TutoDYS: an inclusive way of learning online
Many children have had to learn at home in the past few months due to temporary school closures provoked by Covid-19. While online learning platforms can facilitate the process of learning online for many children, this is not the case for all of them. Around one in ten children will encounter problems because the existing online LMS (learning management systems) are simply not adapted to their special needs.
We are talking about children with specific learning disorders (SLDs) known as “Dys” – children with dyslexia, dysphasia, dyscalculia or dyspraxia. In the EU, between 2.9 and 3.2 million students are affected in primary schools alone. They are still perfectly capable of acquiring the same competences as their peers, but they need appropriate assistance. And here lies the problem: there is nowhere near enough support for them.
A learning platform for Dys learners’ needs
Our team at Logopsycom, together with our partners from all over Europe, have decided to venture into the creation of an LMS platform for Dys learners between the age of 6 and 12 to respond to the existing need of support. The goal of this platform is to help Dys students in the development of basic skills with modules in reading, writing, speaking, STEM and general knowledge. Thus, also tackling school disadvantage and its correlation with early school dropout. The TutoDys platform will make the most of available modern technologies to create efficient learning materials to be used online. It will allow learners to practice both remotely and autonomously, in a stress-free and gamified environment. No such platform exists to this day, so this is going to be an adventure!
The platform will not only consist of a series of structured learning paths containing a large number of online exercises in 5 languages (English, French, Italian, Croatian and Bulgarian) adapted for primary school Dys learners in terms of format and content, but it will also include a pre-testing function and a communication tool.
A specific learning disorder can be detected from the age of 6 when children acquire basic skills in reading, writing and maths. It is crucial to detect it as soon as possible to be able to give adequate support to the Dys learner. Through simplified access to a first test, the pre-testing tool will allow its users to get early support for potential Dys learners. It is important to note, however, that this pre-testing tool will in no way be a substitute to a professional diagnosis.
The integrated communication tool will enable parents, teachers and specialists to exchange about learners’ improvements, needs and support. Communication and collaboration are key factors when it comes to providing effective schooling for students with learning disorders. The platform thus also aims at serving as a space for all stakeholders of Dys education to join forces and work collaboratively on adequate learning strategies.
Inclusive STEM learning
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in primary school are often very appreciated by children since they are curious and want to understand what surrounds them. However, they can be complex for Dys children – especially children with dyscalculia and dyspraxia – as teaching methods are not well adapted. The STEM module of the LMS aims at developing inclusive and adapted exercises with explanations covering the educational programme of primary education. The exercises will be interactive and include elements of gamification to increase the learners’ motivation. The students will be able to follow various learning paths with many exercises for each grade, divided by topic and level of difficulty. The topics covered in this module will focus on mathematics and biology, including counting, geometry, time conversion, the solar system, the climate, the human body and many more. The objective is to encourage children with SLDs to practice and ultimately feel at ease with STEM exercises. The exercises will also be a great resource for teachers.
In practice, in this project we will create:
This project will last for two and a half years during which we will inform you of its advancement and give some practical advice on how to support Dys learners.
Our partners in this ambitious project are EDULOG (France), Euphoria (Italie), Les Apprimeurs (France), DABG (Sdruzhenie “Asociacia Dyslexia – Bulgarie) et Josip Matos PS (OSNOVNA SKOLA JOSIPA MATOSA – Croatie).
First European bank of free educational resources for dyspraxic children, from 6 to 15 years old.
Open online course about learning disorders.
Inclusive education system in higher education to help teachers integrate good practice and new methods to support students with specific learning difficulties and also foreign students studying in a foreign language.