Technology test taking options


This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  entropy 1 year, 5 months ago.

  • Author
  • #61761

    Susan Jennings

    My grandson is in 2nd grade and is diagnosed with ADHD along with issues that affect his ability to write legible/lengths of time. Test taking is an issue for him. He knows the material and can verbalize the answers but cannot write it down legibly. There is an issue about having tests read to him; as one of his teachers believes that is an unfair advantage for him – when done he usually receives a perfect score but she will not give him recognition as excellent because she feels that he had an unfair advantage over the other students. He feels that studying was a waste of time because he doesn’t get the recognition of having done well on the test that another student received when they get 100%. I fear he will soon give up studying altogether think that effort is not rewarded (always) and he is only in the 2nd grade.

    My question is since reading the test to the student and taking the test orally is an issue for the teacher is it possible for:
    1) the teacher to place the test on-line for a text-to-speech read to the student – teacher is in control of how it is read so she can rest assured there were no hints given in the reading (facial gestures etc)
    2) for the student to use voice recognition to record his answers directly onto the test (as in to pause the text-to-speech and add in your voice recognition responses)

    If this is possible what are the steps needed and/or program to use?

    This is a very progressive school district with the exception of an excellent teacher that does not “believe” in ADHD or technology that in her words, “give them an unfair advantage over the other students.” Her teaching is excellent but she will be his teacher in this subject for the next 5 years in a favorite subject for him (right now).
    Thanks for any help!

  • #61777


    This teacher sounds like a really horrible fit for a student with ADHD. πŸ™

    An accommodation to take tests orally is a perfectly acceptable accommodation for test taking when a student has learning challenges. My son was permitted to do his spelling tests orally in 1st and 2nd grade because of dysgraphia and written expression disorder. He aced just about every one. Why? Not because he took the test orally, but because he actually knew the material, but has a disability that makes it hard for him to show that he knows the material in writing. Isn’t the entire goal of a test to see how well the students are learning the material?!?!?!?

    Frankly, all of his peers have an unfair advantage because they have neurotypical brains. I mean, really!

    As it stands with this teacher, your son is being punished for having a disability, by not getting the same access to academic success. That’s never ok. My son had a teacher like this in 4th grade. She refused to implement any of his goals, accommodations, and assistive technology outlined in his IEP. Just kept telling me, him, the principal, the behavior specialist, etc… that he just needed to “work harder.” He ended up having the worst anxiety of his life (he’s about to turn 15) and the one and only destructive/violent meltdown he’s ever had at school that year, under that teacher. After that meltdown where they had to clear the classroom of all the other students for their safety, the principal moved him to a different teacher with only one quarter left of the school year. (This teacher was so very destructive to my son that I nicknamed her Ms. Gultch in my book!)

    I’d take this issue to the principal, and then to the Director of Special Ed for your board of education if the principal doesn’t do what’s right and follow the law.

    Now, to answer the other part of your question, google docs has speech to text capability and is totally free. And there’s google forms where the teacher could create a text/quiz to be completed online. There are a great many options to address learning challenges. Unfortunately, there aren’t a great many teachers willing to follow the law and do it.

    Here’s an outline of what I’ve had to do and the letters and documents I’ve had to create over the years to advocate for my son’s needs in school:

    ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #63387


    There is a perfect technology solution for this issue:

    * _Windows_ Laptop (I would recommend a Surface _Pro_–which is very versatile and runs full Windows Professional)

    * Kurzweil 3000 + Firefly

    * Dragon NaturallySpeaking _Professional_

    * Headphones or Headset with Microphone

    Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice dictation software that integrates directly with Kurzweil 3000 + Firefly. Kurzweil 3000 has direct text to speech support, along with direct integration and support for Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional, along with a great testing mode to allow him to take the test independently on the laptop.

    Windows works better with Kurzweil 3000 as this operating system is much more versatile than MacOS. I have used both Mac and Windows versions of Kurzweil and Windows is way better for this kind of support in school.

    Here is more info about it:

    While his teacher may be nuts, this sort of assistive technology will be a life changer for him with school and his independence.

    I would not have succeeded in engineering at university without Kurzweil 3000 + Firefly and Dragon Naturally Speaking. I was top of my class.

    Also, I worked at Geek Squad for almost 3 years at the counter, part time, coming up with solutions for customers.

    So, I hope this input helps. I promise you this advice is solid.

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