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123Apps is a brilliant website if you need to edit audio or video files quickly and easily. It's a handy one-stop-shop with lots of different functions all under one umbrella, all of which are super easy to navigate and use. Their tagline reads: "Our apps are easy to use, safe, free and run in the browser." - all of which I can vouch for!
There's funding available via Access to Work, to help cover the costs associated with reasonable adjustments in the workplace. This could give you access to support or equipment that would enable you to do your job to the best of your ability. We've put together a step-by-step guide to help you through the application process!
Audio Notetaker is an audio-based PC software program for easy note taking. This can be used with a Dictaphone or digital voice recorder, to upload audio notes, presentations and your own notes. Lectures often contain Microsoft PowerPoint slides and these can be uploaded into Audio Notetaker along with the audio that the student has recorded. Audio data can be edited as well colour-coded with meaning.
Balabolka is a text-to-speech program for PCs which works with all computer voices installed on your system. It is able to recognise multiple file formats and the on-screen text can be saved in a wide range of audio formats. The program allows you to format the text, change numbers in the text with words, find homographs in the text, and even set the program to read foreign words with another voice.
Coggle is a free cloud-based concept mapping program - unlike most programs of this sort, it makes a feature of its simplicity. Coggle focuses on allowing users to collaborate quickly and easily on maps by removing what it describes as 'clutter' and 'unnecessary information'; it has a deliberately minimalistic design.
If you find a computer keyboard difficult to use, or if you simply find that watching your fingers when you type means that you make mistakes, it might be a good idea to learn to touch type, (touch typing means being able to look at the screen when you are typing, and training yourself to remember where the keys are).
While speech-to-text programs such as Dragon are certainly powerful (and sometimes available via a DSA or Access to Work application), many learners may not have an opportunity to use these tools due to their cost. Dictation.io is a website that offers a free, web browser based alternative. You don't need to train the program to adjust to your voice - just dictate directly into the browser and then save the text as an offline file.
With Dragon Dictate you can produce reports, email, articles, books, research notes, online content and more - quickly, easily and accurately. Smart phone and tablet users can connect Dragon to their mobile devices and talk into its built in microphones to allow the words to type up on your computer screen. Using a headset to dictate into Word documents or emails, Dragon Dictate helps users from getting tired and increases writing speed.
The Dragon Dictation app allows users to speak into their smart phone and Dragon will type it up. This is really useful for people who find typing hard and feel they get their ideas down a lot quicker if they speak out loud. This app is also great for dictating any emails or texts. We are big fans of this app as it allows us total freedom to walk around our houses and dictate - a fantastic app!
Dragon Naturally Speaking is a potentially life-changing tool! It's primarily a speech-to-text tool; you talk, it types what you just said. Not in front of your computer? Not a problem! Dragon has the facility to turn MP3s of your voice into Word documents, giving you the ability to be productive whenever and wherever inspiration strikes.
This is your guide to the Disabled Student Allowances (DSA) process. When you're first starting out it can all seem a bit daunting. DnA are here to help! This handy step-by-step guide will show you all the things you need to do to get up and running with your DSA support.
Essay Writer 3D is a concept mapping program, (much like Mindview, Mindmanager, or Inspiration). It allows you to create "spider diagrams" or "mind maps" on your computer. Unlike other similar programs, Essay Writer 3D pitches itself as being a tool specifically for turning your maps into essays, (as opposed to, say, creating a revision map).
Evernote is software designed for note taking and archiving. It enables you to save and collate "notes" of all different kinds: regular text, a webpage, a photograph, a voice memo, or even a handwritten note. You can add file attachments to notes and also sort them into folders, tag, edit, comment on and share notes. Evernote is compatible with a range of operating systems and devices and is synced automatically. Think of it like a digital scrap-book that you can carry with you everywhere
F.lux is a great tool that adjusts your screen's brightness according to the time of day. Staring at a bright screen, especially at night, is hard on your eyes and it can affect your sleep too. F.lux learns where you are and where the sun is in the sky and matches your screen to your eyes.
Google Drive is a free cloud storage application, similar to Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive. The basic principle behind having your files stored in "the cloud" is that you can easily back up documents, photos and other files just by saving them to a specific folder on your computer - your Google Drive folder.
Google Keep is a free cloud-based notetaking app which is excellent for capturing ideas, setting yourself reminders, and making checklists. It's similar to Evernote, in the sense that any notes you capture on your phone are immediately available to you on a PC or Mac when you log in with a Google account.
Grammarly is a free contextual proofreading tool: it's an advanced grammar, spelling, and punctuation tool that's integrated into your Chrome web browser! Not only does Grammarly help correct mistakes it helps improve one's grammar. Each suggested correction comes with a short explanation. And that explanation can be expanded to give more detail and show examples.
iThoughts is a touchscreen, mind mapping tool for the iPhone and iPad. Use it to create detailed visual plans, take colour-coded notes, or just to throw down as many ideas as you can about something, wherever you are. It lets you incorporate images, hyperlinks and various other resources into each idea. And you can use the note feature to add extra details. This map can then be exported via email or cloud-storage to any other person or device - even if they have different mind mapping software.
Word is the foundation for so much of what we do with our computers. Many of the programs described in this page, like concept mapping and text-to-speech programs, work closely with Word. Word is also very familiar. But there are hidden depths to the program and new features are added all the time.
This isn't a regular piece of software that's used in DnA training; it's very similar to Mind View and Mind Manager with time management help, but designed more for business projects. It helps you to capture, visualise and manage ideas and information in clearly structured ways.
Open Office is a suite of open source software containing word processing, spread sheet, presentation, graphics and database applications. It works with most operating systems and supports of 120 languages. It can also handle other file formats including those from Microsoft Office. It is a fantastic tool for replacing Microsoft Office, and best of all it's free!
There are lots of great things about working with text on a computer: you can copy and paste it, make colour highlights, search for words and have the text read out loud. But to do all these things, your computer has to recognize the text as text - not just an image. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software transform images of text - such as photocopies - into text files.
Prezi is an online presentation tool which works very differently from Microsoft Powerpoint (or any program that shows slides). In Prezi, your content is arranged over a broad canvas that you can zoom in and out of, either by clicking on key points with the mouse, or by programming the order in which each element is focussed on.
RefME is a free referencing tool designed to take the frustration out of keeping track of your research and creating bibliographies. RefME allows you to quickly gather reference information from a variety of sources, and then export these as a fully formatted bibliography using the referencing style of your choice.
If you are aware that you have a specific learning difference (SpLD), such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, you may also be familiar with the terms 'visual stress', 'scotopic sensitivity' or 'Irlen syndrome'. These are all phrases that describe the experience of finding black text on a white background difficult to look at for more than a short period of time.
This program is used for the Olympus Dictaphone series. It allows the user to load up their audio notes onto their computer, which they have recorded on the dictaphone. Users can edit their recordings as well as creating audio notebook files. Files recorded on their Dictaphone can be renamed as well as placed into specific folders.
Studyblue is an online study and revision tool, based around the idea of using "index cards" to make new information memorable. You may have tried the "index card" system before - writing questions or prompts on one side of a card, and then writing the answer on the other so that you can systematically work through your deck to revise.