Learning Hub: Teachers get tech-savvy in BrailleNote Touch seminar

Posted: 19/06/2017 | Education,

Humanware trainer Andrew demonstrates BrailleNote TouchFrom smart phones to self-parking cars, technology is increasingly an integral part of people’s lives.

And for people with vision impairment, the advances in technology can make completing everyday tasks much easier.

Trainer demonstrates BrailleNote to pupilOne such invention is the BrailleNote, a compact computer with the key feature of a Braille keyboard that allows the user to read and write documents, access the internet and carry out all manner of useful communication tasks.

Now Humanware, the company that produces the BrailleNote, has launched a ground-breaking new piece of tech, the BrailleNote Touch – a certified braille tablet with a touch screen.

And last week Royal Blind’s Learning Hub joined forces with Humanware to host a seminar on using the BrailleNote Touch in a classroom environment.

Teachers were invited to find out how they can use the new tablet to help their pupils in class.

Humanware trainer, Andrew Flatres, said: “The BrailleNote touch is the only certified braille tablet that can access the Google Play Store. It can essentially do anything a tablet can do and more.

“One of the most useful and exciting features is an app that can almost instantly convert text into Braille. This enables teachers to take a photo of a worksheet and the app will translate this into Braille for the pupil. This means that if the teacher changes the lesson at the last minute, the pupil can still be included in the class.”

The BrailleNote Touch has a VoiceOver feature so the user can navigate between menus and applications.

Teachers can plug the device into a small monitor which will allow them to see their pupil’s work when it is used during class and information on the BrailleNote Touch is stored on a removable storage card, which can be swapped so the tablet can be used for exams.

The BrailleNote Touch can also be used recreationally, with access to all of the features of an iPad or other tablet device.

“With access to the Play Store, users can download Youtube, iPlayer, games, books, basically any app they would like – providing the app has accessibility features. They can also link the BrailleNote Touch to a monitor or TV so they can share what they are doing with friends or family," Andrew added. 

Part of the appeal for young users, he said, is that they can remove the large keyboard and choose to use a combination of touch screen and braille keyboard.

He added: “This is great because it looks just like any other tablet and that can be really important to young people especially.”