Since finding out Ella has dyslexia, we’ve been researching ways, tools and apps that can help her along the way. The following list includes my favourite choices and is mainly focused on primary (elementary) kids, but some are a must-have for kids of every school age.
PDF files have caused problems for speech-to-text technology because they are image files. ClaroPDF has transformed the speech-to-text market as it recognises image text and reads it aloud with corresponding highlighting. Users can annotate, mark-up, listen and save PDF files which are fully compatible with other PDF apps. It’s a great tool and at just $9.99, well worth the money.
This is a great e-book app and completely free! The TalkBack feature available on Android provides text-to-speech complete with highlighting. While Google Play Books is also available for iOS devices, the Read Aloud feature is not available.
Dragon Anywhere is a voice recognition app enabling users to generate text through speech rather than typing. It can be used with social media as well as any document and takes the burden off typing. While it’s fairly basic regarding editing, it’s the perfect introduction. There is a free week trial and after that, it’s $14.99 per month.
Ghotit Real Writer ( iOS)
Ghotit Real Writer helps people with dyslexia and dysgraphia with writing and editing. The app corrects incorrect spelling, homophones, grammar mistakes, punctuation and confused words as well as featuring an advanced word prediction function.
It is one of the more pricey apps at $69.99 for iPads and $49.99 for iPhones but it is also one of the best online tools for people with dyslexia on the market (in my opinion). The Android app is not available as of the time of writing but is currently being developed. (It is also available for Windows and Mac OS)
Main features include:
- Phonetic and context-sensitive spell checker
- Advanced word-Prediction
- Advanced grammar/ punctuation editor
- Speech-to-text function
- Quick-Spell for creative/phonetic writers
- Reading assistance with dual highlighting
- Independent text editor
- Compatible with a wide range of apps
- Integrated dictionaries
- Compatible with AirPrint
This tool helps kids of all ages spell problematic words. It’s as simple as touching the microphone icon, saying the word or phrase and viewing the correct spelling which is displayed in the preferred writing style. It is a great app for all ages and will help improve spelling and vocabulary, help with comprehension and assist students to become independent writers.
Currently only available on iOS, ModMath helps students gain skills in maths from basic arithmetic to complex algebra. Students can type maths problems onto the iPad and the problem can be solved using the built-in touchpad, taking away the need for using long-hand. Work can be printed, saved to the cloud or emailed.
This is a free app using a cartoon character, Leo the Lion, to teach the basics of multiplication before carrying out simple tests in the form of races against Leo and another animal competitor. There is also a ‘say-it-loud’ activity where vocal responses are used.
Epic! is the leading digital library for children, offering access to more than 25,000 resources which include: ebooks, audiobooks, videos and quizzes. It’s a fun and interactive way to explore learning and reading and is suitable for children aged 12 and under.
This is an excellent resource for students of all ages as it lows the user to create their own flashcards for literally thousands of different topics. There is a free (and compulsory) membership after which, flashcards and study sets can be created. It is the ideal app for test prep, visual learning and improving memory and is also available for use offline. It’s a teacher-friendly resource that engages students in through text, audio and visual means which is a great help to anyone who has dyslexia.
This organizational app will help students of all ages coordinate their thinking by helping users to capture and organize information visually. It syncs to Dropbox and Google Calendar and is perfect for:
- Organizing thoughts and ideas
- Studying and study prep
- Creating to-do-lists
- Planning reports
- Summarising class and lecture notes
- Presentation prep
Dyslexia Quest (iOS)
Unfortunately, this game is only available on iOS, but it is a great way for parents to assess memory and listening skills. It uses games to assess working memory, phonological awareness, processing speed, visual sequential order, auditory sequential memory and visual memory. It’s structured into six 10-minute games and each activity is divided into three levels: elementary, high school and adult. After each game has been completed, users are given a score and information on the strengths and weaknesses. Each level can be repeated to improve the score.
For information on apps for dysgraphia, read my blog here