive or Enabling Technology, pupils can receive appropriate help so that their level of stress is reduced when they have to read a text. These pupils can use this technology to have text read to them, so they can concentrate on content and not on their struggle to decode. Incidentally, it has been proven that when given appropriate help by teachers who are trained to cater to their special needs, many of these pupils will eventually become skilled, independent readers (For more on this, click here) .
Moodle’s Assistive or Enabling Technology helps visually impaired pupils, too. “The Accessibility block appears on each course page and allows users to customise Moodle to their visual needs. It supports changing of text sizes and colour schemes and users can save their preference so that it can be applied permanently throughout the site.” (Read more on the source from which I quoted these words- Click on this link).
I have created a short video not only to illustrate these points but also to show how pupils can learn when teachers use, for example, a Moodle Lesson. Click here to view.
On the one hand, the extent to which teachers can make use of Moodle’s Assistive Technology is up to a teacher’s creativity. On the other hand, it is up to the effort that pupils with special needs will invest, too.
Moodle’s Assistive or Enabling Technology is a change maker. I suggest you give it a try.