Systems of Support Supporting Educator Excellence through Technology and Strategy

Monthly Archives: February 2009

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Read&Write GOLD Version 9 Mobile Released

Read&Write GOLD version 9 was released a few weeks ago.  I’ll do a post soon with my review of the product.  What I want to do in this post is tell about their mobile product.

If you are familiar with Texthelp (makers of Read&Write GOLD), you probably know that you can get their software on a mobile drive.  This is beneficial to many schools for several reasons, including:

  • The ability for students to take the drive anywhere they go.  This may be school, home or anywhere in between.  Administrative privileges aren’t necessary to use the drive, so any computer with a usb port will work.
  • I know this may come as a shocker to many of you, but special education classrooms and the technology department don’t always see eye to eye on things.  Sometimes it can take weeks to get assistive technology installed.  Having a usb product allows you to have the benefit of the program without any installation.

Of course there are negatives as well.  No one wants to keep up with 1000 drives and students have been known to loose things, but a mobile is still a nice option to have.

What I like most about the Read&Write GOLD mobile is the drive Texthelp chose to put it on.  It’s a Kingston DataTraveler® HyperX®, which let’s just say is FAST.  You can find more information on it here if you’re interested.  This is probably the most important part of the mobile, because loading such large program takes time and we don’t want students to spend 3 minutes in front of the computer just waiting for the software to load up.

I personally have one of these drives and now use it for all of my trainings, but I do want to mention a couple of odd things in case you are the one who receives the drive…

First, this may be a vista issue, but when I received the drive I couldn’t just plug it in and use it.  Texthelp requires that you enter your serial number and agree to a few things before you use it for the first time.  What’s weird is that after this I kept getting an error about needing to unplug any other drives before it could finish.  I didn’t have any other drives plugged in however.

So what I ended up doing was just using an XP laptop and the process went much smoother.  If you are using a Vista desktop, I recommend unplugging all other external usb drives before you start, do not use a usb hub (plug directly into your computer), and run the program as an administrator the first time.  This requires you to be an administrator of course.  If you have admin privileges, simply right click on the .exe file and choose Run as Administrator.

Hope this helps.  Overall I think the mobile is a great product and great idea.  Just keep the above information in mind before you start using it.