Apr 1st , 2010
In today’s competitive education and business worlds the need for outstanding presentations has become a staple for both professionals and students. Whether it’s for a marketing update to the top clients or a presentation on The Great Gatsby in English class, the use of PowerPoint has become more prevalent than ever. Understanding the importance of flawless presentations, Ginger has just released a new software update enabling the correction of spelling, grammar, and misused words with MS-PowerPoint.
Shown below Ginger correcting within MS-PowerPoint.
Working with Ginger Software while using MS-PowerPoint is no different than other Ginger supported applications. Simply click F2 and watch as Ginger corrects your text in a single click! To see other screen images of Ginger Software working with other supported applications, like MS-Word, MS-Outlook, & Internet Explorer please visit the Ginger Software Facebook Page.
In the most recent software upgrade, Ginger launched an awaited new feature; the ability to edit text while in the Ginger toolbar. This new feature, shown below, allows users to make simple changes to their sentence such as pluralizing objects, as well as more advanced edits like continuing a sentence. To edit within the Ginger Toolbar simply click on the pencil highlighted below, adjacent to the approve button.
A fun fact about this new feature is that it was actually a customer suggestion our developers brought to life. Remember that the Ginger Team is always eager to hear your suggestions to continuously improve upon the Ginger platform and developing solutions that fit your needs. To submit a new feature, please visit the Contact US page found on www.gingersoftware.com
Mar 9th , 2010
One of the challenges of working in the field of assistive technology is figuring out how various tools can work together to support students with writing disabilities. Written language is an extremely complex and demanding task that assumes that the student has a good foundation in organization, grammar, mechanics, idea, and punctuation. If you are a good writer you take for granted all of the sub-skills that are needed in order to get your ideas down in a coherent fashion. For students that struggle with written language writing an essay or book report can be a frustrating and daunting experience. For many students whom I have worked with, written language is their weakest skill and one of their least liked school activities. So then how can we provide these students with some scaffolding and supports to help them to be more successful when doing their school writing projects? As an assistive technology consultant I am often asked by teachers and schools to help them match the students learning profile, the tasks, and recommend some tools that can support the student in the area of written language. Many students with written language disabilities often have difficulty starting their writing assignments and often need some software applications to help structure the task and help them move through the process.
In my professional experience software tools like Inspiration are wonderful for students who need the opportunity to brainstorm and need a more structured approach to their writing assignment. Inspiration is an ideal tool for brainstorming and freeing up the students to get their ideas down without the need to be concerned about the order or structure of their ideas. Using the RapidFire feature within Inspiration is a great way to engage students in the process of creatively getting their ideas down on the screen before setting off to write. The latest version of Inspiration now supports mind mapping and allows students to create visually appealing mind maps with the flexibility of allowing students to move their ideas around freely in the mind map. Giving students this freedom allows them to work with their ideas and organize them into a more coherent piece.
For students who may need more structure and support Inspiration can provide that as well. Many teachers that I have worked with using Inspiration, have developed their own writing templates which can provide students with the necessary prompts to help engage them in the writing process. In the screenshot provided you can see how one teacher provided a structure for a basic paragraph. Teachers can create frameworks for their students depending on the type of writing assignment that can go a long way in helping students to break down the task as they move through the writing process. Teachers also have access to a rich array of built-in templates that they can draw from and are easily accessible from within Inspiration. For students that need text to speech support that is available within Inspiration and can be easily accessed by students. Once students access the prompts that has been created by their teachers they are ready to get their ideas down. Inspiration is a very flexible tool and students can add their ideas into the mind map or into a more traditional outline. Whichever method they choose, they will be glad to know that their work will be saved and can be transferred to Microsoft Word. Students also have the option to add Sticky Notes and Audio notes to their graphic organizer which are just two other ways for them to get their ideas down before they begin to do more traditional writing. It is important when using Inspiration in the writing process to help the students understand that while it may seem to them like one more step that in the long run when they use this strategy that they will become more proficient and productive writers.
For students who have moved through this process and transferred their written work from Inspiration to Microsoft Word they will immediately see the benefits. Some of the students will have the “Aha” moment when they see how quickly they were able to put a draft together. Working within Microsoft Word the students now have access to a suite of tools and features that will let them flesh out their written work.
For students that need more spelling and grammar support- they can look to Ginger to provide it. Ginger is an easy to use spelling and grammar correction tool that is unique in that it looks at words that are misspelled in the context of the sentence. So unlike typical spelling correction tools that just check for common spelling errors, Ginger helps to support students by looking at the word in the context of the sentence.
With Ginger’s powerful algorithms and text to speech support students can feel confident that what they hand in is correct. With so many wonderful tools out there for students to access to support their written work it is great to know that Inspiration, Microsoft Word, and Ginger can work so fluidly with one another to support the writing process for student with writing disabilities.
Feb 22nd , 2010
Most would expect to witness the height of European fashion while traveling to London. Though, on Ginger Software’s recent trip to the UK, not only did they launch the next big accessory, but they had an overwhelming debut at the 2010 British Education and Training Technology Exhibition in London.
2010 was Ginger’s first year at the BETT exhibition, and while we did not actually launch a fashion line, Ginger did have one of the hottest giveaways at the show. The ‘I Love Ginger’ tote bag went form a novel idea to the must-have item of the show.
Giveaways aside, the Ginger booth, located in the special needs section of the exhibition, was busy from the start of the day until the end. Unlike some of the other shows that Ginger has participated in, BETT resides on the international level and was a wonderful opportunity to really spread the word about Ginger. The show attracted educators, assistive technology professionals, parents and many more! For the first time in Ginger’s history we also provided our FREE 14-day trial to visitors to our booth, in the form of a disc.
To see more pictures from BETT, go to the Ginger Software Facebook Page.
After returning from London, Ginger took a short hiatus before departing for the 2010 ATIA Show (Assistive Technology Industry Association) in Orlando; a welcomed trip out of the cold Boston, MA weather where Ginger’s headquarters are located. Like BETT, ATIA was another great show for Ginger to participate in, drawing crowds from around the United States. This year, Ginger was lucky to have Brian Friedlander, fellow Ginger Blog writer on hand to assist in their booth.
Not only did Brian assist at the booth, he also made a presentation during one of the breakout sessions about the up-and-coming Assistive Technologies on the market, Ginger included of course!
Where is Ginger’s next appearance? At the 2010 TCEA Show in Austin, Texas from February 8-12, 2010. Remember to stop by the Ginger booth if you are attending. We will be in booth 1652.
Remember to follow Ginger on Twitter, we always tweet live from the conferences!
Jan 24th , 2010
By Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D.
A lot has changed since I entered the field of assistive
technology, owing to the fast pace of technological innovation. Years ago if
you wanted to make text accessible to students with reading disabilities it was
a rather arduous task of physically scanning the book using a flatbed scanner.
Today there are many ways for students to access books without the need to scan
a single page. The choices that you make will often depend on the availability
of the book and the service that you are a member of. To begin the process you
will have to decide whether you want to have your audio book to be read by a
human reader or read using synthesized text to speech. Next you will have to
weigh how important it is for you to be able to access the audible book on a
portable device like an MP3 player or on a your personal computer. Once you
have made some of these decisions you can begin to sort out the various
services to access your novels and textbooks.
for the Blind and Dyslexic, which happens to be located in Princeton, NJ has
one of the largest holdings of chapter books as well as textbooks which are all
recorded by human readers in their recording studios. Each book is recorded and
supplied to students on a CD in their AudioPlus format which can be played on a
specialized CD player which is available from RFB&D or can be played on a
personal computer with the appropriate software application. When playing the
audible book on the computer or specialized CD player, students can quickly
navigate to a page in the book and can change the pitch and rate of the reading
speed. Students with reading disabilities can follow along in their book as the
book is being read- which is highly suggested. RFB&D recently instituted
AudioAccess, which allows RFB&D members to download audio textbooks and
literature directly to a Windows®-compatible computer. AudioAccess books
are easy to use and can also be played on a Windows based MP3 player making
this a truly portable alternative.
Effective August 2006, legislation was passed by Congress
that would require textbook publishers to provide their current textbooks with
a copyright of 2006 or greater in a standardized National Instructional
Materials Accessibility Format (NIMAS).
The NIMAS format which was jointly developed by a consortium of textbook
publishers and the Center for Applied Special Technology would allow students
to have a range of accessible audio textbooks. Last year, Bookshare was awarded
a large grant from the US Department of Education to provide accessible books
utilizing text to speech technology. Bookshare has a large selection of the
NIMAS formatted textbooks available and ships free reader software with each
subscription. Bookshare is now a free service to schools and gives students
with I.E.P.’s and who have a “print disability” as defined on the Bookshare web
site with access to their books and free reading software. School districts can
sign up for institutional accounts and certify that the students who are
included on the roster have a “print disability.” Once the account is processed students can gain
access to downloading their chapter books and textbooks from the Bookshare
website. Students can have access to VictorReader Soft or Read:Outloud
Bookshare Edition to access the NIMAS formatted books. Students using the
Bookshare service need to be comfortable listening to text to speech. There are
many different speech engines available
and students should preview them to determine which one is the most
understandable for them.
has certainly received a great deal of media interest in their latest reader
called the Kindle 2 which was recently released. At just 10 ounces and a 6 inch
diagonal screen the Kindle 2 can store over 1,500 books which are available
from the vast Amazon.com library. With the new text-to-speech feature, Kindle
can read every newspaper, magazine, blog, and book out loud to you, unless the
book is disabled by the rights holder. The text-to-speech feature is very well
integrated into the Kindle and the quality of the voice is quite good. The
Kindle 2 really opens up access to those students with reading disabilities
with an elegant and easy to use device. With an Amazon.com account, books are
easily downloaded to the Kindle over the free 3G network for which there is no
charge. The Kindle 2 gives students access to the latest bestsellers using high
quality text to speech technology. Just last week Amazon announced the release
of the Kindle DX which they are piloting with select colleges. The Kindle DX
has a larger format and is intended to be used to access newspapers and
textbooks. Amazon will be testing out how college students can use this
technology to access their textbooks. With the cost of college textbooks and
the merging of this technology- it is clear that someday soon, all students
will access their textbooks utilizing Kindle based technology of one sort or
Finally, for some students who need to be truly engaged in
the reading experience there is none better than having access to Audible.com.
Audible.com gives students access to a wide range of novels, chapter books ,
and bestsellers which are all professionally narrated and can be played on an
iPod. This is a very engaging medium and having the portability of your books
on your iPod is very appealing. With an Audible.com account books are simply
downloaded to your computer and transferred to your iTunes library for easy
transfer to your iPod. This is certainly a viable alternative to making text
a couple of weeks ago Intel announced the Intel Reader which is a small
portable device (1.4 pounds) with a camera with built in optical character
recognition (OCR) and text to speech support. It is hard to imagine all of the
technology that is built into this device that can be used to quickly OCR a
document and have it read almost instantaneously. At a price point of $1500
dollars the Intel Reader is moderately priced for such an assistive technology
system. The Intel Reader can also be purchased with a Portable Capture Station
making it relatively fast for the student to capture the pages. The Intel
Reader has a 5 megapixel camera with a built-in flash that can quickly process
the pages and begin to read even before the entire text is converted. From all
reports the text to speech engine is pretty good and the user can make
adjustments to the speed at which the text is read. By all accounts the Intel
Reader is a technological marvel for students with reading disabilities that
need to have access to a portable tool to convert the text.
As you see a lot has changed as advances in mainstream
technology have taken a foothold in
making text more accessible for students with reading disabilities.
Certainly there are pluses and minuses with each of the technologies and it is important
to weigh them before committing to one solution or another. In certain
instances you may need to rely on several of the aforementioned solutions as
part of your assistive technology reading toolkit. If you have questions about
these technologies please consult with your child’s Child Study Team who can
help guide you through the decision making process.
Jan 6th , 2010
How many times have you schemed up a New Year’s
Resolution? If you are anything like me,
you probably come up with at least one each year. Now, the more important
question, how many years have you kept to your resolution?
Like you, I have heard them all. The crazy diets, the gym
memberships, the book a month you plan to read….let’s be honest the list goes
on and on. Not to mention, some of these
resolutions can be very costly. Have all the previous year’s taken their toll and
you did not even bother to come up with one this year?
Well, what about a resolution that enabled you to learn, to
write better, and most of all, created self-confidence. I’ll be the first to
admit it sounds a bit like a gimmick you’d hear on an infomercial at 2AM. It’s
not! All of these objectives are possibilities
that can occur by adopting Ginger into your life.
Whether you’re a high school student preparing for college
in the fall, or a cubicle resident like myself; Ginger is the only tool on the
market that can do all of the above and much more in one click.
Correcting spelling and grammar mistakes with unmatched
accuracy, Ginger will ensure that your written work is free of errors. Whether
it’s a tweet on Internet Explorer about the long line for a coffee, or an email
to your most cherished client, you can rest assured that with Ginger on your PC
your writing will improve.
It’s not too late to make superior writing your New Year’s
Try Ginger today, take advantage of our 20% New Year’s
Discount, unless you would rather 400 sit ups at the gym?
Dec 24th , 2009
It has been very exciting to watch as
Ginger has evolved over the course of the past couple of months. If you have not had a chance to look at Ginger,
I urge you to download the latest version from the Ginger
Software Website. One of the features which I am sure will garner a lot of
interest from teachers who are working with students with writing disabilities
is the ability to quickly generate a report of the types of grammar and
spelling errors that a student makes.
With Ginger Premium it is now possible to quickly generate a
report of the student’s spelling and grammar errors right from within the
application. For the home user, a parent can simply click on statistics and
reports within the Ginger menu as seen here. Ginger will automatically launch
your browser and generate a report.
At the school level, teachers will go to Ginger Software website and click School & Reports Login as seen below.
Teachers have the capability to sort their Ginger users into
groups whether it’s by course, class period or even assistance level. Each
teacher using Ginger has the opportunity to create their own groups to best
utilize Ginger as they see fit, truly adding to Ginger’s versatility as a
Ginger’s reports allow the parent or teacher to generate a
report within a certain time frame, be it a week, month, or year, enabling them
to track the students’ progress over time.
Likewise, teachers can
drill down and look at the types of errors that students are making. In the report
below you will see that Ginger classifies errors as; Grammar and Misused or
Spelling. The report will tabulate the number of occurrences of the errors and
will also show you what the student wrote and the correction.
Armed with this type of data, teachers can begin to see
patterns in their students’ work and indentify their specific needs and chart
appropriate interventions. Educators will be delighted that they can collect
this type of information and have it available to them as they plan a student’s
educational program. For more information or to trial Ginger go to www.gingersoftware.com.
Dec 13th , 2009
Well, it’s that time of the year again. The malls are crowded, people are on edge and we all have the same thought on our minds. What to buy our loved ones this holiday season? Choosing the right gift can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Sweaters as far as the eye can see! Knickknacks and gadgets coming out of the woodwork! Toys with hundreds of pieces and instruction manuals that rival a novel in length; all of which may be adored for a time and then placed aside eventually.
Imagine that you could give the gift of confident, error free writing. What if we told you, you could do it at half the cost!
Just in time for the holidays Ginger is announcing a 50% off sale on home user licenses. Visualize giving your son or daughter confidence that will make them feel better when they head out the door for school; knowing the report they are carrying is free of errors and misused words. Think of the joy that will continue year round as they work independently and their writing improves with the help of Ginger’s Frequent Error Reports.
Not limited to those in the academic world, Ginger makes the perfect gift for the writer who could use a little assistance at the office. Just think, no more emails from the boss about a spelling error he noticed in your email to the client. Truly, a joyful world!
Confident, error free writing at home, work or school, that’s what’s in this holiday season!
Dec 1st , 2009
By Brian S.
really been exciting to see the development of Ginger over the past couple of weeks as new features have been
added. If you are using Ginger you will be glad to know that version 1.8 which has
just been released is packed with some really great features. The
new version includes:
correction of spelling and misused words
correction (more grammar corrections to come in January 2010)
- A text-to-speech
feature that reads text aloud before and after Ginger’s corrections
- Easier to
install and use
- Works with
Microsoft Word, Outlook and Internet Explorer (perfect for Gmail, Yahoo!
Mail, Facebook, Twitter etc.)
- A reporting tool
for tracking user mistakes and progress
- Display settings
that can be adjusted according to personal preferences
- “Add to
I have had a chance to work with the latest
version of Ginger and am really amazed at its performance and the text to
speech capabilities. Students will find the interface very simple and easy to
use as the natural sounding text to speech support can go a long way to support
students who may have difficulty reading the corrected sentence or suggested
words. Ginger is an ideal tool for students with dyslexia since it provides the
supports they need when proofing their written work. Being in the field of
assistive technology, I am certainly aware of the power of these tools and what
they can do to support students accessing the curriculum. But the other side of
the formula is the importance that a tool link Ginger can bring to empower
students to be independent and have the confidence to communicate in written
In the age of Facebook, Google Docs, and Twitter, students with writing disabilities are often
cut off from the rest of their friends, if they cannot write effectively. Many students
that I have worked with over the years are just too embarrassed to participate
in these online forums because they can’t spell or write well. With Ginger,
students can now have the confidence to be full participants
on the web as they share their ideas and communicate with their friends knowing
that their written work will be letter perfect. Having the text to speech
support for some students will go a long way to allow them to be independent
and get their ideas down as they see fit. Working with the latest version of
Ginger I marvel how versatile it is when using such services as Facebook,
Google Docs, Twitter or commenting on a blog.
The latest version of Ginger really opens the doors for
students with writing disabilities and provides them with a level of support
that will give them the confidence to share their ideas with the friends and
families over the web. If you have not tried Ginger please take the opportunity
to download the 14 day trial and give it a test
drive- you will be glad you did.
Nov 22nd , 2009
After four days of exhibition at The 60th Annual International Dyslexia
Association Annual Conference, in Orlando, Miki Feldman-Simon, Vice President of US Operations, and Joseph McCarthy, Sales and Marketing Manager,
returned to Ginger Software Headquarters in Lexington to regale the staff on
the success of the conference.
Located at booth #307 (pictured below), Ginger Software was
kept on their toes as many conference attendees stopped by for a demonstrations
of this “revolutionary new software”. This year’s IDA conference marked the
first for Joseph McCarthy who noted that seeing the faces of the conference
attendees when Ginger performed its corrections and hearing how this software
will change the lives of sons, daughters, and students was a rewarding
Many of the attendees who visited, started conversations
with Miki and Joseph by saying,
told me I had to stop here.”
said if there was one booth to visit this year it was yours.”
It seemed as though Ginger’s reputation traveled by
word-of-mouth from one attendee to the next like wildfire, and kept our booth
hosts very busy. In a turn of events, attendees voiced one unexpected
disappointment with Ginger; they could not walk away from the booth with
software in-hand. Many attendees were ready to make their purchase as soon as
their demonstration was complete. Should there be any disappointment, this is
the best one to have! Though, all attendees were assured that both a 14 Day Free Trial and Ginger’s Online Store
awaited their return home.
This year’s IDA conference was filled with glory for Ginger
Software. Not only did Ginger unveil a commercial product for consumers to
purchase and enhance their lives, but Ginger also sponsored the First Annual Dyslexia
Dash. Congratulations were certainly in order to the IDA and the organizers of
the Dash as they met and exceeded their goal of $40,000, to raise a total
$43,352. Having heard of the charitable cause that was about to unfold a very
special guest appeared to take part in the 5k Dash. Seen below with Joseph and
Miki, the star of Disney himself, Mickey Mouse, donned his festive track garb
and got all of the participants ready for their run!
After Miki provided the opening remarks and thanked the IDA and
all of the participants, the Dash was off!
Pictured below, our very own Miki and Joseph crossing the
finish line with their Ginger Water Bottles in- hand which every participant
received when they completed the Dash.
After a successful Journey to Florida, Miki and Joseph
eagerly await their trip to Phoenix where the 61st IDA conference
will be held next year.
Nov 10th , 2009
The halls at Ginger are a flutter with activity as we prepare to travel to sunny Orlando Florida, for The 60th Annual International Dyslexia Association Annual Conference. Held at the beautiful Swan & Dolphin Resort from November 11th-14th, this will be Ginger’s Second appearance at the IDA conference and we intend on making a splash! Excitement runs high with the Ginger staff as we are not only exhibiting at the conference but are sponsoring the Dyslexia Dash; a 5k Run- Walk that supports one of the primary organizations in the world that helps individuals with dyslexia. If you would care to make a donation to the IDA Dyslexia Dash please do so here: Donate.
Should you be attending the conference make sure to stop by booth #307 for a Ginger Demonstration or to meet Miki Feldman-Simon, Ginger’s US VP of Operations or Joseph McCarthy, Ginger’s Sales & Marketing Manager to hear about what’s new and exciting with Ginger.
We look forward to seeing you at the conference, and if you’re not attending remember to check the Ginger Blog for our conference wrap up.