Ways to Help Kids with Dyslexia Through Remote Learning and Online tutoring

It’s hard to fathom that it has been more than a year since the shutdown, and in the interim, the abundance of remote resources that are available to our dyslexia learners who are receiving instruction at a distance. 

Collaboratively, our Da Vinci team broke the proverbial emergency glass and dove right into carefully researching online tools and resources that would best simulate the multiple steps of a structured literacy lesson when all learning was restricted to a remote platform. 

Keeping in mind that dyslexic students need to learn differently with a structured, cumulative multisensory approach that brings their hands, eyes, ears, and voices together to help cement learning and retention, this task was challenging at best. From our team members in our consulting and technology divisions, a repertoire of digital tools was researched, tested, and compiled to assist teachers in our partnering districts through consultative support. Additionally, our educational therapists assisted school districts through remote direct instruction to students

The question remains: how can we best support our dyslexic learners online?

When delivering an Orton-Gillingham-based reading program, understanding the learner across the screen is essential. Do they have access to a printer, or to different tactile reinforcement, such as a little blackboard or whiteboard to spell sounds and words? A piece of sidewalk chalk and a walkway or driveway can create a perfect space for a student to practice spelling sounds and words. Students can snap a picture of their “sidewalk spelling” and send it to the instructor. This activity provides a fun and engaging way for the student to practice this skill.  

Technology offers us a variety of options to play around with to help youth with dyslexia continue their education. The digital world provides an abundance of learning tools and supports for students with dyslexia, who can benefit greatly from having access to digital tools. 

Digital Tools for Kids With Dyslexia

The current times have opened our eyes to the role that digital tools can play in our student’s lives, especially our students with disabilities. At Da Vinci, we have been using supplemental digital tools that provide engagement and target skills found in a multisensory lesson.

1. Video conferencing 

Video conferencing has afforded us the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with students from afar. Having an opportunity to connect with students face to face helps to support both academic and social emotional needs of students.    

2. Google Suite 

Google offers a variety of tools that assist with creating lesson plans that will help to keep students engaged and work independently. This could be as simple as creating a Google Jam board to divide syllables and mark them up, or having students create their own books using Google Slides. Students can create stories and insert pictures and their voices to slides.

3. Digital reading tools

There are a variety of tools that help struggling readers to engage with text, such as Snap & Read, CoWriter, and Word Bank. These tools have features that help support students who struggle to read and write. They also afford the opportunity for a student to successfully engage with text above their reading level. Some additional features include word prediction, word banks for writing and vocabulary, and speech-to-text. 

 4. Book Widgets 

This is an online interactive learning tool that allows you to create fun interactive games for students, such as matching games for compound words or a spin game to develop speed and accuracy at the single word level.  

5. Mindmeister 

Mindmeister is a great support when note-taking and writing is difficult. This app allows users to create graphic organizers or mind maps to jot down their thoughts quickly and easily, as well as organize a student’s ideas to help them create a cohesive writing piece.  

Online tools have played a significant role in supporting our dyslexic learners. The Davinci Collaborative has its finger on the pulse of the latest tools and apps that are available to further support academic success for all students. We are here to ease the burden for all students struggling in all areas. Please reach out to us so we can help create the best learning experience for your child.  

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