Tuesday, 14 February 2017

'Love is in the Air' for RNIB Bookshare following Preston training day!

By Caroline Walker, Reading Services Assistant RNIB Bookshare


Love was in the air on Thursday 9th February … love for RNIB Bookshare! It didn’t start that way as our 17 attendees told Sarah and Caroline what they were struggling with when using the site on our ‘Getting the most out of RNIB Bookshare ’training event in Preston, at the lovely Galloways Society for the Blind

Our attendees at our Preston venue at Galloways Society for the Blind


A challenge

Some told us, that they had been unable to download, that they couldn’t create Word files from what they had managed to download. Some didn’t have the confidence to show schools how to use the site, and we were also told that RNIB Bookshare was too difficult and they had ‘given up’, it was “far too complicated”  😞

Happy face emoji

Sarah and Caroline to the rescue!

We spent the morning looking and trying out all of the main functions on the site. Sarah and Caroline helped everyone to add learners (members), search, download, add reading lists and modify the files into Word formats. It was a busy morning and everyone worked really hard to get through everything.

Top of the class!

During the afternoon we could see that everyone was really getting a lot out of the day. Some people had spent lunchtime practising downloading and during the afternoon we had lots of positive feedback on using iPad’s with the site – using Capti, iBooks etc. 
There were many ‘Oohs and ahhs’ at how you can use the downloaded files with a Kindle/Kindle app. It was also great to share tips and apps for using on the iPad with everyone, we picked up some new apps to share too. 
“I came in confused and left feeling enthused!” 

What a great day!

It was such a positive day! Everyone learnt lots and we felt that we had made a difference to those who attended and how they could go back and use RNIB Bookshare. 

What did you like most?

“Patience in answering questions”
 “Hands on accessing the website”
 “straightforward”
 “Easy to follow for a non IT user” 

What do you plan to change as a result of this training?

“Train all staff in my region!’
“Tell more people about RNIB Bookshare!”
 “Will use Bookshare with more confidence”
 “I will use Bookshare more” 

How will it change how you work?

 “ It will make my role more effective”
 “More confidence in what I am doing” 

Thanks to everyone for a brilliant day!

“Excellent training”
“Thank you very much for a very helpful reintroduction to RNIB Bookshare. You have re-inspired me to have another go”
“Thank you very much for your patience and time and for making this training event free” 
 “meeting the staff (RNIB Bookshare) makes approaching RNIB more friendly” 
To also be 'reinspired' and become more confident with RNIB Bookshare, have a look at our training pages. We are currently reviewing our training for 2017/8. 



Thursday, 9 February 2017

Cambridgeshire Visual Impairment Service Team, 7 February 2017

A wonderful day with Cambridgeshire Visual Impairment Service Team at their St Ives centre in Cambridgeshire

By Ian Green, RNIB Bookshare Reading Services Assistant


I met up with 13 members of staff from Cambridgeshire Visual Impairment Service Team who provide specialist educational support county-wide for over 200 children who have significantly reduced or no vision.  A few of the attendees were using RNIB Bookshare but most were new to the service. They were all very keen to find out more about how RNIB Bookshare can support their learners. 
The front of Cambridgeshire Visual Impairment Service Team Centre, St Ives, Cambridgeshire.
Cambridgeshire Visual Impairment Service Team Centre, St Ives, Cambridgeshire.

The Training


We looked at the following during the session

Who is eligible, terms and conditions and Copyright 
How do I add Staff to my organisation's account
How to download from a Staff account
How to create Learner accounts
How to download from a Learner account
How to search for books
How to 
request books and images
How to create a reading list
Converting DAISY to Word documents
How can I save PDF books to the Kindle app and
information about 
iPads for Education

Some feedback from the day


What did you most like about the training?

  • Talking about the different file formats and how to download the books and convert them. Also how to access images that can be used.
  • The navigation of the site to get to images. Exploring acronyms.
  • Useful information about structured Word documents.
  • Informal and plenty of question time.

How does RNIB Bookshare affect the learners you work with?


  • Gives access to a lot more texts.
  • It will transform learner's experiences.
  • Gives access to simple images relevant to curriculum.
  • Gives access to wider range of books and is more inclusive.

How does RNIB Bookshare affect how you work?


  • Will be very useful.






Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Monday 30 January 2017

A super day at Aylsham High School, Norfolk


By Ian Green, RNIB Bookshare Reading Services Assistant


I met up with 14 members of staff who support print disabled learners throughout Norfolk at Aylsham High School. After some internet access issues had been resolved we were able to discuss how they could use RNIB Bookshare to better support their learners.  A big thank you to all who came to the session and for making me feel so welcome.


The front of Norwich Railway Station at twilight
Norwich Railway Station
The front entrance to Alylsham High School, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6AN
Aylsham High School, Aylsham, Norfolk NR11 6AN

The Training

During the session we talked about the following.




Some feedback from the day:


What did you most like about the training

"Trainer's delivery and content"
"Helpful to have the handout with instructions although it was very clearly explained"
"I like the hands on aspect and being able to try downloading on different devices"

How does RNIB Bookshare affect the learners you work with?

"Will enhance what I can suggest to schools"
"Audio is a great option for some of our learners"
"Allows texts to be more accessible to our SEND learners"

How does RNIB Bookshare affect how you work?

"Helps me to advise schools on how they can best support their dyslexic learners"
"It creates possibilities for other avenues to support our learners"
"Great to support learners"





Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Wednesday 25 January 2017

A fantastic day at Sheffield Hallam University

By Ian Green, RNIB Bookshare Reading Services Assistant


Having left Peterborough by train in the fog I arrived in Sheffield in glorious sunshine to meet with five members of staff from Sheffield Hallam University who support print disabled students at the University. During the day we talked about how they can get the most out of RNIB Bookshare to support their learners.

The Adsetts Centre at Sheffield Hallam University
The Adsetts Centre at Sheffield Hallam University


The Training


We looked at the following during the session.




Some of the feedback from the day:


What did you most like about the training

"Learning about features I didn't know about such as requesting and accessing images"
"Clearly shown on screen exactly what needed to be done at each stage"


How does RNIB Bookshare affect the learners you work with?

"We can get PDF's out to learners much more quickly"
"It will allow learners to access books previously not accessible due to their disability"



How does RNIB Bookshare affect how you work?

"Hopefully be quicker and easier for us"
"It will streamline our processes"


Thanks for a great day in Sheffield and for making me feel so welcome.





Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A scrumdiddlyumptious session with Salisbury Sensory Service

Monday 9 January 2017

By Sarah Bennett, RNIB Bookshare Reading Services Assistant


After a fairly lengthy train journey, I arrived at the most stunning, multi award-winning offices! 

Bourne Hill Offices
They are home to both Wiltshire Council and the Police force and combine grade II* buildings with  contemporary 21st century glass workplaces.

The teachers and SENCOs I met with were just as amazing as their workplace! We were a small group of eight, with varying levels of experience of using the original Load2Learn website. A mixture of QTVIs, teachers and SENCOS.

Discussions of the day

Technical hiccoughs thwarted a smooth start, but we battled through and had some good discussions about how they could use RNIB Bookshare to its' potential to help the children they work with. 

We talked about the background to the service and how the current website has developed from an original American one - US Bookshare.  

We went through the pros and cons of growing their team account versus teaching the schools how to use RNIB Bookshare and handing over their members,  and also how each option would work best both for their learners and their own working practices.  

We went through some processes together:
We also had a look at file formats and the software Calibre specifically for conversion purposes. The Salisbury Sensory Service is upgrading its IT next month and staff will be now also be requesting to have Calibre installed.

We created reading lists, assigned books to them and shared them with other sponsors and members. Conversations started up about how best to use the reading list feature.  

We discussed audio options at length and had a play with the Capti  app, which someone immediately downloaded onto their iPad!  Other applications were briefly talked about, such as the KNFB which some of the staff were already familiar with, the Aipoly Vision and the extremely helpful www.applevis.com website.

Some feedback from the splendiferous Salisbury teams:

"RNIB Bookshare helps me to support learners I work with, it enables me to empower teachers and learners to access reading materials independently."

What did you most like about the training?
  • "The instructor - fun and easy to listen to.  Patient and helpful." 
  • "How Sarah explained things"
  • "Practical and hands on"
Thank you Salisbury crew for the smashing feedback!  Please do get in touch if we can be of any support or help: 0300 303 8313

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Come to us London, 16 December 2016


A fantastic Come to us London Training Day

By Ian Green, RNIB Bookshare Reading Services Assistant

This was our second "come to us" training day which was held at RNIB's Head Office in Judd Street.  The session had 17 attendees from various schools, colleges, universities and sensory support services. They were all very keen to find out more about RNIB Bookshare and they had lots of questions for me. Thanks to everyone for attending and for also sharing your ideas and knowledge with me and each other.


Outside the main entrance to RNIB 105 Judd Street, London WC1H 9NE
Outside RNIB 105 Judd Street London WC1H 9NE


Meeting room 5 and 6 at RNIB 105 Judd Street London WC1H 9NE
Meeting room 5 and 6 at RNIB 105 Judd Street London WC1H 9NE 

Christmas festive cheer with a rocking Santa playing his guitar outside Kings Cross Station in London
Guitar rocking Santa at Kings Cross Station

The Training


During the day we covered the following.



Some of the feedback we received


What you liked best about the training


"Practical help while using the website"
"Converting files to Word"
"Clear instructions on how to do things. Agreed to take back comments made by users"
"Mix of people from different organisations using RNIB Bookshare for different purposes"
"Clear and comprehensive"

How will RNIB Bookshare help you to support your learners.


"Allows staff to download texts for modification instead of scanning in and re-typing"
"I will be able to use the Tactile Images from RNIB Bookshare and add good quality adapted materials"
"Quick way to provide files for students"
"It allows my VI students to access texts in the most suitable way for them in a mainstream setting"
"Gives them independent access to resources and enables them to use electronic devices for work instead of paper." 


How will RNIB Bookshare help you do your job.


"Helps in making items on Reading Lists accessible for students"
"It enables me to produce texts for multiple VI users across secondary schools that would be time prohibited otherwise"
"It enables me to source resources more easily for students and support them to become more independent learners"
"Helps meet Access to Learning"




Thursday, 15 December 2016

Merton Training Day, 30 November 2016

A lovely day with Merton Sensory Support Team


By Ian Green, Reading Services Assistant, RNIB Bookshare


It was a sunny but cold and frosty late autumn morning when I travelled to Morden in South London to meet with staff from Merton Sensory Support Team to provide training on RNIB Bookshare.  The venue was The Chaucer Centre which some 30 years ago had been a school.   The building reminded me of my first Primary school which sadly is no longer standing.


The front view of The Chaucer Centre, Morden
The Chaucer Centre, Morden.

The attendees made me very welcome and kindly bought me lunch.  They were keen to learn more about RNIB Bookshare and how it could help them to support their students.


The Training

During the day we covered the following.



Some of the feedback from the day:

What did you most like about the training

“Very useful feel confident about using RNIB Bookshare”
“Being able to try things out and ask Ian questions”
“Clear and well paced”
“Good opportunity for hands on work”
“Hands on experience”

How does RNIB Bookshare affect the learners you work with?

“It will help them with revision and homework particularly”
“The option to zoom and highlight with visuals will aid with their reading”
“Encourage children to read with more interest”
“Provides fuller and instant access to the curriculum”

How does RNIB Bookshare affect how you work?

“It enables me to support my students better”
“Saves time adapting/modifying resources”
“Improve/add to skills in classroom reading”