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Thanks to @nwinton for the photo.

Here is my talk on Digital Storytelling and Dyslexia that I gave at TeachMeetLothians11 last night and here’s a wee summary for those of us who can’t bear audio files (me!):

I talked about the false dichotomy between the purists who regard anything but print as being beyond the pale to the techno-zealots who declare that print is dead. This debate is only useful if it challenges assumptions and makes us think about literacy now.

I quoted extensively from Bill Boyd  here when I said that the ability to read in itself is meaningless as it begs the question, ‘The ability to read what?’. The ability to read and the ability to access texts in all their forms are not mutually exclusive.

My thesis was a familiar one – at least to this audience: we must teach children to thrive in this century rather than preparing for the last. The need for creative and critical thinkers is never more desperate – and it is learners with dyslexia who are often able to think laterally beyond the confines of the conventional. That’s why I like them!

I talked about membership of the ‘Literacy Club’: membership of which in the past was dependent on children’s ability to move through a set of hierarchical skills – something that learners with dyslexia find hard. Reading is a life long endeavour which develops in confidence and competence the more it is practised across increasingly more diverse and difficult texts. The children I teach have often failed spectacularly at traditional reading but  flourish with the broader range of texts we are urged to use in Curriculm for Excellence.

I went on to talk about digital storytelling, Inanimate Alice in particular; reprising some of my thoughts already posted on this blog (all in 7 minutes!).

I finished with the wonderful quotation from Thomas West and make no apology quoting once more:

We should encourage diversity,

  • not only to be civil,
  • not only to be respectful,
  • not only to be humane,
  • not only to be just,

 but also because we have  a particular stake in diversity.

We want there to be people who have

  • abilities that we have not ever tried to measure because we didn’t know that we needed them,
  • abilities that may be in no way associated with the abilities and talents that we now measure by formal or informal means,
  • abilities we don’t yet know we need.


 TM was at the Scottish Book Trust’s headquarters on the Royal Mile. What a beautiful venue! And thanks to Fearghal and the team for organising such an invigorating event.


Inanimate Alice – Afghanistan by Burak, Luke and Sahashra

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Wow! Watch this short episode of Inanimate Alice from Afghanistan, and weep.

Thanks to @katepullinger for the link.


Being dyslexic

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I have been working with the indefatiguable Lindsey Barley at DPS with a ‘3D Club’: a group of P7s thinking about transition to high school. They made electronic posters using Glogster , itemising 3 things they have struggled with in school and how they have overcome their struggles. This is to share with younger children who also have dyslexic difficulties.

Here is Matthew’s. More to follow.

Fantastic, eh?

Great CDP opportunity on Literacy and Numeracy

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CPD about Additional Support for Learning

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From the National CPD Team

Join the many educators who are taking part in an online CPD event week beginning 13 June.

Each evening at 7 pm, the CPDStepin Summer Summit will feature at least one CPDMeet on the theme of Additional Support for Learning:

* Monday 13 – Suzanne Morris, Understanding and supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

* Tuesday 14 – Margaret Orr, The relationship between CfE and ASL legislation and David Watt, HMIE, Inclusion Journey to Excellence resources

*Wednesday 15 – Hilery Williams, Understanding and supporting children with dyslexia

* Thursday 16 – Kate Coutts, Child at the centre or centre of the child?

For more details and sign-up, please see the CPDStepin Summer Summit on Glow

‘You don’t know what it’s like to be me: people look at me and assume I’m dumb because I can’t talk’


A wonderful testimony to the hard work of Carly, her parents and carers.


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