Windham High School, which opened in August 2009, offers a technology rich curriculum supported by a one-to-one laptop program. Each student is equipped with a MacBook laptop containing a suite of programs to support student learning and productivity. Embedded within the MacBook laptop is an easily accessible text-to-speech tool that students can use for auditory support.
Students with qualified learning disabilities are enrolled in Bookshare, an organization that provides access to digital materials and free software to access the digital materials. For MacBook laptops, the free software available from Bookshare is Don Johnson’s Read Out Loud for Bookshare.
During the 2009-2010 school year, eligible students could use Read Out Loud 5 Bookshare Edition to provide text-to-speech for Bookshare digital textbooks as well Read Out Loud 5’s highlighting, outlining, and notes tools to support studying. They could also use Read Out Loud 5 to support Internet browsing. All students could use the MacBook’s text-to-speech feature in conjunction with Microsoft Word or Mac Pages to help with proofreading and revision of written assignments.
In preparation for the 2010 - 2011 school year, all laptops were upgraded to Mac OS X 10.6, causing an incompatibility with Read Out Loud 5 Bookshare Edition. Since Bookshare and Don Johnson did not have a date for when the incompatibility would be resolved, the Special Services Department purchased an unlimited site license ($1300) for Read Out Loud 6, which would work properly with both Mac OS x 10.6 and Bookshare. For the 2010-11 school year, this software was loaded on the laptop of any student who needed it. Sta...
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...site license for Solo 6 Literacy Suite (which would allow installation on every computer at WHS) is $5399
Given that the Solo 6 Literacy Suite provides the similar supports as Kurzweil 3000 for the Macintosh V4.5, purchasing and installing the site license for the Solo 6 Literacy Suite on every computer and laptop at WHS allows all students to have access to the software. All teachers would also have access to the same software and may be able to incorporate the use of the tools in their teaching. In addition, purchasing a Web License Learning Lab Pack for a Kurzweil 3000 for the Macintosh V4.5 would allow college bound students to learn the tool and become proficient in its use prior to entering college.
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