New Learning

November 26, 2010

MyStudyBar Planning and Vision

Filed under: Inclusion,Learning Technologies,Staff Development — kevhickeyuk @ 11:17 am

This post is related to an online presentation on the Planning & Vision components of MyStudyBar V3 which has been developed by the JISC RSC Scotland NE.  Many of the resources on this post link directly to those on including handouts in MS word format developed by Julie MacRitchie of Jewel & Esk College.

Click here to access a recording of the online training session on using MyStudyBar to support Palnning & Vision (26/11/10)

MyStudyBar is a collection of applications that can run directly from a USB Stick, a Network install or can be installed directly onto a PC.  The applications can be accessed via a floting toolbar which can be dragged to any part of the screen.

Downloading and installing mystudybar

The Latest Versions on MyStudyBar for Windows XP or Windows Vista & 7 can be downloaded as a zip file from Once downloaded the files should be extracted and added to a usb stick.

Planning Software

XMind Mindmapping Software

XMind and mind mapping tutorial in Word format

Sunbird Portable Calendar

Sunbird Calendar in Word format


HottNotes tutorial in Word format

Software to Support Vision








Virtual Magnifier tutorial in Word format

Sonar- Puts a ring around your Cursor








Sonar mouse tracking tutorial in Word format

Thunder- Screen Reader

Thunder Screen reader tutorial in Word format via


November 12, 2010

Accessible Gaming

Filed under: Inclusion — kevhickeyuk @ 5:01 pm

Accessible gaming

Several colleges are using video games with learners to encourage engagement and interaction.  There are some great examples of how games consoles have helped learners with disabilities to get involved with activities and collaborate with other learners.

The following podcast is an interview from June 2009, with Anita Appleton, Head of department for Supported Learning at Trafford College about how they have been useing the Nintendo Wii and Wii fit with learners with learning difficulties.

Unfortunately not all games and consoles are as accessible as they could be. is a website which reviews popular games from an accessibility point of view.  The site has a real community feel with a forum, blog and community photos.  It also includes news related to the accessibility of video games, such as the development of an accessible controller for the Guitar Hero games

RoboBraille- Not just about Braille

Filed under: Inclusion — kevhickeyuk @ 11:25 am

RoboBraille is a free service which allows anyone to email a document to a dedicated email address and, within a few minutes, get a reply which includes the text converted into a chosen format including;

  • MP3 file of the text being read out
  • Daisy format audio book
  • Braille, either 6 or 8 dot, full text or contracted

The following video shows how it is being used at Lancaster and Morecambe College, not just with visualy impaired learners, but also with dyslexic learners and those learning a foreign language.

November 3, 2010

Microsoft speech recognition

Filed under: Uncategorized — kevhickeyuk @ 2:39 pm

I have just gone through the tutorial for Microsoft Windows Seven speech recognition. This is software which is built in to the latest version of Microsoft Windows which allows you to too many of the tasks of using computer without touching the keyboard or mouse. Following on from the tutorial I decided to give it a go by writing this blog post just using Microsoft speech recognition. This meant that I had to open my Internet browser, Navigate to WordPress , select add a new post And dictate the title and content of this post.


As you can probably tell I am definitely not an expert in using this software, but I am not doing too bad. It is definitely taking me longer to dictate this than it would to type in this, and there are a few frustrating mistakes along the way, but I am getting there.


The only complaint I have about the tutorial Is that it did not include the phrase, mouse grid. This phrase is invaluable when trying to navigate websites.


Well that’s enough for me dictating, I will now do my best to publish just using speech recognition. If anyone gets to read this blog post it means it’s worked.

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