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A primary student at Helikx Open school using pictorial dictionary feature of Immersive Reader to read a story.

How one man is using tech to change the lives of children with learning disabilities

在萨勒姆长大,一个工业小镇nestled on the highway connecting Bengaluru and Chennai, Senthilkumar Govindarajulu could never explain to his teachers why he couldn’t read and write like other students or retain lessons as well as his classmates did.



“I attended a lecture by Neelam Sinha, JNU’s national coordinator for open school system, where she spoke about disabilities and learning,” he reminisces.



“We are guided by the principle of ‘Can you teach me the way I can understand’. Each child that comes to us has immense potential. It is our job to find the right methods to simplify learning for them,” Dr Senthilkumar says.

A photo of Senthilkumar holding a mic and talking to an audience
Diagnosed with moderate Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Disorder, Dr Senthilkumar Govindarajulu came back to his hometown to start an open school for children with cognitive disabilities.



“Once we acquired the laptops, there has been no looking back,” says Kishore Kumar, an alumnus of the school, who returned after finishing his bachelor’s in computer science to serve the school as its IT head. Since then, the school has implemented威廉希尔体育官网Microsoft学习工具onOneNoteto teach and engage with students with different learning disabilities.

For students with dyslexia, who suffer from difficulties in reading, writing, and poor memory, teachers use沉浸式读者广泛提高他们的阅读能力。对于年轻学生来说,他们中的许多人都是家庭中的第一代学习者,老师还提供了图片词典来帮助记忆的保持。



It is students with autism, however, who need the most attention. The teachers at Helikx Open School and Learning Center have found theFlipgridto be an engaging tool for students like Sam (name changed).





Moving to Teams has also provided teachers new tools to engage with their students remotely. While some teachers are using Kahoot quizzes at the end of their classes, others are encouraging students to create and share content using Sway,邦塞,and绘制3D. 为了复制考试环境,老师们也在分享Microsoft Formson Teams, which they need to fill and send back.

“Considering the students are currently not in school, we are also creating PowerPoint presentations with audio clips and OneNote pages with immersive reader and picture dictionary, which they can download and learn whenever they can,” adds Pradha Senthil, another teacher at the school.

Dreams do come true

When Dr. Senthilkumar returned to his hometown in 2000, he’d never imagined how impactful his vision would turn out to be. Many of his students have managed to make it to the regular workforce.


So what’s next for Dr Senthilkumar and his team at Helikx?