Mobile Math Signing Dictionary for iPod Touch
Deaf and hard-of-hearing students lag behind their hearing counterparts not only in reading and writing, but in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. In previous collaborations, Vcom3D and TERC have developed PC-based and Mobile Signing Science Dictionaries for students in grades 4-8; and are currently developing a PC-based and Mobile Signing Science Dictionary for grades Kindergarten-3. These programs include animated sign language translations of the definitions of key scientific terms. Classroom evaluations have demonstrated the efficacy of these products in increasing student engagement and learning. However, no similar technology is available to assist the same students in mathematics.
For this Phase I SBIR project, VCom3D and TERC will develop and evaluate a Mobile Signing Math Dictionary (MSMD) that provides American Sign Language (ASL) and Signed English (SE) definitions for Apple’s touch screen iPod. Using the proof-of-concept, the applicant will implement and test different user interfaces for handheld devices. These designs will be evaluated in classrooms at grade levels, three, five and seven in at least five schools in locations throughout the United States. In addition to animated signing, the MSMD will feature the ability to include equations, charts, and visual representations of word problems that the animated character can refer to and describe in sign. The mobile version of the dictionary will provide mobility and independence that leads to opportunity-based learning-inclusions, on field trips, or while studying anytime and anywhere.
Under a Phase II project, the applicant will make modifications resulting from Phase I feedback and develop a fully functional prototype of the software that includes ASL and SE definitions for at least 1,200 mathematics terms that children learn during grades Kindergarten-8. In addition, the applicant will evaluate the performance of the system in both classroom and informal settings.
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