Explore my world encourages your toddler and preschool child to engage their curiosity about their surrounding world. This easy-to- use app has both an intelligent camera and an intelligent microphone, which can be activated to view the written terms for your child’s surroundings and for the speech that they say or that they hear around them. Each word is presented in a large and eye catching format to attract your child’s attention to the word and, therefore, create a more vivid experience, which will reinforce their learning to read. This is similar to how the child learns spoken language. The app opens on a home screen, and requires an internet connection. It should be noted that all interactions with the app are completely anonymous, and the internet access is solely for the purpose of automated image and speech recognition. You can establish an internet connection in the Settings app on your device. The home screen shows four buttons, which are guide, help, see, and hear. Touching the guide button gives these instructions for using the app. The help button should be touched if you are having difficulty with the app. It will advise you to please consult the guide for possible help, or If you cannot find any solution, please email Dom Massaro at Massaro@ucsc.edu. The other two buttons on the home screen give pictures of a camera and a microphone. These two icons occur with the words see and hear, respectively. Note that the app can used outdoors by connecting the tablet to a personal hotspot on your smart phone.
Camera Mode When the picture of the camera is touched, the device is in camera mode. The child explores their surroundings by looking through the screen of the tablet and searching for a scene to photograph. There are two buttons on right of the screen: a middle circle button and an X button below it. Touching the X button returns the child back to the home screen. The child takes a picture by touching the middle circle button on the right of the screen. Taking the picture puts the picture on the screen along with an additional check mark on the top right side of the screen. If the child wants to take another picture, simply touching the middle circle button puts the child back in camera mode. After a picture is taken, touching the top right check mark accesses the internet to find word descriptors for the picture. These descriptors are presented one at a time over the picture in large lowercase letters, and the word is zoomed out (made larger) to capture the child’s attention. Each word is also spoken to reinforce the child’s looking at the screen. The written word and picture stay on the screen, along with large say and new buttons that allow the child to hear the word pronounced again or to generate a new word describing the picture. If the child touches the large left button labeled say, the word is spoken. When the child touches the large right button labeled new, another word is presented. The child can continue with this picture, generating new words and listening to them being spoken. When three descriptors have been presented, the program shifts back to camera mode. The child can return to the home screen at any time by touching the bottom left pointing arrow.
Microphone Mode When the picture of the microphone on the home screen is touched, the device is in listening mode. A blue screen appears with a large microphone and two start buttons. By touching a start button, the screen turns read. The child, playmate, or caregiver can now say a short phrase that will be automatically recognized. The first word of the phrase will then be presented in the same manner as in the camera mode. Touching the new button presents the next word and so on for all of the words that were recorded. Touching the say button speaks the current word. The child can return to the listening mode by touching the bottom left pointing arrow. It should be noted that the device does not permit any indecent or offensive words to be written on the screen or to be generated by the device.
• Helps your child learn to read naturally while learning about the world around them
• Lets your child learn the written words for new objects, scenes, and description
• Allows your child to better link spoken language with written text that they say or hear
Keywords TARA, audio, camera, education, games, kids, learning, microphone, playing, reading, say, speaking, talk, teach, teaching, writing, literacy