Doorway Online is a collection of free learning activities originally developed with funding from Scottish Borders Council. It is now managed by the Doorway Accessible Software Trust, a Scottish charity. The suite comprises highly accessible educational activities that learners will find easy to use independently. Each exercise has a range of accessibility and difficulty options.
Doorway Activities have been developed in Flash. This is a very suitable medium for creating these learning activities. However since the original development work was done, Flash has become less popular. The first blow was that Flash was not allowed on the iPad.
There is a solution to this in the form of Puffin Browser.
You can download Puffin Browser to your iOS device or Android device – tablet or phone. This should allow you to access the activities on this site without difficulty. This works in most homes. However, there may be restrictions on school networks that prevent this working. We are looking for solutions.
The best solution would be a new version of each activity on the site. We’ve made a start. Take a look at Doorway Cashing In.
This has been totally re-written in Html5 and Java-script. The funds we have saved covered this. Our next conversion is Text Type, the touch typing activity that is widely used by visually impaired learners, as well as general learners. Touch Type will be a complete re-write with new features for VI learners. We are seeking funding for this and future conversions, and you can help by donating, or perhaps having a fund-raiser in your school.
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A recent upgrade to Windows 10 has made Doorway Text Type 2 unusable in either of the Microsoft Browsers. Internet Explorer or Edge.
Text Type 2 is our widely used touch typing tutor with features aimed at learners with visual impairment, large clear text, choice of colour schemes and speech feedback.
It’s available here: www.doorwayonline.org.uk
It is widely used in homes and schools in the UK and beyond.
The current solution is to download and install Chrome Browser from Google. Just search for Download Chrome, download and follow the instructions.
We are working hard on a new version, but we cannot rush just because of the changes made by Microsoft. So please bear with us and use Chrome browser in the meantime. Please donate via the link on the Doorway Online site to help us with the large costs of development.
For more information please contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a summary of the presentation to be given at CALL Scotland ASL & Technology Conference 14th June 2017.
Our Principles – Accessibility, Availability, Inclusiveness
Our Range – The Doorway Online Suite offers a range of activities covering aspects of:
- Early Literacy and Spelling
- Number up to 100 from counting up to pre-tables work and addition with carrying and subtraction with decomposition
- Practical approaches to time and money
- Typing Skills for visually impaired and single handed users
- Early Skills, Memory, Matching and Targeting
Assessment and Learning – Most of our activities have two modes, or different sub activities, that are for either learning or assessment
The Talking Computer Materials – These materials were developed by Philip Whittaker during his career as ICT support teacher for AN. They take advantage of the talking computer facility that is now implemented widely (Clicker, Textease, Wordtalk). He’ll be using Clicker to demonstrate use of these materials to develop literacy by using overlearning of phonic patterns in an enjoyable way. There is some humour!
Note – Doorway Activities work with most browsers on most desktop computers. However because of restriction on Flash there may be difficulties on school networks that need to be fixed by consulting with the network admin. The activities work with Puffin Browser on iPads and Android devices.
An installation CD for Windows can be licensed, which avoids the use of an internet connection, and any restrictions on Flash.