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Android Education Math News

App Turns Tablet Into Math Aid For Visually Impaired Students 13

Posted by Soulskill
from the shaking-things-up dept.
Science_afficionado writes "An engineering grad student at Vanderbilt has developed an app for Android tablets equipped with haptic feedback that turns them into a valuable tool for teaching mathematics and other STEM subjects to visually impaired students. 'Gorlewicz has programmed these tablets so they vibrate or generate a specific tone when the student’s fingertip touches a line, curve or shape displayed on the screen. The devices can generate vibrations with a number of different frequencies and hundreds of different sounds. This allows Gorlewicz to assign different tactile or audio signals to different features. For example, in an exercise that includes an X-Y grid, she can set the horizontal and vertical lines to vibrate at different frequencies and set points to make a certain tone. In this way, it’s easier for the students to distinguish between the gridlines and the points on the grid.'"
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App Turns Tablet Into Math Aid For Visually Impaired Students

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  • This would be great if the last update on my smartphone didn't turn my unit's mighty bone-shaking haptic feedback into the faintest buzz.

    I guess a lot of people complained that this model's haptic feedback was too much, but I liked it. I carry my phone in my front pocket and it gave me a little thrill. Plus, I like to control my phone with the warm pink stylus God gave me. Though it must be a startling sight to people who see me playing Bonsai Blast at the bus stop.

    Now, what was this story about?

    • Oh god, I'm sorry. I didn't mean for this to be the first post. I'm so ashamed. I hate first posts and believe they should all be modded to death. I wish there was a way to delete my own posts on Slashdot.

      Could somebody please mod my above post down?

  • Had this kid from Vanderbilt used an iPad instead of an Android tablet the headline would read "iPad breaks new ground, allows low vision users access mathematics for the first time."

    Instead, the moron used an Android device making the head line read "Tablet" ensuring that this article it will remain obscure, gathering no more than 4 comments in the first 4 hours on the main page.

    -- Sent from my BlackBerry PlayBook

    • In fact, he probably should have. The accessibility features of Android are almost non-existent, and Android devices are pretty much unusable for the visually impaired. iOS has it all over them there. And I say this as an Android fanboi.

  • A better "screen" would be one that was all about the haptic, that consisted of thousands of tiny tiny rods that would pertrude to form shapes. A rod for a pixel.

    Is there anything like that? How would it be done? How ridiculously prohibitively expensive would it be?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have a similar application on my phone, and I would be surprised if I could figure out that there was simply a circle on the page without a minute's work sliding my finger across the screen trying to draw a picture in my mind based on when it vibrates (and when it doesn't.)

    Braille and tactile embossers give you access to much more complex structures (most visual concepts in math to some level, and definitely at the highschool level) with the ability to "draw" a sense of depth, size, add text that's useful

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo. - Andy Finkel, computer guy

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