WYNN (WYNN Wizard and WYNN Reader)
Common Sense says
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that WYNN is a versatile software program that helps kids read, study, and comprehend text easily. You can upload any files from your computer or the Internet and quickly and easily import them into either version of WYNN (Wizard or Reader). Wizard has scanning and OCR capabilities, meaning that scanned printed pages can be converted to electronic text. Different toolbars (Web, File Management, Reading Styles, Study Tools, Writing Tools) are then used to read, edit, and study text. Reader has everything that Wizard does except scanning capability and OCR. Both use UDL (Universal Design for Learning) principles. Kids with learning difficulties that keep them from reading text should be able to pick up on the interface pretty quickly, and they'll benefit big-time from WYNN's helpful features.
What's it about?
WYNN is a downloadable program that supports kids who have reading and comprehension difficulties. It has two versions: Wizard, with more features, and Reader, a slightly pared-down program. Kids will use five rotating toolbars (Web, File Management, Reading Styles, Study Tools, Writing Tools) to read and/or hear any text, change the visual presentation or reading options, and study. Text can be downloaded from the Web in digital form or scanned with the WYNN Wizard version.
Other features include overlays that can can be used to eliminate light sensitivity and masking to dim out extraneous material. Reference tools include the ability to find appropriate words through word prediction, understanding homophones, and spell-checking. Letter size, spacing, and margins all can be controlled, and the dictionary and phonetic spelling support English language learners.
Text also can be modified to support individual needs: You can tweak things such as spacing and color scheme to help make reading easier. WYNN also offers a bimodal approach, letting you hear and see text at the same time.
Is it any good?
WYNN is a great program to support kids who struggle with reading and comprehending text. It's pretty powerful and packed with options, including the ability to change the visual display, control the voice output, and highlight, bookmark, or use embedded writing tools. As with any comprehensive software, it takes time to learn all the capabilities and use it efficiently, so kids may feel overwhelmed at first. However, they can learn a few pertinent tools first and then learn as they go.
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