Week 1: 8/5/06 - 8/11/06
My immediate goal is to have a dialog with the teachers about what I've brought, whether they think its suitable, and how we can make it better. Yesterday we worked for about two hours in the afternoon and another hour in the evening just having them familiarize themselves with the hardware and writing. This evening my goal is for them to be able to set up the tutor on their own (power, serial cable, software, etc.) so I have to do quite a bit myself to make that happen (label the E-Slate and cables, write up an instruction manual, etc.) However, we've already had real success. Because all the teachers are blind, its a unique experience for me to try and explain what we've made. Nevertheless, they are very quick to pick up on the idea and make recommendations.
We've outlined several software requirements for each of the grades/standards: a simple position-letter feedback system for the 2nd standard/grade children, a position-letter-word system for the 3rd standard/grade children, and letter-word-essay system for the 4th, 5th, and 6th standard kids.
The teachers listen while I explain the features of the tutor.
Left to right: Ms. Muktha, Gauri, Jayashri, Bhagya, Manjula
They inspect the E-Slate by touch and
enthusiastically discuss its design.
Left to right: Jayashri, Bhagya, Manjula, and Vanaja
The teachers take turns using the tutor to write Braille.
This morning we also showed the E-Slate to a few of the students, just to get an idea of what we are up against. Their enthusiasm was incredible! We just as four students to come to the computer lab to play with it but we quickly had several students hover by the door once they heard the commotion. Also, the students caught on immediately and were jostling for turns to write "Mathru" on the E-Slate. Even the young kids had a go.
Vanaja shows the kids how to use the tutor.
Left to right: Manjula, Gauri, Srinivas, Gana, and Vanaja
Ms. Muktha explains it to Srinivas and Gana.
I peer over their shoulders as they write.
Finally, here are some other photos that you might find interesting.
The kids have breakfast together, sitting in rows according to grade/standard.
Two of the little ones Nagasri and Kanna
are wrapped up in towels so they don't spill.
Bhagya leads the 2nd grade/standard children to their classroom.
They walk "follow-the-leader" style.
Lastly, here is my cute studio apartment on the
top floor of the school.