Julie Kirkby and her team of PhD students delivered an interesting lecture combined with demonstrations for which the audience participated.
Using eye-tracking technology as ‘a window to the mind’, this allowed us to see the developmental differences of children with and without dyslexia. It was interesting to know that when reading we only take in (fovea) around eight letters, whereas our peripheral vision (parafovea) can take in around 15 letters. There are also linguistic influences on our eye movements, such as how many letters, how often the word is read, and how much a word is expected. If comprehension breaks down then our eye movements are directed back to previously read text. Some, but not all, dyslexic people will have difficulty associating letters with speech sounds. Also, some will have ‘visual attention deficit’.
We had two demonstrations. The first was eye-linking to see where the eye looks when we’re reading. The second was the mobile (Dikablis) eye-tracker which demonstrates how we encode and produce information and how information can be forgotten in between. We were informed that it’s a myth that dyslexic children can’t copy from class boards. Reading ability affects the working memory and vice versa. There was a lot of great research shared and it was an engaging afternoon.
If you are interested in this then you may be interested in similar events going on tomorrow. These include Media literacy in secondary schools taking place at 12.30pm and Third space digital learning in Dorset schools taking place at 3.30pm.