Here at Present Pal, we are passionate about supporting and creating equity in education.
Present Pal is a mobile app that supports learners of all ages build their oral communication skills, working memory, and confidence with interactive and accessible flashcards.
Chris Hughes, Present Pal’s founder and CEO, has dyslexia and created Present Pal in 2018 to support the challenges he faced whilst presenting as part of his university course. Present Pal now supports over 4000 learners not only with presentations but also job interviews, group discussions, and much more!
Designed with UDL, accessibility, and neurodiversity in mind, Present Pal’s features help all learners deliver effective communication. We will explore Present Pal’s features and learn how the Present Pal app supports the UDL Framework.
92% of students felt more confident communicating with Present Pal!
UDL Framework and Present Pal Features
Present Pal works on your smartphone or tablet like a set of interactive flashcards. The app displays no more than 3-5 key bullet points on the screen at once, breaking down the information of a script. Present Pal notes can be typed via the keyboard or can be entered via speech-to-text functions.
Present Pal provides options for representation, action and expression, and engagement.
Learners are given a choice in the presentation development process. With our Personalisation features, Present Pal gives learners choice for customising the display of information by choosing from 11 different colour overlays and 8 accessible fonts with the option to reduce or enlarge the font size.
Audio Cues offer alternatives for visual information by utilising text-to-speech to read out users’ notes. With Line Focus, users can clarify vocabulary, syntax, symbols, and structure with their 3-5 key bullet points. Our Safety Net feature, which allows users to store any extra information they may have otherwise forgotten, encourages users to use multiple media, such as mind-maps, diagrams, or pictures.
Action and Expression
Present Pal provides scaffolding for executive skills and strategies so that they are more effective and developed. Users can choose to add a Safety Net to their key bullet points, offering reassurance if they need it. Line Focus allows users to anticipate what is coming next and reflect on what they just said, developing working memory skills and executive functioning.
Users can use multiple media for communications, construction, and composition, such as a device keyboard or speech-to-text.
Present Pal promotes self-regulation, coping skills, and strategy implementation. Learners are given individual choice and autonomy and are encouraged to develop self-reflection and self-assessment with our Rehearsal mode. In Rehearsal, users can record their audio, flag any challenges as they run through their notes, then listen back for self-assessment and review. This not only supports self-regulation but also builds the user’s confidence with their content.
Distractions are minimised with our Line Focus feature. The user is guided through their notes with the current bullet point appearing significantly larger than the others around it, helping users pick up where they left off if they lose their place or pause to make eye contact during a presentation, class discussion, or job interview.
Exciting Things to Come
We are always looking to grow and adapt, and we are really excited to share some of our ongoing projects with you!
We are really excited to be releasing a new version of the Present Pal app early next year, with an all-new user interface. Our refreshed design makes your Present Pal notes more simple and more accessible than ever.
2020 has taught us that the communication environment is changing. That is why we are embarking on a pioneering collaborative research project with a university here in Scotland! Using a mixed-methods approach, we will be investigating the experience of students, particularly those with specific learning differences (SpLDs), when communicating and presenting remotely.
The results of our innovative research will be published as part of our white paper series.
If you are interested in learning more about our research or are interested in collaborating with us, fill out our form, and we will be in touch!
Link to white paper page: www.presentpal.co.uk/white-paper-series