Technology has become such a big part of our way of life and our way of being. Technology, in many ways, has made our lives easier, more connected and more productive. It is integrated into our lives in such a way that, for many, living without access to technology would be dire. Many use technology to communicate, socialize, learn, work, travel, health and the list can go on. And I would say technology is exciting especially when it's created and used for good; solving many problems of today's world and making life easier and more enjoyable for everyone!
So, how can technology enhance the learning experiences of students?
Assistive technology is any device, software, or equipment that helps people work around challenges - Understood.org
By this definition, a laptop computer, smartphone, iPad, tablet, etc., can be considered and used as an assistive technology because of the built in capabilities for accessibility, apps and/or software that enhance access and learning experiences for students. Built-in capabilities such as text-to-speech, speech-to-text, notetaking, time management, etc.
The information on this webpage is designed to help students identify and use the built-in capabilities of their devices for Reading, Writing, Notetaking and Time Management, which all support being successful in college!
Reading may be supported by the use of Text-to-Speech (TTS), which is a type of assistive technology tool that allows people to listen to digital text read out loud. TTS may help students who struggle with reading, reading comprehension, writing and focusing.
Listed below are a few of the commonly used TTS that are built in to many of our devices:
Spotlight - Text-to-Speech (PIXIE)
Reading on the web has just gotten customizable! Introducing Pixie!
FREE Office 365 Account for VCCCD students
CCC Document Converter
Speech-to-Text is the process of converting your spoken words into digital text. There are many different ways to refer to speech-to-text: dictation, voice-to-text, voice recognition or speech recognition. These terms all mean that you can write with your voice. You can speak your words and your words will be typed out.
Speech-to-text is useful for students who may
- struggle with spelling (they can say a word and see how it's spelled)
- think faster than they can write by hand or type on a keyboard
- have mobility limitations that affect writing or using a keyboard
Be aware, though, that when using speech-to-text, imperfections will occur due to background noise, speed of speech, pronunciation, etc., so you may have to make some adjustments, including editing, to ensure accuracy. Also, punctation will need to be spoken or added later.
Strategies for College (Linda O'Brien)
Developing an effective notetaking process is a valuable and important skill for college students. Whether taking notes during lecture or while reading your course textbook, notetaking is the process of organizing information into an understandable format that will assist you in studying and the learning process.
Notetaking is a skill ... so it may take some time and may require some exploration as there are a variety of notetaking methods: outline, SQ4R, Cornell Method, Mapping Method, etc. And you may also find that you may utilize different notetaking processes/methods for different courses depending the subject. For example, the way you take notes in a Math course may be different than the way you take notes in your History course. And that is ok! The goal is to develop notetakings skills that work you ... notetaking skills that allow you to identify key concepts, main ideas and supporting details and organize that information in a manner that will aid your understanding, remembering and learning the subject.
Below are resources that may aid in developing your notetaking skills:
Reusable Notebook for taking notes
As a college student, time management is an essential skill. "Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Get it right, and you'll end up working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is tight and pressures are high." - MindTools
Below are a few resources and techniques that may aid in helping you develop good time management skills: