Free Apps to assist with colour blind issues in a pharmacy lab, with graphs and dissection

Here are some useful, free applications I came across for a needs assessment I have just completed.

colour blind assistantColorblind Assistant –  PC – Hover mouse over pixel in any running application – Excel/Powerpoint/PDF/Word etc, and the program displays the colours name.

“Colorblind Assistant is free software that instantly picks the color from the mouse pointer, providing you with a written name of the color, as well as other useful data such as RGB values and bar graphs, brightness and saturation.”

color ID appColor ID Free – iPhone and Android – Point phone or tablet device at any object and software displays name of currently viewed colour.

“Color Identifier uses the camera on your iPhone or iPod touch to speak the names of colors in real-time. It’s an Augmented Reality app for discovering the names of the colors around you!”

My student was a Pharmacology student who was having difficulty with graphs, lab equipment, dissection. Tested the phone app with various items I had around, and it was very good. As it is on a portable device, it is ideal for lab/field work.

 

Tim Symons | Training Co-ordinator/Needs Assessor/AT Trainer | Access SUMMIT

KNFB Reader app – Take a photo then have text read aloud

KNFB iphone app

knfbReader by Sensotec nv – View of the iPhone screen with a scanned document and output

I received a free version of the app through my role on the British Dyslexia Association’s New Technologies Committee and I love it!  For my own personal use (dyslexia rather than VI), I’ve historically relied on apps such as Prizmo or ClaroSpeak (with OCR addon). I started using this app a few months ago and for me this app is a big step up for two reasons:
1. Exceptionally fast user experience
2. Exceptional accuracy

1. Exceptionally fast user experience

The app’s purpose is essentially the same as Prizmo / ClaroSpeak (with OCR addon) / CapturaTalk.  However, the main advantage for me is that the time from snapping the photo and to starting to hear it being read aloud is a couple of seconds on my old iPhone 4S, and instantaneous on my iPhone 6.  They do this by:
a) Having an auto-read function, so as soon as it has text from the photo it reads aloud to you, without you having to press another button.
b) Starting to read before the whole page has been analysed.  As soon as it’s recognised the first sentence it starts to read that aloud.

The user interface is really nice – open the app, hold it above the page and press one button!  Then sit back and relax while the page is read to you.  This is a big plus for day-to-day use.

2. Exceptional accuracy

From my non-scientific playing with the app, the OCR accuracy appears to be at least as good as (and I think better than) ClaroSpeak’s OCR addon, and it is much better than Prizmo.

So money-no-object it wins hands down for me – an ideal example of an app that does only one thing and does it very well. Cost £79.99 for the iPhone
Neil Cottrell
LexAble

f.lux and eyestrain – cool colours for the day and warm for the evening.

screen view of tintIf you are struggling with eye strain, because of screen glare, then the application ‘f.lux‘ may help you. The software changes the colour temperature of your screen based on the time of day. Daylight has a considerable amount of blue light; whereas sunset and late evening have much warmer tones. F.lux changes the screen from daylight settings to sunset or late evening settings. The application has a basis for its development within research – the negative impact of blue or day light on a person reading at night.

I downloaded the application and have already found it has had a positive impact on my eye strain. The initial setup did not take long but the changing of your location can be a bit clunky and you will need to check the longitude and latitude of your location. I’d recommend just typing the name of the village, town or city that you live in into Google asking for the longitude and latitude. Once setup the application runs unobtrusively in the background.

I would still recommend running f.lux in conjunction with altering your screens brightness or contrast. The application also has a feature that enables you to override the settings temporarily in case you need to do colour work – graphic designers, reprographics and commercial print companies will need to take note.

Free for Windows.(also available for Mac, Linux , and iPhone/iPad)

Here is some more information about eyestrain and computer screens from Wired

Neil
Course or Programme of Study: PhD in Computer Science

Extra note

“‘During the daylight hours, f.lux keeps your monitor relatively cool with a default color temperature of 6500K. Your brain tends to associate blue light with daylight. At night, f.lux dials down the color temperature to a warmer, more yellow glow (3400K). You can also choose from presets (Candle, Tungsten, Halogen, Fluorescent, and Daylight) or adjust the settings to another specific preference. In general, the yellower the light, the less straining it is on your eyes’”

Screen Adjuster for Android that adds a tinted overlay

Default Samsung Galaxy screen

Samsung Galaxy screen tinted blue

I’ve found that Screen Adjuster for Android works well at tinting and adjusting brightness of the screen. Screen Adjuster allows you to change contrast, brightness and colour of the screen really quickly and easily.
However, working with the app can be very frustrating when you want to move the sliders near the edge of the touch screen.  The swipe gesture may not always respond.   Otherwise the app is free and easy to use and can even dim the screen below the system settings.

screen grab of Screen Adjuster

Screen Adjuster showing slider near the edge of the screen

Screen Adjuster runs on Android 2.2+ and is on Google Play – there is a version that costs 0.73p that comes without the advertisements.

Martin

Use StudyBlue App to Create Review Flashcards

add content

Add content

choose study mode

Choose study mode

select no of cards to test

Select the number of cards

Studyblue testing

StudyBlue testing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

StudyBlue is a great virtual learning tool in creating flashcards for an efficient and effective review session. It’s capable of increasing your retention skills by creating cards with embed pictures, texts, and recorded speech.

As a student, I have maximised the tool in all my subjects, especially in my majors. When reviewing, I always organise my notes and convert them into flashcards, especially when separating business subjects such as Accounting and Economics from the technology-focused courses. In my creative writing classes, I basically use my flashcards to enrich my vocabulary, improve grammar, and check spelling.

With StudyBlue App, you can enjoy:

  • Tailored flashcards
  • Measuring your progress
  • Integrating pictures
  • Audio recordings

On top of all, StudyBlue gives you the liberty of mastering a subject based on your own terms. Whilst the monthly subscription fee of £6.12 is expensive for a virtual card solution, the free version already does the job, especially in developing your skills in information retention.

Back in my time, it was limited as web-based tool. The developers have released a mobile counterpart for smartphone or tablet for the students of today to enjoy. If you‘ve used Evernote in note taking, you can easily import them to StudyBlue to create your review material. But if you’re a new iPhone user, can easily use the handset’s iCloud feature to sync your notes and convert them into learning cards. O2’s page for the iPhone 5c stated that this Apple service allows users to share and access files across all your iDevices. This makes file transferring more efficient nowadays.

Get it here for iOS, Android, and Web.

The YouTube video below is a good starting point for using the tool:

(courtesy of Learn German with Herr Antrim)

About the Author
Jennifer Birch – a former Business Information Systems and Creative and Professional Writing at UEL. Reach her on Techie Doodlers and Twitter.

AudioNote for iPad & iPhone

AudioNote screen grabsAudioNote is a fantastic note taking app. The official description from the app store tells you how you can synchronise notes and audio with each key point being linked to the moment when the lecturer talks about that subject.  Because it works on a tablet or phone there is no need to wait for the laptop to boot up.

Bookmarks can be created throughout the audio recording to highlight important points for easy referencing.  It allows you to take pictures and insert them into your notes and AudioNotes can be exported to Evernote, saved and organised there. A yellow background can be used instead of white for those with visual stress/sensitivity. It costs £2.99 and is available from the iTunes store.

This YouTube video is a good introduction to AudioNote

This comes with thanks to the Disability Advisory Service at Imperial College

Note taking with a digital recorder

Edirol R-09HR digital recorder

Edirol R-09HR digital recorder

“I generally do not take notes in lectures, as I have this problem where I want my notes to make sense, so that if I was looking at them afresh, I would be able to understand them.  Also, I want to concentrate on what the lecturer is saying.  What I do is I use an Edirol R09HR digital audio recorder [now discontinued] to record the lectures, so that I can listen back to them if I did not get something the first time, and I also monitor the recording by using headphones, so it is almost like I am listening to the lecturer through a personal listening device.”

Sam – Live and Studio Sound

Several Olympus recorders offer audio feedback and audible navigational support when saving or erasing files – The RNIB offer a selection of suitable digital recorders.

Recent discussions (Feb 2013) about the use of a Dictaphone in lectures has been occurring on the Dis-forum mailing list (login required) and a useful link was provided to research on student attendance when recording lectures and other aspects of lecture capture provided by University College, London.

Google translator for unknown words

Google translate

English is not my first language so I use Google translator to help me quickly find the translation for unknown words.  It is not always right but you can use the dictionary and there is way of listening to the word.  I sometimes put the word back into the left side to see what happens – Google can be set to automatically recognise the language you want and remembers your choice so when you return to the page it is very quick.

You can also add Google translate as a bookmark just for your language.

Web Science Student

 

 

Google docs for vocab lists.

google form” I use Google docs for learning vocab lists and revision.  I can have all the information organised in a form that I design with blank edit boxes – fill in the Google online form as a test and then it connects to a spread sheet and prints out as a vocab list.   It is easy to built the form and there are videos that show you how!

 

vocab list

Youtube video on how to make an online Google form and show the results in a Google spread sheet.

Sophie – French

 

Opera browser has handy mouse gestures

“I use Opera rather than Internet Explorer to go back a page – right click and a left click, straight one after the other, that makes going back so much easier! Not using Alt / L & R Arrow. I also used Firefox a bit, but Opera is much nicer. You have to do right click followed by left click very quickly!”

” I prefer the layout so much more and the keyboard and mouse shortcuts are so useful. For instance I use right click followed by left click to go back a web page or just the z key.” The YouTube video below illustrates what is possible with mouse gestures.

I find the automatic reloading of a page useful when working on forums which you can customise to however many minutes or seconds you want. Opera also allows you to add your chosen search engines as part of the menu. There is also a function called ‘speed dial’ that provides you with your 4 most important web sites”

Chloe – Psychology