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The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

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Glean: Independence and ease for students

SalmaPaola Baca
Students utilizing note taking through Glean app.

The Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS) is always on the lookout for students’ needs as a matter of academic excellence. Therefore, the Glean app is now part of their solutions catalog.  

Note taking apps can provide several benefits for individuals with disabilities, including those with auditory processing or learning disabilities like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or dyslexia  

CASS has been offering peer note-takers as an accommodation option, but there are some downsides to it. Not many students volunteer as note-takers and this results in scholars having difficulties during lectures. It also provides a feeling of codependency for those in need of notes for their academic advancement.  

Then came Glean, where problems resurfaced for students having a hard time with note taking in classes. The app records lectures and transcribes them, giving the student the option to go back and listen after being in the classroom. Glean focuses on accessibility, making it user-friendly for individuals with disabilities. 

“Glean offers so many benefits that we’re really excited about because it guarantees notes in the hands of the students,” said CASS director, Alyssa Gutierrez. “It also gives the students more independence, and it will build the skills that they do have to help them be better note-takers.” 

Universities have a responsibility to ensure all students have equal access to education. By providing these accommodations, UTEP levels the playing field making it easier for students with disabilities to fully participate in the educational experience. 

“I’m glad to hear that UTEP provides these types of services for students who truly need it,” said UTEP student, Linda Espinoza. “Even though I’m not in need to use the app, Glean sounds great and I would like to use it someday.” 

Glean provides many features that can help ADA individuals maintain focus during note-taking sessions. Instead of multitasking during lectures, students will be able to concentrate on what’s being said. 

“I’ve been using the app myself and I’m really liking it,” Gutierrez said. “Now I’m giving my full attention to things instead of trying to write everything down.” 

Some people may benefit from assistive technologies, such as screen readers or specialized apps designed specifically for their disability, in conjunction with Glean to further enhance their productivity and accessibility. 

“I think the app is good to innovate because it also pushes students to continue to grow and learn with the use of technology,” said CASS assistant director, Manelic Alcala. 

To be able to use the note-taking app, the person needs to be registered with CASS for their accessibility needs. From there, the department will evaluate the case and offer different solutions, one of which could be obtaining a Glean license. 

This new and helpful tool has students looking forward to using it in their daily classes.  

“It’s great to hear the students are keen to get started with Glean,” said Glean customer success manager, Will Fox.  

Even though Glean hasn’t been available for long, it has shown positive results. Nowadays, most students prefer digital notes, and the app provides that alternative for those who need it. 

“We went live with the app this semester, so we hope to get good feedback from students that were able to use it,” Alcala said.  

It’s refreshing to know that students get more choices, such as Glean, when it comes to note taking issues.  

“This is one of those innovative tools that is going to be a game changer for our students, for everybody,” Gutierrez said. “We’re very hopeful that we’re going to see its impact in a really positive way.” 

CASS is always eager to promote equal access, diversity, inclusion, and academic success in the UTEP community. 

Angelica Gutierrez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributors
Angelica Gutierrez, Contributor/Reporter
Angelica Gutierrez is a sophomore at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in digital media production and minoring in film. She is a contributor for The Prospector. She wants to integrate into the film industry as a writer and director.
SalmaPaola Baca, Contributor/Photographer
SalmaPaola Baca is a junior at UTEP majoring in engineering leadership with a concentration in civil engineering and an emphasis in computer science. Her passion for photography/videography enables her to be a contributor and photographer at The Prospector. While a full-time student, she freelances while planning to grow her platform through travel photography.
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