I tried the ExamReader with several of our dyslexic students and the feedback was very positive.
The students were given an unseen text and asked to read independently and then at the end they had to give a review of the text and a run-down of the main points. The students found the pen easy to use after initial instructions and were fully able to engage in the task assigned without needing support.
The feedback from the students was as follows:
‘I found it easy to use’
‘It helped me read words I couldn’t figure out on my own’
‘I didn’t have to concentrate so hard on understanding the text because I wasn’t worrying about reading the difficult words’
‘I felt that I understood the text better because I wasn’t stressing about not being able to read sections’
‘I would definitely use this pen for class and homework’
As the teacher observing this work it was interesting to see how engaged the students were with the reading task and how informed they were at the end. The pen appeared to help them focus on the task and also helped with their comprehension as they were able to relay the information, they read to me.
One of the students had ASD and ADHD and there was a marked difference in his behaviour around reading. Usually this student is very distracted, finds it difficult to apply himself to a quiet task and begins to distract others before he completes a task. However, when he used the pen his behaviour was markedly different. He sat quietly and read a newspaper article without lifting his head once.
His feedback was very positive. He said that it helped him concentrate and to focus on the reading task. He was very clear that he found the pen very helpful and it worked well for him.
This was a very interesting outcome for us as it is often very difficult for this student to apply himself to a quiet, reading task.
Overall, I would say that the pen is definitely something that our students would benefit from. I feel it would be most helpful for students whose reading is at a halfway point between needing a paired reading program and those who just need assisted reading practice. In my view, the pen would be most beneficial to the students who just need an assisted reading practice as it allows them to read independently without having to ask for assistance with difficult multi-syllable words.