Don Johnston's "Building Wings"
Don Johnston Communities
Dyslexia & Dysgraphia
Universal Design for Learning
Learning is For Life
by Mary Pembleton
Self-efficacy is a big fancy word that roughly translates to believing in oneself.
The American Psychological Association defines it as “an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments (Bandura, 1977, 1986, 1997).”
CASEL, a leading authority in social emotional learning (SEL), lists self-efficacy under the SEL competency of self-awareness.
The other four competencies are self-management, responsible decision making, relationship skills, and social awareness.
These SEL competencies, if taught effectively, can:
But self efficacy, or believing in one’s ability to be successful, can be a tall order for students with challenges that make school and learning difficult.
Take dyslexia. ADHD. Executive dysfunction. A native language other than English.
Successful experiences are the single most effective way to build self-efficacy.
How much would you believe in your ability to learn if you experienced any of the above and were expected to read a large amount in order to learn? And then failed over and over?
Many of these students would benefit from accommodations like Snap&Read, a reading support tool.
Snap&Read is also known as an assistive technology.
Research shows that students with high-incidence disabilities like dyslexia and ADHD who have access to assistive technology in school are far more likely to graduate and experience career success.
Here are four ways Snap&Read builds successful experiences and student self-efficacy:
The website for The National Center for Learning Disabilities says that “research shows that students learn best when they actively engage with content and with others in positive and meaningful ways.”
Using Snap&Read, many students can read almost any digital content, across platforms and websites and learning management systems.
Here’s how Snap&Read supports comprehension for struggling readers:
“I get really excited when a kid gets excited about the fact that when they’re using Snap&Read, they’re reading the same material as their peers,” says Paul Auger, an assistive technology specialist at Brookline Public Schools.
“What we discover is not only does Snap&Read help children access academic material, but when they access the same material as their peers, we see a reduction in inappropriate classroom behavior.”
Increased comprehension, independence, and confidence means better academic performance.
For example, Taya, a student with dyslexia at Portland Public Schools, went from “average” grades to a straight A student when she started using Snap&Read. Read more about her story here.
When the focus of instruction is comprehension and not decoding, Snap&Read is a great way that kids reading below grade level can feel confident about learning.
Snap&Read’s “reduce distractions” feature means students can remove ads and video content from articles and other reading materials with one click. This gives students with executive function challenges a tool to help them focus on their work.
Color masking and line-by-line highlighting also guides student focus to the content they’re reading.
This is particularly helpful for students with dyslexia or are challenged by visual tracking.
Better focus leads to successful experiences, which in turn builds self-efficacy.
Snap&Read translates texts into over 100 different languages, across digital platforms.
This can make a huge difference to English language learners, giving them a tool to understand and complete their schoolwork, as well as a tool to help them master English.
Students with executive function challenges, those that come with ADHD, dyslexia, or dysgraphia can use Snap&Read’s note-taking and study tools.
These features include:
These supports can help students study and complete assignments more effectively, building both competence and confidence.
Want to see Snap&Read in action? Take a few minutes for this short, sweet webinar to see the five ways Snap&Read supports students with executive function difficulties.