Yearly Archives: 2009

Dec 24th 2009

Ginger Software Now Can Provide You with Statistics & Reports

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.

School Reports Login

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
learning platform.

Add a Group

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.

Groups Report

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.

User Report

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.

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Dec 13th 2009

Happy Holidays from Ginger

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!

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Dec 1st 2009

Using Ginger in the Age of Facebook, Twitter, Google Docs and More

By Brian S.
Friedlander, Ph.D.

It has
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:

  • Improved
    correction of spelling and misused words
  • Grammar
    correction (more grammar corrections to come in January 2010)
  • Increased
    response time.
  • 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
    dictionary” feature

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
form.

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.

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Nov 22nd 2009

Ginger Software at the 60th Annual International Dyslexia Association Conference

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
experience.

Many of the attendees who visited, started conversations
with Miki and Joseph by saying,

“Margaret,
told me I had to stop here.”

“Sam
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!

Ginger at IDA

After Miki provided the opening remarks and thanked the IDA and
all of the participants, the Dash was off!

Miki Feldman Simon - Ginger Software

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.

Miki and Joe - Ginger Software

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.

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Nov 10th 2009

Ginger at the IDA Conference 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.

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Nov 3rd 2009

Ginger Premium adds Text-To-Speech Support

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

For many students who present with writing disabilities it is not uncommon for them to also have difficulty in the area of reading. So while Ginger may be a great solution for some students who can read the suggested corrections, for others this can be a challenge. Ginger Software recognizes that some students may require Text-To-Speech (TTS) support so that they can approve the corrections independently. For these students that need text to speech support, Ginger Premium is available. With Ginger Premium students can independently listen to their sentence as
well as the proofread

sentence and determine if the suggestions are correct. If
Ginger Premium flags a word, students can listen to the alternatives in the
list by simply hovering over the suggestion. Once the student places the cursor
over the word, Ginger Premium will automatically read the word and the example.
Students have the ability to change the voice and the
speed in which the words are read.

Ginger Premium uses a very high quality
Text-To-Speech engine which makes it easy for students to listen to. There is a
choice between a female and male voice that students can select based on their
personal preference.

Students who
want to be able to proofread their work and need Text-to-Speech support will
find Ginger Premium an ideal tool to allow them to correct their documents
independently from within Microsoft Word, Outlook, and very soon – Internet
Explorer. For more information about Ginger Premium go to www.gingersoftware.com

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Oct 26th 2009

Using Ginger with Students with Dyslexia

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

When I first came across Ginger sometime last spring, I was struck by quality of the spell checking and the innovation that I saw. While I was excited to learn about this new innovative assistive technology, it wasn’t until I actually used it with students diagnosed with dyslexia that I saw how valuable it was to them. Students who have been diagnosed with dyslexia typically present with a learning disorder that impacts in the areas of reading and well as in written language. While dyslexia impacts in a student’s ability to read, more often than not, it also impacts more in their ability to write. Typically students with dyslexia will have trouble organizing their ideas, spelling words correctly, and constructing clearly organized paragraphs. This is where Ginger can assist. Unlike other spell checking applications, Ginger is unique and uses algorithms and a database to seek out the context of how the word is being used. With these methodologies, Ginger is able with a very high degree of probability to correctly suggest the word that was intended by the writer. If you have worked with students with writing disabilities, you know just how challenging it is for them to get their ideas down on paper due to their spelling difficulties. In many cases, students with writing disabilities will choose to use smaller words that they know they can spell, then take the risk of spelling a word they want to use but just can’t figure out how to spell it. Even when these students use a standard spell checker, more often than not the word they want is not suggested because they are so far afield. Students with dyslexia typically spell very phonetically or will tend to drop out letters that they just don’t hear in the word. This is where Ginger comes in. Ginger allows the student the ability to get their ideas down without slowing them down and forcing them to check their spelling. The idea of fluency is important when writing and for all of us who do writing you know that the most important part of the process is getting your ideas down first before you edit. Using other writing assistive technologies has a tendency to break that flow, and force the student to focus at the word level, instead of allowing the student to get their ideas down.

Ginger allows students the freedom to know that they can get their ideas down first and when they are finished they can invoke Ginger to check their work. This really frees up the students to use words that they might not even want to attempt to try, because they know that Ginger is in the background ready to assist them when needed. Ginger has the uncanny ability to look at not only the misspelling but to look at the word in context to help make the appropriate suggestion. The ability to process the student’s written work after they are done writing one sentence at time really helps the student to focus on their intent and to see if their ideas flow. If needed, students can use Ginger’s text to speech (TTS) supports that comes with a Premium Membership to listen to the computer read their work and the suggested words. All in all, Ginger provides a level of support that will give students the confidence to get their ideas out with the words that they want to use. If you are working with students with dyslexia and spelling disorders, I urge you to take a test run of Ginger and download the 14 day trial and see what happens. While Ginger works great for student with dyslexia you should also consider it for students who are just starting to write and for English Language Learners whose native language is not English.  Like myself, you will be amazed just how good this software is in providing students with the spelling supports they need.  In recognition of National Dyslexia Awareness Month, Ginger Software is offering a 20 percent discount to home users until the end of November. You can go to the Ginger Software Store by clicking here

In my next post, I will take a look at the text to speech capabilities (TTS) in Ginger Premium to support students who may have difficulty reading the suggested corrections.

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Oct 21st 2009

Welcome to Ginger Software’s Blog

Brian S. Friedlander, Ph.D

It is really exciting to be able to blog for Ginger Software as they launch their latest product Ginger, a new and innovative spelling correction tool. I was honored when Ginger Software asked me to join their Scientific Advisory Board to provide them with my perspective in the field of assistive technology. For the past twenty five years I have been involved in the field of special education as a school psychologist and now as a full-time professor of education at the College of St. Elizabeth where I head up the Graduate Programs in Special Education and teach graduate courses in assistive technology. The longer I am in the field the more excited I have become with the potential that assistive technology can hold for students with learning disabilities. In my way of looking at it- assistive technology can help level the playing field for students with disabilities and provide them with various levels of supports to give them access to the core curriculum. More importantly, assistive technology can provide the student with the self-confidence knowing that they can do school tasks like everyone else. Assistive technology can provide the student with the sense of  an ” I can do” attitude which is essential in helping with students maintain their self-esteem and confidence. I am always so disheartened when I work with students for the first time who have struggled their entire academic career with reading and writing and have never been introduced to any assistive technology. To me, it is unacceptable that more educators are not made aware of the value of assistive technology and the role it can play in the student’s education. In part, it is this reason that I spend all of my time teaching my graduate students whom are all teachers about the value and the role of assistive technology in a student’s education.

In this blog I hope to explore with you various assistive technologies that can help a wide variety of learners reach their full potential. There have been a number of new developments in the field not only in software but hardware that makes assistive technology more accessible and more economical. Of course we will spend some time taking a look at Ginger Software which has broken new ground with their recent release of their product in helping dyslexic students in the area of writing. So I hope that you come back often and read the posts and become part of this exciting community of educators that are looking for new techniques and strategies to work with students with disabilities. Before I sign off on this post- please feel free to join me and my colleague Joan Green, MA, CCC for a free Webinar in which we talk about various writing supports that were featured in our most recent eBook, Technology Supports for Writing. In this webinar you will have the opportunity to see how assistive technology can help students in the writing process. Of course you will get to see first hand how Ginger Software is leading the way with their innovative software application to help support those students with grammar and spelling issues. So Click Here, Reserve your Webinar seat now or go to
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/440908155

Learn about a new interactive guide to cutting-edge technology tools, strategies and resources to improve the writing process. This video ebook is now available at www.ittsguides.com

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