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Once again, Learning Ally hosted its hit online conference Spotlight on Dyslexia this past Friday. SPOD is a dynamic conference featuring sixteen speakers from all over the country, experts and specialists in dyslexia, literacy, and neuroscience, for in-depth discussions of the facts of dyslexia and the issues faced by dyslexic students, their families and their teachers. This incredible event lasts all day and is attended by educators and administrators, parents, students, and teachers-in-training--anyone who wants to learn more about dyslexia and the solutions available that help people with dyslexia succeed in a print-based environment and beyond.
Completely online, SPOD’s Theater offered fifteen sessions (three to choose from during each session period) ranging from “Older Struggling Readers: What Do They Need?” to “We’ve Screened for Dyslexia...Now What?” and “What a Successful Public School Dyslexia Program Looks Like”.
In addition, our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Maryanne Wolf, an educator famous for her advocacy for children and literacy around the world. Her keynote address was “Lessons from the Reading Brain for Dyslexia, Early Diagnosis, and Intervention”. Click here to learn more about her: https://www.maryannewolf.com/
To augment the activity of the day, we also had a Lounge with two chatrooms available all day, one specifically for educators and one specifically for parents. These were places where people could reach out and learn from each other’s experiences. There were some great interactions going on, and it was absolutely heartwarming to see people helping each other succeed.
The Resource Center was a great place where participants could access and download pdfs and videos provided by Learning Ally, our partners, and the speakers:
Learning Ally partnered with edWeb.com so that educators attending the event could receive up to sixteen Continuing Education credits. One great aspect: if you were tied up that day, every session is recorded, and participants can access the sessions and Keynote Address later to experience at the time that is best for them. Another bonus: since participants could attend only one-third of the presentations live, the recordings give participants the opportunity to experience ALL the sessions. Educators who registered for the event have until September 30th to submit their quizzes and receive their CE credits. Each session also had its own dedicated chat and Question and Answer that attendees could actively participate in during the live sessions, giving them the opportunity to ask questions directly to the speakers, as well as to chat with others interested in the specific topic being discussed.
We had over 1400 registered, and it was a busy day. A few of the comments we received included:
From a teacher: SPOD exceeded her expectations, it’s fabulous, easy to understand with great downloadable resources!
From a student: “Hi, everyone, I hope everyone’s enjoying their conference. I’m so excited to be here to be supporting Learning Ally. Learning Ally has been such an instrumental part to my Success in school. I’ve been using the software since 10th [grade] and it has transformed the way I learn.”
From another teacher: “The students love Learning Ally! I always do a group lesson how to utilize it correctly before sending them off to read/listen. We focus on how listening to a book can be a tool that will help them become stronger readers...and they come in SO proud that they finished their first book. I feel that Learning Ally levels the playing field for them. They can tackle a text that other students are reading and are able to discuss it with them because they are able to listen and comprehend instead of struggle to decode words and create meaning…”
In a past year an educator who attended told us, “The conference helped me grow so much as an educator and I earned CE credits. The content and the experts were top notch!”
This year’s conference was no different--sought-after content, knowledgeable speakers, opportunities to share ideas and solutions! Learning Ally has once again supported the success of teachers, administrators, students, and families, all over the country! Start thinking now about joining us next time!
Metrics Update for this week:
Our readers increased to 207,718
We’ve had over 135 million pages read--an increase of 66% over last year for school readers!
We had 45,403 reading at frequency*
Thanks for all your hard work, everyone--together we are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people!
*at frequency = students are reading books multiple times during the school year, with a general target of thirty times (more for lower grades, less for upper grades). Our data shows that most of these students read for at least 20 minutes each time.
Last week we told you about eighth-grader Tristan and his accomplishment of reading an entire book for the first time in his life, sharing an interview with him recorded by Learning Ally staff member Terrie Noland. The book Tristan read was Swing, by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess--a wonderful story about people struggling to find their way in a confusing, complicated world.
In response to this post, Literature Community Lead Alexis Bourbeau arranged for Learning Ally’s narrator for Swing, Michael Burgess, to record a message to Tristan, congratulating him and encouraging him to continue. In a heartwarming video, Tristan, Tristan’s teacher Mrs. York, Terrie Noland, and Production Team staff members Alexis Bourbeau and Dave Kozemchak listen to Michael’s message and talk about Tristan’s great accomplishment, encouraging him to continue his quest for great books about subjects he’s interested in. To watch that video, click here:
In addition, at the end of the video is a follow-up email sent by Mrs. York:
Special thanks to Alexis and Michael for making this moment possible!
Our readers increased to 206,406
We had 44,925 reading at frequency*
This is why we all do this work: to encourage and inspire struggling yet eager learners to explore the possibilities before them, and to help them succeed in school and beyond.
Happy June, everyone! Thank you for all you're doing to help Tristan and other students like him!