Parent and experienced runner Nicola Billis is running the Stroud Half Marathon this year on Sunday 22nd October to raise money to help fund the purchase (via FOLSS – the PTFA) of new much needed iPads for the SEN pupils at her daughter’s school in Leonard Stanley. Nicola is no stranger to running having done the London Marathon TWICE! for different charities but she thought a local race for a local cause would be a great thing to do. Nicola is also a teacher in FE and sees the difference this sort of equipment has on students from an early age. Also, with school funds being cut students with ‘Special Educational Needs’ could be missing out on vital supporting technology which could change their lives in school.

Nicola would really appreciate your sponsorship so please give generously by either donating via PayPal, in person via Nicola’s sponsorship form or by writing a cheque (payable to FOLSS) and posting to c/o FOLSS, Leonard Stanley School, Bath Road, Leonard Stanley GL10 3LY.

We’ll be cheering her on and send her lots of luck for the 22nd!

SPONSOR NICOLA HERE





The benefits of using iPads in education

It’s something that’s more than capable of providing a customized learning environment to students who suffer from different learning disabilities such as ADHD, dyscalculia, dyslexia and so on.

1. iPads are intuitive
Anybody can use an iPad through intuition.
The touch technology is something that doesn’t require a huge amount of experience to get into. It usually works on instinct. A simple example:
Do you want to click on something on iPad? You’ll just have to place your thumb on the option and it’ll activate itself almost immediately. You can’t get simpler than that; can you?
The touch screen technology is nothing but a blessing for students having motor impairments. That’s because it’s more or less synchronous to the way their bodies move. So why write with a pencil when you can write with your fingertips? It’s easier and more convenient especially to a student who’s suffering from motor impairment.

2. iPads can customize the learning environment for the student
Most students having learning difficulties usually take a little bit more time to comprehend the subject matter at hand.
They may also face problems with things like:
Note taking, Classroom lectures, Class-work & Homework
iPads can help to keep these problems at bay in the best possible manner by tuning down the learning environment to the way that suits the student the best.
A simple example:
Students suffering from ADHD can use their iPads to record classroom lectures so that they can go through them slowly at any later time of their convenience.

3. iPads support a host of special education apps that can be used for therapeutic purposes
iPads don’t just have the ability to customize the learning environment for the kid. They also have the ability to provide him/her with access to special education apps that can help to build up certain skills in them which can help them immensely in the long run.
In fact, iTunes has a section that’s devoted specifically to these apps that are capable of teaching everything from different sign languages to various life skills. Check them out.

4. iPads can teach organization to students
Most students suffering from learning disabilities have disorganisation problems. iPads can come in as a solution.
With the help of an iPad, students won’t lose their assignments any more. Their worksheets and “things to do” list will right be there on the device itself. A simple feature like that can save a whole lot of time indeed. It can also encourage the student to stay organized in his/her approach to education.

5. iPads can help to build social awareness in students
Most students suffering from learning issues usually are a bit submissive in comparison to the rest. They don’t exactly mingle much with people and aren’t sociable enough.
iPads can help them with that. They can make them socially responsible and may also help to build up social awareness in them. Isn’t that effective enough?

6. iPads help to keep the students from feeling overwhelmed
While a task might look simple to others, it might actually be a whole lot more difficult to the student who’s suffering from disabilities such as ADHD and dyslexia.

A simple example:
Tying shoelaces. The task is simple enough for students who don’t have learning problems. On the other hand, it’s considerably more difficult for dyslexic students to do because of their poor dexterity and poor motor skills.

A simple thing like that can be overwhelming indeed. It can result in a huge lose of self-confidence which, in turn, can have a significant negative impact on the child as a whole. iPads help to keep such problems at bay through a diversity of apps.

If the student faces considerable difficulty with one particular skill, iPads can provide him/her with a range of app solutions that can help him/her learn the very same skill over time. So efficiency you wanted; efficiency you’ll get. There’s absolutely no doubt about it.

To sum up, I would say iPads can literally transform the education for the good of a student who’s suffering from learning difficulties.