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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.

他说:“在我完成中学学业之后,我发现自己患有中度阅读障碍和注意力缺陷障碍(ADD)。”。

在追求高等教育的同时,他发誓要出人头地,回报社会。在社会工作专业毕业后,Senthilkumar获得了医学和精神病学、学校社会工作的博士学位,并在联合国和其他机构担任志愿者。但尽管取得了这些成就,但他在德里时参加的一次讲座改变了他的一生。

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

由于诵读和补充,他的童年和他在学校面临的麻烦提醒他。他开始研究诵读综合症和其他合并症,并在医院担任辅导员。2000年,他决定搬回他的家乡,确保其他像他这样的孩子不会被否认未来。

从一个学生开始,他开办了Helikx开放学校和学习中心,教育学习障碍儿童。近二十年来,这所学校一直在满足7-17岁年龄组的一系列特殊学习障碍儿童的学习需求。如今,学校已经帮助700多名儿童克服了困难,其中大部分来自低收入群体。

“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.

所有能力的技术

在最初的几年里,学校依靠传统的教学方法,计算机只能用于办公室行政服务。但在2009年,该校购置了一些价格合理的笔记本电脑,以了解如何将技术与教学课程相结合。

“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。

“当孩子们开始使用科技时,我能看出他们在信心上的差异。该校的补习老师维迪亚说:“对于正在学习写作的大一点的阅读障碍儿童来说,听写功能可以帮助他们写出简单的句子,而不用担心拼写错误。”。

同样,对于多动症学生,教师使用OneNote教授词汇,鼓励他们创建思维导图、线性图和网络图,以增加他们的注意力广度和记忆力。同时工具如Sway帮助他们在卡胡特每节课结束时的小测验都能方便地测试他们的记忆力。

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).

“山姆喜欢讲故事。当我在课堂上讲一个故事时,他从中吸收了一些人物,创造了一个全新的故事。当他在Flipgrid上创建一个新故事时,他的想象力得到了充分发挥。

如今,学校已经为每位师生部署了微软团队。库马尔根据他们的年级建威廉希尔体育官网立了独立的学习渠道,这使得他们即使不在学校也能学习,就像目前的COVID-19情况一样。

正在为15-17岁年龄组的儿童提供在线数学课程
正在为15-17岁年龄组的儿童开设数学课。

库马尔说:“我们的大多数学生家里没有笔记本电脑,但他们仍然可以用手机上课。”。

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.

他自豪地说:“我的一个学生完成了他的工程,为国内一些最大的IT公司工作,现在在班加罗尔开了一家初创公司。”。

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

“过去几年里,我们看到了科技的丰硕成果。我们甚至建立了一个创新实验室,并热衷于在未来几年内用工具扩大和提升自己,让我们的孩子飞得更高。”。

顶部照片:Sam(名称已更改),一个学生自闭症,使用沉浸式读者在OneNote与图片字典读故事。所有图片都在威利克克斯开放学校和学习中心。