ArtWords Designer Free

ArtWords Designer Free

I have tried the android application Artwords Designer Free by I.T. Nilsson available for tablets. It claims to be the perfect tool for persons with dyslexia wanting to train reading skills.

There is certainly a need for many tools that can help training persons with dyslexia. Most tools just help them not-to-need-reading but in the long run knowing how to read is much better. Scientists have found out that it takes much longer for the dyslectic brain to learn reading so the more training one could get the better. Also there is no inner voice when reading.

Learning to read is a matter of:

  1. Seeing the lines shaping individual letters
  2. Discover letter combinations that form sounds
  3. Mapping sounds to form a word
  4. Identify the word corresponding notion of the real object

I know that dyslectics are usually very good at pattern recognition. For instance NASA employs many persons with dyslexia. They are good at detecting new stars in the huge pattern that form the universe. The No inner voice-problem and pattern recognition ability lead me to believe that AWDF might be an optimal game for dyslectics.

In AWDF you design the word maze yourself so you need someone else to help you in-case you have dyslexia. You provide the spelling of certain words that you would like your student to be able to find and spell, supply an image for the background and then the application will run the word puzzle game for you.

When my student plays my game he examines the puzzle trying to find the words. One good thing about the game is that it uses Text-to-Speech. So my student just clicks a word to hear the word read out loud. Also when he drags over letters in the maze the device will attempt to pronounce the word. Probably my dyslectic student will get lots of pronunciation training this way. At least it is my hope that he learns spelling a little faster.

The trick as I see it is to design the games interestingly enough for my student to willingly embrace the task. Will it be possible in this era of easier Shoot-Em-Up games? I as a teacher will need to find an interest in the puzzle myself and if possible make it a social game where my student can help finding the words.

Well try it out yourself. It is financed by ads but there is also another version without ads. I wish there was some way of sharing the designed games though. It would have been neat.

Crack the code!

Crack the code!

I just read a good book available in Swedish called just that (“Kn√§ck Koden”, by JB Public Relations). It describes different ways children and teachers can play with the language. The earlier one starts playing the better.

Some brains are just different when it comes to reading and writing texts. Some people can write but they cannot read what they just wrote. Others can read but when they read – the words come in a different order than in the text. Yet others can hear read out loud text but they don’t hear the words just a bunch of sounds.

It is amazing how many different things someone needs to learn just to be able to read. One of the most basic is the mapping of a symbol to a sound.

The book is very optimistic and contain several nice interviews with dyslectics in all ages as well as great teacher tip on what they have found working.

But most of all it seems the brain needs more time and practice. The learning must take place in a relaxed way.

I have a friend who has dyslexia

There are some very neat smart phone apps for the dyslectics. Personally I have tried the Prizmo tool for iPad. It works very good for printed texts. You just take a photo of a page and it will be read out loud for you. The iPad with the better camera is recommended since OCR reading needs good pictures to work.

Well what about my friend? My friend who has dyslexia can hardly read even though he now is thirteen years. Instead he looks at pictures and is a regular user of youtube. Simpson is one of his favorite TV-shows. Well he got hold of the Prizmo app and was eager to try it out. He brought one of his favorite comics books Herman Hedning and tried it on one of the text bubbles. Sadly it did not work. We tried on several text bubbles but none worked. I tried the advanced white balancing options a.s.o. but to no avail. Amazing because the text bubbles in Herman Hedning are so nicely written that they look like a font.

Surely there must be something the Prizmo developers can do so that dyslectics can read comic books as well?