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The scanning pen provides an excellent way of getting accurate rapid feedback on individual words. If the user needs feedback on whole sentences it will not be good enough as it is impossible to scan sentences in one go unless they are contained within a single line of print. The pen provides mobile availability so can be used anywhere without any other need for a computer or a power supply.
If the user is as young as Year 3, I would strongly recommend a trial to establish they can successfully scan words consistently. It requires accurate co-ordination. The pen can scan fonts up to size 22, so very large print books would not be accessible.
I would argue it is a lot more than an ‘ok aid’! It provides any reader who experiences frustration with failing to recognise longer ‘difficult’ words with a means to access such text. This is essential for their meaningful engagement in any learning task that involves reading. To withhold such means of access is wrong. It condemns such learners to being excluded from engaging in learning, unlike their peers who can read without help. So it should be available in any and every lesson that requires the learner to read independently. The only alternative is to provide an adult to do the reading – a way of creating dependency rather than independence.
Hope that is helpful.
BDA New Technologies Committee