Monday, April 9, 2012

Raising money for Breast Cancer Research

I am taking part in the Mother's Day Classic and raising funds for breast cancer research. Every extra dollar I raise through fundraising goes towards vital research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. I will be participating or volunteering along with 120,000 Australians nationwide who are making a difference on Mother's Day and taking steps to save lives by helping fund the best breast cancer research. You can help us too by donating online here...

Friday, April 6, 2012

Irlen Syndrome - a visual stress syndrome

According to Wikipedia,
"Scotopic sensitivity syndrome, also known as Irlen Syndrome and Visual Stress Syndrome, approximating in some ways to Meares Irlen syndrome, and 'Visual Stress', refers to visual perceptual disorder(s) affecting primarily reading and writing based activities.

Scotopic sensitivity syndrome is based on the theory that some individuals have hypersensitive photoreceptors, visual pathways, and/or brain systems that react inappropriately to some wavelengths of light.

 In simple terms, the theory is that some signals from the eye are not getting to the brain intact and / or on time. Although the eye might be functioning correctly, the brain receives what is like a double exposed picture where the location of items is confused. The brain tries to filter out the bad information and so the conscious mind receives a reconstructed image. That image may be of the items moving (the brain constantly changing its best guess of what is there), blurred outcomes (inability to form a view of what is there), gaps in wrong spots, and a variety of other minor errors. There may also be exhaustion (from the mental effort to unscramble) and sore eyes (from the eyes constantly seeking extra data to aid the process) The problem is worst where different colours do not all give a similar outcome. In nature you get a lot of consistent data but on a man made item (e.g. paper) there might only be limited colour sets. i.e. The condition does not generate practical problems where there is lots of redundant data for the brain to use. The pragmatic response by Irlen was not to try to fix the problem but to avoid it. By filtering out the light most likely to generate problem signals to the brain, she was able to improve the likelihood that the brain will correctly distinguish between good and bad information. It also seems likely that in some individuals, over time the brain learns which colours are the problem items and improves its ability to reconstruct an accurate image."

Smartboards in the Classroom

Thank you to the Irlen Institute for posting this message on Facebook about Smartboards. I know we have installed a Smartboard in most of our classrooms.
"Since the introduction of bright white Smart boards to classrooms, there has been an increase in the numbers of children who report headaches and visual distortions when looking at these boards. We are now advising teachers to set the default background to a buff colour - then to consult their pupils about what background colour suits them best."

Have a safe and relaxing Easter break everyone.