By Pauline Stewart.
World Summit - From Dyslexia to proficiency with words
Earlier this year, The Informer printed an article about local educator, Paul Blackman and his upcoming invitation to attend and speak at the World Literacy Summit in Oxford University, London.
He was to speak about overcoming dyslexia and the computer App programme he has created with colleague, Murray Blair, which is called ‘Prolexia’, meaning proficiency with words (a new word). Paul lives in Whitianga with his wife Johanna and is the founder of Wordsmart Kids.
The Summit brought together leaders from 85 countries representing over two-thirds of the world’s population, and all with a single focus – advocating, championing and educating on the vital importance of improving literacy levels across the globe. It was the world’s largest gathering of international literacy specialists, including NGO leaders, researchers, academics, literacy entrepreneurs, education companies, publishers, practitioners, government representatives and most importantly the learners themselves. There were over 600 delegates at the Summit and a further 40,000 people watched via their webinars.
“I spoke on the last day of the Summit, and it was well received,” says Paul. “I had to make very salient points as I only had 20 minutes, but it was streamed to the 85 countries participating and I felt happy with the outcome. The first points in my talk summarised our USP (Unique Selling Points). I explained that we ensure the students have a strong mindset which provides the belief to become successful fluent readers. We have a process which sets this up and provides an exercise which defines what success means to each student. For example, many write down that success for them is that their chronological age will match their reading age and they will be reading books in an area that they are passionate about. Paul added that his computer app, Prolexia, helps them achieve that. “It works like this - it mimics the way our brains naturally learn by using stories to teach the letter sounds. “We are in the process of partnering with Edsoma, an exciting new app that can track a student's reading in real time autonomously to provide remediation tailored to the students' learning differences. Edsoma has been described by Forbes Magazine as the one to watch and invest in for the future,” explains Paul.
On the 18 April, following the Summit, Paul and Blair Murray also attended the London Book Fair, mainly to find a publisher for Paul’s Wallace Book series as well as the book he has written based on their literacy programme entitled, “Prolexia”. Paul will be sharing his presentation to any parents and or educators wanting to explore ways to empower all students to follow their passions and become fluent, confident readers and writers.
Paul will be making his presentation on May 17 @ 7:00pm till 8:00pm at Counter fellowship Church, opposite New World, Paul will expand on his presentation at the worlds literacy summit.
Caption: Paul Blackman at Oxford University, England, for the World Literacy Summit in April.