“Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational.” – George Couros
Trident Academy believes that assistive technology is a vital tool in helping our students with their learning differences and stay competitive in today’s world. We integrate the latest in assistive technology into our classrooms and curriculum without making the technology the goal. The technology is there to help when needed but always used with a judicious touch by our great teachers.
Students in all grades and learning levels learn to use different forms of technology as resources in becoming independent learners. Our classrooms are equipped interactive touchscreen TVs; our students are completely 1-to-1 with Chromebook tablets (2nd grade and younger) and touchscreen Chromebook laptops (3rd grade and older); teachers and students incorporate multi-sensory tools such as touchscreens, text-to-speech technology, voice recognition, specialized reading software and other tools to ensure our students are getting the best possible learning experience.
Trident Academy’s Educational Technology (EdTech) Director, Kyle Brown, is a Google for Education Certified Trainer, one of about a dozen within the Charleston area. Our EdTech Director provides ongoing assistance and training to students, teachers, and parents to help them learn more about using these rapidly evolving learning tools.
Below are some of the biggest highlights of the assistive technology used at Trident Academy:
Chromebooks and Chrome tablets (both with Android app support) : Each student has both an at-home and at-school touchscreen device (tablets for grades K-2, laptops for grades 3-12). These devices have built in assisstive tools such as one-click voice to text, text reader with variable voices and speeds, handwriting (cursive and block) input available universally, and more.
Touchscreen capability makes digital lessons more hands-on and multisensory than traditional keyboards. And these devices can be easily upgraded in bulk with add on features and apps to further enhance assistive accessibility options for students.
For a great video example of the handwriting Chromebook/tablet tool in action, click here. For an slightly longer video showcasing the other assistive tools available on our student devices, click here.
TextHelp Applications (Read & Write Toolbar, OrbitNote, Fluency Tutor, WriQ) : Trident Academy uses a suite of programs from Texthelp, an award winning leader in support tools to assist students with reading and writing, helping them learn, understand and express themselves more confidently and independently.
Read & Write is a literacy assistive tool that offers help with everyday tasks like reading text out loud, understanding unfamiliar words, researching assignments and proofing written work. To see a video outlining the details of what the Read & Write Toolbar does for our students, click here.
OrbitNote turns static PDF documents into interactive worksheets where students and teachers can handwrite on the page with their touchscreens, add text and shapes, highlight passages and more, all while having access to various accessibility tools (text-to-speech, screen masking, etc.) To see a video of how OrbitNote is used, click here.
Fluency Tutor helps track and assess oral reading progress. Fluency Tutor lets students record themselves reading and share with the teacher – away from the pressures of reading aloud in the classroom environment. It features text-to-speech, dictionary and translation tools, for learning readers. These support tools help build reading understanding and confidence. To see a video on Fluency Tutor, click here.
WriQ gives meaningful feedback and motivation directly to students whenever they digitally write. WriQ helps students improve writing skills and quality and increase their confidence and skill attainment as a result. Students can track how long they can write for, before taking a pause or stopping (a writing burst). Positive nudge notifications prompt them to do a little better every day. They’re only ever in competition with themselves. To see more on WriQ, click here (for teacher view) or here (for student view).
Read Naturally & Lexercise : These two online programs help students in their OG classes with both their reading and writing skills. Both of these programs work with the Chromebooks and tablets’ built in accessibility tools, in addition to having helpful assistive tools of their own. Track progress, offer individualized assistance, and work toward measurable goals – these two OG programs are used regularly at Trident Academy.
Based on O-G principles, Lexercise combines multimedia lessons, personalized student practice games, and comprehensive student progress tracking. Lexercise for Schools provides :
For a video with more information on Lexercise, click here.
Improving fluency and phonics skills while supporting vocabulary and comprehension development, Read Naturally’s Read Live program combines an intrinsically motivating system with the best evidence-based practices to deliver results fast. For a video with more information on Read Naturally, click here.
To see a more detailed list of all the technology assistance available at school, visit our Trident Academy “Digital Tools for Students and Teachers” website.
Trident Academy admits students of any gender, sexual orientation and identity (including transgender status), race, color, religion, national and/or ethnic origin, and provides students with all rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. In accordance with applicable law, it does not discriminate in the administration of its education policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school administered programs. Similarly, Trident Academy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on disability. However, consistent with Trident Academy’s mission, it is the admission policy that to qualify for admission consideration, students must have diagnosed learning disabilities and/or certain communication disorders and meet certain threshold criteria as evidenced by their professional testing documents.