The idea for ‘EduApps’ came about when the team at Soffed Ltd discussed the use of portable applications and how freely available ‘apps’ could be used to support learners with additional needs. The concept of using portable applications within an educational environment was not new – members of the team had used portable applications in previous teaching positions and there were commercially available examples in the marketplace.
Our e-Learning Advisor with remit for accessibility and inclusion, Craig Mill, decided to put together a specific package of applications aimed at learners with additional needs, which we decided to call ‘AccessApps’. The principles underpinning the collection were that they would be free or open-source, that they would work on the Windows operating environment, and that they would be tailored to be useful to everyone, but most especially to persons with additional needs.
Growing from the popularity of AccessApps, we later went on to develop a number of other suites: LearnApps (for students) and TeachApps (for teaching staff). Here we use the same format, but the suites consist of different applications. MyStudyBar soon followed and, with a growing number of these tools, we decided to describe all of them collectively – and so the name ‘EduApps’ was born.
We are grateful to all of those who have contributed to the development of the software that is included in MyStudyBar: Vu-Bar; ssOverlay; Blabolka; Rapid Typing; XMind, LetMeType and System Font Size Changer.
Special thanks to EA Draffan at Southhampton University for ATBar and to CALL Scotland at the University of Edinburgh for their further development of MyStudyBar. Thank you to Jisc also for their support during the early days of EduApps and also for their continued support of MyStudyBar via CALL Scotland. Thanks are also due to Robert Stewart, Technology Resources Officer at CALL, for all his hard work and help in updating MyStudyBar.