Visual Dictation – An exam game changer!

Jack Taylor is one of our amazing clients. He’s been working through his GCSEs and found a really great way to assist his learning in the classroom and during his exams…

My name is Jack Taylor, I have just finished sitting my GCSE exams and will be studying A-Levels next academic year at a York-based school.

At school, I have one-to-one support in lessons with a Microsoft Surface Pro attached to my wheelchair via a detachable bracket, alongside a bluetooth keyboard and an R-net bluetooth mouse module attached to the chair. This allows me to use my wheelchair controller as a joystick for my mouse too.

Throughout my years of education and exams I have utilised technology within my lessons, but in the last academic year I have also used a HUE visualiser in my setup.

Day-to-day Setup

At school, I use my portable computer setup by clicking in my attachment on the chair. Then in lessons, I collaborate with my support using apps within the Google suite. My teachers upload my lessons (slides and docs) via Google classroom, allowing me to access and edit the work shown on the board within my own copy. In other lessons, my support uses tight VNC on their own Microsoft device to duplicate their screen on my surface and vice-versa to share control of the devices.

The keyboard is programmed with an auto hot-key, allowing me to control a sequence of keys with only one.

Visualiser at school and home

At school in maths specifically I use a HUE HD pro visualiser connected to my Surface allowing my support to work to my dictation thus allowing for a quick and easy method for completing work. This setup is replicated at home, connected to my PC and has proven effective whilst doing homework. This method is also used in the same way whilst completing unfinished work from lessons. The visualiser is connected via the HUE intuition app which needs to be downloaded over the internet.

This is the visualiser I use:

Exam Setup

During the exam season, I had a setup which centred around the use of the visualiser. We used a TV setup connected via HDMI to USB-C cable, which allowed me to mirror the screen from my surface onto the larger screen of the TV. The surface itself was connected to a goose-neck stand which was in front of my support so that they could see clearly what they were writing. The app utilised was HUE intuition, which used the visualiser for my support to see the exam paper which they scribed on for me as I dictated.

Visualiser pro-tips

1. Get multiple visualisers to utilise in various locations (e.g. I have two at school and one at home).

2. Get smaller visualisers which can be packed away compactly.

3. Get a visualiser which comes with a protective carry case, with room for the cable too.

4. The visualiser will prevent you needing multiple programs to complete work. You can complete worksheets or physical work when digital isn’t available.

5. Use the visualiser for support in lessons/ times when you need quick note-taking, drawing or formats that are not necessarily app-accessible.

6. Manoeuvre the visualiser arm and camera so that it is directly above work, to the side of the scribe’s hand. You will need to move the paper when it is no longer in shot, so keep an eye on the screen to ensure the writing is visible. I really like using the visualiser because it is so quick and easy-to-use. Instead of spending precious lesson time trying to open apps or re-create lesson resources digitally- it allows me to use the same resources as my peers and saves lesson-time too.

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