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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities

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Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities
Analytic thought developed for children with sight disabilities. wikimedia commons
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Mexico City, Jan 3, 2018: For the purpose of developing analytic thought and reducing mistaken alterations in data received by children with sight disabilities, a group of students in Mexico City designed a multi-sensory system that includes stories, jigsaw puzzles and stuffed toys.

“Mati Mati: Makes Visible the Invisible”, is a system that reduces the difficulties of learning by developing analytic thought in blind children, said the creators, students at the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM).

The work focuses on a strategy of sensory instruction that reduces the reception of data in a mistakenly altered form due to the lack of sight, reports Efe news.

“The solution we propose offers information to each of the senses, since it is based on hearing, touch, haptics (related to touch) and smell,” according to the system’s developers.

The bases of the project are two stories written by the students about endangered species in Mexico: the ajolotl salamander that lives in Xochimilco and the quetzal bird indigenous to the forests of Chiapas.

The system consists of stuffed animals that can be taken apart, two 3D jigsaw puzzles and stories with visual information printed in ink, whose editorial design was executed according to the needs of youngsters either blind or with very limited vision, and includes a series of watercolour illustrations that complement each story.

The stories include haptic images and the Braille system, which correspond to the sense of touch, while each one has its own audiobook so that users can hear the story narrated by the characters in the story, and whose soundtrack enriches the project, the inventors said.

Both the stuffed animals, with textures and materials that simulate the real feeling of the species, plus the odours related to the story and the jigsaw puzzles are all calculated to strengthen the analytic thought processes of blind youngsters as they try to dismantle and assemble each object without anybody helping them.

The jigsaw puzzles were designed and cut with a laser beam, possess geometric forms identifiable to the touch, and present textures through which users can identify each part of the animal through active feeling. (IANS)

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A lesson in the woods may boost kids’ learning

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student's attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

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Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
Just sitting in classrooms makes children more dull. Wikimedia Commons
  • To help students concentrate and learn more, teachers have found a new way of teaching them.
  • This technique of teaching outdoors will boost children’s mental capabilities to learn and remember.

Are your students unable to concentrate on their lessons in the classroom? Take them for outdoor learning sessions.

According to a study, a lesson in the lap of nature can significantly increase children’s attention level and boost their learning.

While adults exposed to parks, trees or wildlife have been known to experience benefits such as increased physical activity, stress reduction, rejuvenated attention and increased motivation, in children, even a view of greenery through a classroom window can have positive effects on their attention span, the researchers said.

The study showed that post an outdoor lesson, students were significantly more attentive and engaged with their schoolwork and were not overexcited or inattentive.

Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons
Taking students outside help them concentrate more. Wikimedia Commons

Moreover, the number of times the teacher had to redirect a student’s attention to their work was roughly halved immediately after an outdoor lesson.

“Our teachers were able to teach uninterrupted for almost twice as long at a time after the outdoor lesson and we saw the nature effect with our sceptical teacher as well,” said Ming Kuo, a scientist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

For the study, published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers tested their hypothesis in third graders (9-10 years old) in a school.

A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA
A few minutes outside help students concentrate better. VOA

Over a 10-week period, an experienced teacher held one lesson a week outdoors and a similar lesson in her regular classroom and another, more sceptical teacher did the same. Their outdoor “classroom” was a grassy spot just outside the school, in view of a wooded area.

A previous research suggested that 15 minutes of self-paced exercise can also significantly improve a child’s mood, attention and memory. IANS

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