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Sections of the LAO Site Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
LiteracyAccess Online

  • What types of reading experiences are available on the LAO site?
    Facilitators and students are able to read stories together as well as read from the web. Also, reading strategies and motivational tips are available as online support to make your time together meaningful and enjoyable.

  • Why should I join LiteracyAccess Online?
    Once you are a registered member, as a facilitator you will be able to sign in to enter the LAO site and proceed directly to the section you want to use with your student. The benefits of using LiteracyAccess Online are described on the About LAO Page. We invite you to join our team of reading specialists, certified counselors and assistive technology experts to explore ways in which you can help your child become a better reader.

  • Why do I need to submit so much information to Join LiteracyAccess Online? When you join, you will be asked for some basic contact information to keep the records of what you have done in our database organized. Any information you give us will be kept private, and we will not make any information available to any third party.

  • How can I best familiarize myself with the LiteracyAccess Online site so I can navigate through it with ease and understanding?
    We hope that you'll use the newly created site tour so you can see all of the fantastic reading opportunities that are available on the LAO site and then go through the sections alone as a facilitator until you feel comfortable planning your first session with your student. Using this method you will help you engage your student immediately.

  • Who designed LiteracyAccess Online?
    The LiteracyAccess Online site is a prototype in progress developed by Graduate Students during their practicum
    experience as part of George Mason University's Instructional Design and Development Master's Program through the Graduate School of Education. On the Developers Page you will find the names of the people who have worked on this site to date.

  • Why was LiteracyAccess Online created?
    The LiteracyAccess Online site is being developed to help facilitators (parents, tutors, teachers, other interested individuals) work with children who are having difficulties becoming good readers. This is a collaborative project between the Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbilities, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia and the Parent Advocacy Training Center in Springfield, VA. The project is in the third year of development and is funded by a Steppingstones to Technology grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

  • What kinds of disabilities can be addressed with LiteracyAccess Online?
    LiteracyAccess Online is designed to accommodate both facilitators and students with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and visual disabilities. To fully comprehend the specific tools available go to the Explore Accessibility section of the navigation bar.
Literacy Explorer

  • My student needs to write a report for science class on an animal that is an endangered species. Can the LiteracyAccess Online site help with this assignment?
    Yes, use the Read From the Web feature which allows you to read a selected web site while still having access to
    the features of LiteracyAccess Online.

  • How do I use the features that LiteracyAccess Online provides with other stories that are not provided on the site?
    Read From the Web and Build a Story is where you can access the reading support features with stories not
    provided in the site.

  • What are the different skills needed to become a proficient reader?
    Read in the post-reading section why and how to strengthen the skills in the areas of phonics, fluency, making words, vocabulary, write to read, and comprehension.

  • How can I reinforce my child's comprehension of the story just read?
    Any of the post-reading activities will strengthen the child's comprehension.

  • Where do I keep a record of the stories and activities my student has done?
    To record your student's progress, go to the Reader Portfolio section.

  • My child needs to strengthen their vocabulary skills, are there any places in the site where vocabulary can be
    Within the pre-reading section, there is a vocabulary page which will help you go over the pronunciation and
    definition of words within the story.

  • LAO does not have a story that interest my child, what can I do?
    Go to Read From the Web and use to search engine to find a story or website of interest.

  • How can I put my story in the story bank?
    Use the Build a Story feature to add your own stories within this site.
  • Why are there questions within the story?
    Asking questions within the story can reinforce the comprehension.

  • Do I need to fill out the feedback form and reflection every time?
    No, it is a good practice but not necessary. These activities can be used to reinforce comprehension and writing

  • Why is there a sound option in the story?
    A sound option makes the site more accessible to all individuals. Also, it can improve fluency by modeling with
    inflection and style.

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Facilitator Support

  • Where can I create or modify student and group records?
    The "Account Management" area allowers LiteracyAccess Online Members to create or modify personal information, such as a student's userid and password.

  • Is it necessary to create a group?
    It is only necessary to create a group when you are working with more than one student.

  • Why should I modify records?
    It is important to keep student information current and up-to-date so that the webmaster can maintain accurate user records.

  • Why should I plan reading sessions?
    LiteracyAccess Online provides a Session Planner form to help you plan and monitor student progress during reading sessions. Also, preparation provides facilitators with a way to learn more about the activities you can do with your students in a reading session.

  • How long is a recommended reading session?
    Not all students are able to concentrate for long periods of time. Limit your sessions to time periods that are manageable for your students that are no longer than thrity to forty-five minutes.
  • None of the reading strategies work. How do I find someone who can help me?
    Go to the "Communication" section of the site to discuss more effective strategies with the LiteracyAccess Online community.

  • How often should I give feedback and what kind of rewards do I give my child?
    You should give feedback frequently because your students need to feel successful and they need to know that you appreciate how hard they're working! Let them know exactly what it is that they're doing well. Comments such as, "I really like the way you used the picture to figure out the meaning of that word." or "I'm so pleased that you remembered to sound that word out." Help reinforce your students' willingness to use the strategies you're teaching them.

  • What kind of facilitator support is provided on the site?
    There are several kinds of resources provided for facilitators, including resources and tools for preparing reading sessions, managing student and group records, and strategies for dealing with instructional and motivation issues.

  • What is an Electronic Performance Support System?
    An Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) provides immediate online support or help when reading with a student. At the top of each page of a story in Literacy Explorer, you'll find a set of icons. Each icon is designed to serve as a prompt to help remind you and your students of the strategies you can use when you run into difficulty.

  • Why is it important to use the facilitator resources provided on the site?
    The resources provided on the site encourage facilitators to assist struggling readers using a teamwork approach.

  • What tools are available for me to use during reading sessions?
    The "Preparation" area provides a session overview and session planner as well as tips for assessing your student's reading level and reading story. Look in the "Preparation" area for more details.

  • Where can I find information on how to provide literacy instruction in an online environment?
    You can look In the "Resources" area of the Facilitator Support section to find reading materials and reading aides to use with students.

  • How do I re-direct a student if they get distracted?
    Try to provide more opportunities of choice for the student as it relate to readings. Also, consider providing reading-realated incentives, such as books or bookmarks that will increase your student's motivation to read. Look in the "Resources" area of the Facilitator Support section for more specific suggestions relating to reading and motivation.

  • I'm wondering what strategies to use for each reading session. What do you suggest?
    During reading sessions, encourage students to set a purpose for their reading while previewing the text. Also, teach your students to think about the material they are going to read and to make predictions about what they think will happen next. This will help generate interest in the reading material. During reading sessions, teach your students to look for new words and think about what they already know about the topic. Encourage them to relate new information to what they already know. This will help build interest in the story and increase comprehension.
  • Where do I go to get expert help?
    The LiteracyAccess Online site provides a bulletin board for the facilitator to ask questions to experts, other parents and tutors about literacy.

  • What are some upcoming workshops and conferences?
    The calendar page displays upcoming workshops and conferences

  • Is there a support group so I can talk to other parents or tutors?
    The bulletin board allows LiteracyAccess Online members to communicate with other parents, tutors and experts in the field of literacy.

  • Why would I use the bulletin board?
    The purpose of the bulletin board is to share and discuss information related to literacy.

  • How can I find what has been on the bulletin board from last time?
    The bulletin board will display all of the previous postings. They are archived by month. You will need to select a specific month to view the previous posting for that month.

  • Will my comments on the bulletin board be private or public?
    The bulletin board can only be viewed by LiteracyAccess Online members. Your comments that are posted can be viewed by other members.

  • Is the bulletin board monitored for inappropriate use?
    The LiteracyAccess Online webmaster reviews all of the postings that are uploaded on the bulletin board. Inappropriate comments will be deleted from the bulletin board.

  • Can children use the bulletin board?
    The bulletin board is designed as a resource for facilitator, not the student.

  • How can I give feedback about a great site or a new idea for LiteracyAccess Online?
    The site comments page provides a form for facilitators to submit their feedback. This feedback will be used to improve the LiteracyAccess Online site.
Explore Accessibility
  • How do I change the settings on my computer to accommodate physical or sensory disabilities?
    The Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh links provide a step-by-step guide to help you change the settings on your computer.
  • Where can I find software and computer equipment that accommodates my physical disabilities?
    The resource page provides links to companies that sells software and computer equipment to accommodate physical disabilities.

  • Why is universal design important?
    Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an initiative to incorporate technologies to respond to individual learner differences.

  • What is assistive technology?
    Assistive technology is a device, idea, or strategy that that helps someone function

  • I heard that assistive technology is required on Individualized Education Plans (IEP's), why?
    It is required to include the assistive technologies the students uses so teachers can can provide the child with the same opportunities as others.

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LiteracyAccess Online | Literacy Explorer | Facilitator Support | Communication | Explore Accessibility
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