Dundee Schools declare EasyProducer an incredible time saver
Plus student confidence and indpendence is on the up!
8th Oct, 2007
H.I. and V.I. Support Teacher Margaret finds that alt format software can save her around five hours when creating a DAISY book
Use new DAISY creation software or stick to using an old-fashioned voice recorder?
“No contest!” says secondary school VI and HI support teacher Margaret Hayes, who is finding the latest software to create digital talking books an incredible time-saver.
Margaret works for the Multi-Sensory Service in Dundee and uses Dolphin EasyProducer to create DAISY books for her visually or print impaired students. She had previously used a DAISY recorder and even some DAISY recording software before trying EasyProducer when it was released. “I soon realised that it was simpler to use, able to display text and pictures — and that it would cut about five hours off the production process!” she says.
Margaret now uses this state-of-the-art alt format software for turning school science curriculum material into DAISY books for use by students.
With EasyProducer, audio narration can be added to a Word document (either scanned in, downloaded or composed on screen) at the click of a button. A chapter of a book can be converted in just 90 seconds and pictures can be included and enhanced as needed.
“I give pupils copies of the DAISY books on CD to take home to listen to for personal study. And I also keep copies in school for use during tutorials when we can look and listen to them together, using the EasyReader software that comes with it,” she explains.
“EasyProducer saves me a great deal of editing time and I have found the process simple enough, by following the help instructions.”
The head of General Science at the school is now also making shared use of Margaret’s DAISY materials. And other departments such as Learning Support are becoming aware of the potential of this time-saving software too, which is a world away from having to record course material and revision notes on tape.
DAISY’s a confidence-booster
One of Margaret’s visually impaired students, 14-year-old ‘J’, says that using the DAISY books she creates for science tutorials and home use has done more than just help him keep up to date with classwork.
“It has also made me feel more confident and independent about my work,” says J. He explains: “I like the way I can easily navigate around the DAISY books - it means I’m always able to find the information I need. Now when I’m asked questions in class I’m more sure of the answers. And being able to take DAISY books home on CD to listen to on a headset has also helped me pass my big second year tests.”
During science tutorials with Margaret, J gets the full alt format experience by listening to the audio narration and following the words and pictures on screen using Dolphin EasyReader.
He says: “The colour changes behind the words as it reads, which makes it easier to follow. The voice is an English one (Daniel) and is easy to follow, too.
“And by using the toolbar I can easily change the font size and display diagrams so that I can see them better. “It’s pretty simple to use – I like it and reckon that DAISY books have helped me to improve some of my grades.”
'J' has been awarded his School's Prize for Special Effort in Science.