Technology to Make Learning Easier

Many parents wonder if modern technology is helping or hurting their child’s learning.  The bottom line is that technology can be a distraction at times, but it can also be a huge asset, especially for students who need a little extra help.

Technology to Help the Writing Process

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a fantastic tool for students who are asisstive technologystruggling with writing out their thoughts on paper. As the user speaks, the words are typed.  It can be used to create and edit documents, launch apps, and control the mouse.  The software allows students to get their ideas down on paper without the physical act of writing or typing.

Note Taking Computer Programs

Tools such as Notability (iPad), One Note and Word, and the Livescribe Pen ( are great tools that allow students to record a lecture while taking notes at the same time. These tools sync the audio recorded with the notes the student has taken. Tools such as these allow students to focus on what is actually being said during a class rather than racing to write everything down. It can also be a beneficial study aid to those students who learn best auditorally as they can re-listen to a class discussion.

Technology to Help with Reading

Many students who struggle with reading still enjoy having the books read out loud to them and studies have shown that reading improves when a student follows along with the text being read aloud. There are many options to have the text read aloud to a student including a computerized voice through a computer, or a book on tape with a professionally narrating voice. The software that works best for many students highlights words as they are read aloud, so that the student can easily follow along with the words being read. Kurzweil 3000 is a great option for students to use with almost any textbook. Novels and other literature can be downloaded with a subscription to

I recently spoke to a Vienna mom who was curious about computer programs that could assist her fifth grade son who has dyslexia. Kurzweil 300 is often a great assisstive tool for students with dyslexia.

iPad App for Reading Help

The iPad’s newest operating system allows for students to have access to so many learning tools. The software allows for text to be selected and read aloud as well as enlarged as much as needed. One great app available for the iPad is called Voice Dream Reader.

As parents, we can help our children to find the right tools that make learning easier.  For many students, the right software can make writing that once seemed impossible, possible and reading that used to be insurmountable, easy to conquer.  Encourage your student to check out these options to see if one is right for him or her.