Read All About It with News-2-You
A great way for schools to explore the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics
Special needs expert Inclusive Technology has launched News-2-You, a fortnightly online newspaper aimed at pupils who need extra support for literacy. A great way for schools to explore topical issues such as the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, News-2-You (http://www.news-2-you.co.uk/) costs just £99 for a single licence. Available free until 30th June 2012, it has speech and symbol support and brings over 250 pages of current affairs, features, activities and stories into the classroom.
Commenting on the launch, Martin Littler, Chairman and CEO, Inclusive Technology, said, “This will give many children the lasting full value of experiencing the London Olympics. It will also give teachers the chance to try out this brilliant educational resource.”
Each edition features a newsworthy story which is the focus for a host of activities too. Recent topics include the Frozen Planet, Sports Relief Week, Animal Record Breakers and Star Wars - The Phantom Menace.
This is the ideal paper for a mixed ability class. It has four levels of difficulty. The Simplified Version gives a basic overview of the week’s key story with SymbolStix supported text, perfect for young people with learning disabilities who cannot access conventional print.
The Regular Version offers more in-depth coverage of the topic. It has simple sentences and symbol-supported text. The Higher level has the same text as the Regular Version but is written in paragraph form. The Advanced level has more complex sentences and additional information as well as digital pictures. In addition to the newspaper, News-2-You schools can also access a World News section which brings breaking news from across the globe into the classroom.
In addition to the differentiated levels, there is also a text only version and all levels have a ‘speaking edition’. This means that the students follow the text as it is read aloud. Each word is highlighted as it is spoken. Teachers can access News-2-You on an interactive whiteboard for whole class work or print it out for individuals.
Melanie Jones is an ICT coordinator and teacher at Barrs Court Special School in Hereford, and has worked in Special Needs for many years. She helps to produce the paper for News-2-You. She researches the topic of the moment and then writes an easy to read article about it. This article is adapted to the different levels of the paper and Symbolstix are added. As a class practitioner she gets to use the resources produced in her own classroom teaching.
News-2-You uses the same format as the enormously successful American version of News-2-You so it is packed full of activities including worksheets for comprehension and literacy activities. But News-2-You is not all about the serious stuff. There is always a joke, a recipe for cookery lessons and some games.
“It’s what we have been waiting for in our school”, said Suzanne Farrell, Curriculum Coordinator at Sutherland House School in Nottinghamshire which caters for children and young people with autism. One of her pupils Roisin loves to keep up to date with news of celebrities but finds it hard to get the message from print alone. The Regular Version with symbol support motivates her to finish a story.
Suzanne also uses the Higher level of News-2-You on the whiteboard with a group of children in the same class who read quite well but have problems sitting still long enough to finish reading a story. “Most current affairs materials - even the most simple - are much too wordy for our children”, said Suzanne. “After years of just looking at the pictures, they can now read the news stories for themselves.”
News-2-You uses SymbolStix, a symbol set of over 12,000 symbols that has emerged as a world standard in picture-based communication.
For further information about News-2-You, please contact the friendly information team on 01457 819790 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Inclusive Technology:
Inclusive Technology provides the very best special educational needs software, switches and computer access devices, simple communication aids and assistive technology for learners with a physical disability, sensory impairment or learning difficulty. As well as our own resources we have the best from AbleNet, AMDi, Attainment, Crick, IntelliTools, Keytools, Maxess, Mayer Johnson, Pretorian, SoftTouch, Tobii, Traxsys, Widgit and others.