Accessible mobile learning

How do you operate a touch screen if you can’t see? – “Easy,” say learners at NewVIC

There was a clear take-away message about how everyday technology has really made a difference.

  • WhyiPads?
    • because of the many  apps and flexibility which means that an iPad can be  turned into a screen reader.
    • ready to go the moment you open it
    • cheaper than specialised accessible technology
    • dovetails neatly with the mobile learning agenda in college
    • everyday technology now enhances learning for visually impaired students
    • cumbersome old technology like large laptops really  emphasized student differences in the classroom.
    • alternatives also considered such as ultrabooks, convertibles and tablets.

George the guide dogHow was the learning enhanced

iPads are now being used on a daily basis in unexpected ways. The video is used instead for taking notes, reading paper,  exams are downloaded onto iPads so that the paper can be read to the students

Uzma (21) told us how she uses her iPad for exams and to research her art projects. Particularly useful is the fact that she can invert the colours.

Liam (16) gave his absolute thumbs up for his iPad as now he can do his work so much quicker and easier

Benefits of teaching and learning

Another advantage is that teachers can see the work straight away and give instant feedback whereas before there was usually a gap with preparing and receiving the resources.

The impact of iPads, configured for individual needs, means that students are more independent. Differences as well as  barriers are diminished.

How it was introduced

Staff were shown what students could do with them as well as potential possibilities. Students were also offered training though many of them were already quite  familiar with the touch screen concept.

Takeaway tip ?

Support from management for mobile learning projects is vital

Watch the video –

View the slides –

About the presenter:

Deborah Hilliard, Qualified teacher of the visually impaired

I am a Qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired and have worked with students aged from 4 to 19 in a range of settings. I have previously taught French and German in mainstream secondary schools.

Deborah explained how mobile technology was implemented at the Inclusive Learning Department, how staff were trained, user guides created and what were the benefits for students.


Uzma (21)  told us how she uses her ipads for  exams and to research her  art projects. Particularly useful was the fact that she  can invert the colours .

Liam (16) gave his absolute thumbs up for his iPad as now he can do his work so much quicker and easier

delegates enjoying NewVIC's presentation