Although addressing students with learning disabilities is probably not a high priority on how education should be improved in developing nations, it is something that should be taken into consideration. In an environment where learning is already arguably more challenging than what we grew up with, those students with extra barriers may never stand a chance. Platforms such as the XO laptop may give those students a boost to catch up with their peers. There are many different types of LDs, some of which may not be helped with a computer without added tools or instruction. However, here are some ways in which laptops could help close the gap as outlined by the University of Washington.
–Word Processors: There are certain built-in features within a word processor that may assist someone with Dyslexia. This includes spelling and grammar check as well as font size and color changes. These help the learner focus on the writing itself and not get bogged down on mechanics. Additionally, those with organization problems may rearrange text or those with poor handwriting may more easily express themselves.
–Reading systems: Some students may absorb information more effectively if they may listen to it instead of read.
–Word Prediction: These programs act like your iPhones auto correct and try to provide the typist a list of options based on what they have typed so far.
Not all of these tools come standard with a laptop, but one of the most valuable tools, the word processor, is a common program that can be downloaded with relative ease compared to things like phonetic spelling software. However, as this article says “assistive and adaptive technology does not “cure” a specific learning disability. These tools compensate rather than remedy, allowing a person with an LD to demonstrate their intelligence and knowledge.” Meaning that without further attention their LD will continue to hinder them, however this is just one way that a program like OLPC may stand out compared to other educational programs.