26 Jan 2022

Sound Out for Tipperary Education Training Board

Tipperary ETB 'ethos' highlighted in FOI documents

Sound Out for Tipperary Education Training Board

The App was born out of Tipperary ETB looking for alternatives to the way they usually do things

Tipperary ETB launched an exciting addition to digital learning just before the Christmas break.

The Adult Learning Scheme in Tipperary worked in collaboration with LIT – TUS to develop a mobile application to support phonics awareness and learning for adults.

The Sound Out App was born out of Tipperary ETB looking for alternatives to the way we usually do things. Covid meant that we could not have our usual learner outings and consultations, annually part-funded by the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). As tutors explored alternatives with students, a student expressed the need for a simple app that would help with letter sounds and phonics.

This request was forwarded by the tutor to the Adult Literacy Organiser (ALO) who in turn linked with LIT – TUS to explore the possibility of developing a digital mobile phone phonics application. This led to the ALOs in Tipperary ETB feeding into a briefing document, costing and then collaboration between TETB and LIT – TUS to develop the app. Most of the work happened over the summer with two TETB tutors recording and working with LIT – TUS to shape and produce the application. It is an easy to use and clearly laid out application that is divided in letter sounds, digraphs, blends and games to practice the different sounds in application.

The interface is clear and easy to access. The advantage of an application like this is that a learner can access it anywhere and at any time, so learning in class can be reinforced and practiced at the bus stop, while relaxing at home, while waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. It is also a fun way for parents to practice phonics with their children. The accessibility of learning in a mobile application is modern and supports both the phonetic and digital skills of learners.

A QR code for the application has been created too for ease of access.

The launch was also used as an opportunity to introduce the Christmas Annual produced by the Adult Learning Scheme. This is a collection and celebration of creative student writing done in 2021.

Covid creativity at its best! Rather than allowing it to get us under, it was used as a launch pad for innovation.

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