Blind World Magazine


India.
Introducing e-classroom for teaching in blind schools.





November 02, 2005.
The Statesman (India).




Technology has brought an innovative teaching learning methodology for visually-impaired students.


Webel Mediatronics Limited has introduced the concept of e-classroom for teaching in blind schools. Under this system, eight Braille keyboards are attached in a series to a single computer. This enables eight visually-impaired students to be part of an e-classroom and type in Braille simultaneously. Supported by audio facilities, students will be able to hear the words typed by them. The teacher sitting at the master computer will be able to see all the eight screens at the same time on his or her desktop. The teacher can also speak to individual students through separate microphones and indicate their mistakes. The user, in turn, would be able to rectify the mistake instantly as well as write down his or her query. The teacher will respond accordingly.


"Educating the blind is an individualistic endeavour. Unlike earlier, when the teacher corresponded with the whole class simultaneously, this system provides individual attention to students," said Mr Ashok Choudhury, former principal of Calcutta Blind School. Thus students are able to comprehend the subject better, said Mr Choudhury. The Braille writer keyboard in this system will also help, as the visually impaired will be able to work without the help of the writer who writes for visually impaired students during examination. This will rectify errors that were committed by the writer, said Mr Choudhury. Again, any text written in Braille can be viewed in plain text by a teacher.


An e-library has also been introduced along with e-classroom with the use of Tactile Reader and ReadBraille software, said Mr SN Goswami, director, Webel Mediatronics Limited. In this process, four tactile readers are connected to a single workstation. ReadBraille software helps the librarian to allot a text to the user as well as monitor the status of the text that has been read by the user, said Mr Choudhury. Visually-impaired students will be able to read from books as well as websites through this method. Tactile Reader is a device that allows reading of plain text in Braille. The student can also take a print-out on Braille paper, said Mr Goswami.



Source URL: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=22&theme=&usrsess=1&id=95087.




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