School Activities with New Dot Code Handling Multimedia

School Activities with New Dot Code Handling Multimedia

Shigeru Ikuta (Otsuma Women's University, Japan), Diane Morton (University of Saint Joseph, USA), Mikiko Kasai (Hirosaki University, Japan), Fumio Nemoto (School for the Mentally Challenged at Otsuka, University of Tsukuba, Japan), Masaki Ohtaka (Takashima Special Needs Education School, Japan) and Mieko Horiguchi (Otsuma Women's University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0034-6.ch106
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Abstract

The authors use a new communication aid in conducting many activities at preschools, special needs schools, and general schools. They use dot codes printed on paper and linked with multimedia such as voices, sounds, movies, Web pages, html files, and PowerPoint files. More than one audio file can be linked with a single dot code, and other multimedia files can be further linked to the same dot code in addition to the audios. Just touching the dot code with sound pens (Speaking Pen and G-Talk) can produce the original voices and sounds clearly. If a G1-Scanner pen is connected to a tablet or a personal computer, the multimedia can be replayed on its screen. This chapter reports recent advancements in software used to create handmade teaching materials as well as several case studies from preschools, special needs schools, and general schools.
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Setting The Stage

Several companies have developed “sound pens” that use dot code technologies in which touching printed matter with dot codes can reproduce original sounds and audios. One such business, Afaya Co. Inc. (Afaya Co. Inc., 2005), offers various types of sound pens (Afaya Co. Inc., 2005); with its business partners, Afaya creates and publishes contents using dot codes. The company recently produced label sheets with dot codes that can be linked with the recorded voices in a sound pen that has a voice-recording functionality.

Franklin Electronic Publishers, Inc. developed AnyBook (Franklin Electronic Publishing, Inc., 2013), a “magic” reading pen that enables words and pictures to “talk” using vocal recordings with any book. The company sells sound pens and unique reusable stickers that users can link with their recorded sounds. The most sophisticated sound pen, DPR-5100, holds up to 200 hours of recorded audio. Unfortunately, these systems can link only one audio to each dot code printed on the paper or sticker.

The present authors first used the Scan Talk code developed by Olympus Corporation (1999), which can be printed on ordinary paper; tracing the dot codes with the Sound Reader tool reproduces the original voices and sounds clearly. However, some students in lower grades at general schools and with severe hand/finger challenges at special needs schools could not trace the Scan Talk codes correctly, and therefore could not join their classmates in all activities. These initial-stage research works were described in detail in a recently published book (Ikuta et al., 2013).

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