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Reading Speller: A New Method of Teaching Spelling, Volume 2

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This new version has been developed because it is usually run with an IWB. These are fitted at varying heights, that often do not suit pupils. Problem solved, we hope! In Phase One, the program has been re-coded in html5 and JavaScript for a future-proof implementation. A few bugs have been corrected. Most keyboard types are now supported, including Mac; Windows US; Bluetooth keyboard for iPad or Android device. This is a summary of the presentation to be given at CALL Scotland ASL & Technology Conference 14th June 2017.

There are some things that you need to know before supporting a learner on the road to touch typing Touch typing is a motor learning experience. This means not looking at your hands. The best way to ensure this is to cover the learner’s hands with a light cloth. If you truly learn to touch type this skill will last a lifetime like riding a bike. Even learners with mild to moderate visual impairment can be tempted to peep.Doorway Text Type is a touch typing tutor (TTT) takes learners from the home keys to mastery of the whole keyboard and typing sentences. This activity is designed to be as accessible as possible to visually impaired learners as possible. This should benefit all learners.

There is now a rough Words Per Minute (WPM) score. This is only available after exercise 27. Accuracy is more important than speed, however, as our QTVI has reported, occasionally a young learner will continue to type at a very slow speed, once all the letters and common punctuation are established. WPM is a motivator but a very crude score and should only be used for comparing your own speed with previous scores. Touch Typing is just that. There should be no keeking* at the keyboard. Do not look at the keyboard or your hands, all the information you need is on the screen in Doorway Touch Type.Where do Speller’s wordlists lists come from? Originally, Speller took its exercises from a scheme developed by Mrs Isabel Middleton of Howdenburn Primary School, Jedburgh. She devised it when the 5 – 14 Curriculum was being introduced from 1991 onwards. It gave a rational structure and wordlists to match the (then) new levels. The scheme covered Levels A to D in the Curriculum for Excellence. the on-screen representation of all the target keyboards, Windows and Mac, US and UK layouts and Bluetooth. Doorway Activities have been developed in Flash. This is a very suitable medium for creating these learning activities. However since the original development work was done, Flash has become less popular. The first blow was that Flash was not allowed on the iPad. Doorway Speller.A teacher in Dundee has re-arranged and renamed the levels in line with current practice

Assessment mode is when a word is said but not displayed for the child and they have to type it in correctly without seeing it. The students have introduced a search feature which allows you to find a list with your target word in. This makes Speller a lot more useful for the casual user. Doorway Text Type is a series of exercises that, followed properly, can lead to a high rate of accuracy in typing and a good rate in terms of words per minute. In handwritten exams with a lot of writing involved. Writing at a rate of 20 words per minute is an arduous task.* “keeking” scots for peeping, or peeking A Touch Typing programme is a series of lessons starting with the home keys ( A S D F J K L : ) and leading to full mastery of the keyboard. Moving on to the next exercise without sufficient mastery of the current exercise will only lead to disappointment later on. A score of 90%, or one error in every ten keypresses, should be the minimum achievement before moving on. 94% or better is our recommended level of accuracy before progressing. You need to get into a comfortable position in which the hands fall naturally onto the keyboard. The surface on which the keyboard stands must not be too high. The wrists may rest on pads if you are typing for a long time.The menus look rather different, however, we think they are an improvement, as they make the available options clearer. All the same features are there except for Practice Talking Keyboard. This feature will be included in Phase 2. Pupils can practise their phonics on a variety of levels from first sounds and CVC words to more complex blends and phoneme diagraphs. Please use the full-screen option. This is what the design is based around. The screen format is more “letterbox” than in TT2. This has led to a certain amount of pressure on the vertical presentation. This was felt to be the best solution to creating multi-device activities. Please note that full-screen option does not work as you would expect on an iPad. Apple have gone their own way.

There are fewer display options in Text Type 3 stage 1. I believe the most commonly used options are available including a rather good inverse video. Only one “indicator style” is used. If there is a demand, some enhancements to the on-screen keyboard for VI learners will be re-instated. Students from Glasgow University have been working on updating some activities to up-to-date web standards;The wordlists in Speller 2 are exactly the same as in the old Speller. You may need to get used to the new arrangement. Be assured the lists are still all there.

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