Trialing the new ORCAM Reader
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Welcome to our weekly CENMAC blog post
Trialing the new ORCAM Reader | by David Howard, CENMAC Advisory Teacher
Innovative technology is constantly being developed, and occasionally a device comes along that has the potential to have a significant impact on the students CENMAC works with.
This month we have been trialing the new ORCAM read, reading pen. The ORCAM read looks like a typical reader pen, but it has the potential to make an enormous difference to students with a visual impairment and students who struggle to read. Typically, a reader pen requires the student to scan the pen along individual lines of text, which can be problematic for students, particularly if they have a visual impairment.
… it has the potential to make an enormous difference to students with a visual impairment and students who struggle to read.
The ORCAM, however, can scan whole pages of text and read it back to the student, but more than that it can be used to scan blocks of text, newspaper articles, classroom whiteboards and any printed text. It can be voice controlled and with a little practice is amazingly easy and intuitive for students to use. A bonus is the device is approved by the QCA for use in examinations, giving the student complete independence when sitting exams.
During our trial period we demonstrated the ORCAM to many staff and students, and gave cameras to a couple of students to use in lessons for a couple of weeks. The feedback has been incredibly positive, students found the devices extremely easy to use and quickly found the ORCAM became a must have device in lessons.
ES a teaching assistant working with a VI student said:
“I found the pen picks up whole paragraphs of work, picks up words on the interactive white board and is better for scanning and reading back information; compared to the regular reading pens that the students use. The ORCAM was a pleasure for students to use. The pen picks up paragraphs of information which students found very useful and easier than having to scan line for line.
The pen can also be used for a variety of different things and the feature to change the size of the light worked very effectively depending on the task/need for the pen.
I would definitely agree that the pen is an amazing piece of equipment and would work effectively with students that need it. Considering the short period of time this was trialed, I have observed the usefulness of using this pen as a replacement for the previous pen. Thank you for allowing us to trial it!”
JJ a student with Dyslexia, used the pen to help him read from his geography textbook, he finds reading small print on complex different coloured backgrounds a real challenge. They said:
“The pen is very easy to use I can point it at a paragraph in my book and it will read the whole paragraph back to me, please can I keep it?”
We are looking forward to working with ORCAM to use these pens with our students. For further information about the ORCAM read pen, take a look at their website: