Thessa Stevenson-Doosje, teacher at the Bartiméusschool

Tactile images –project results ‘Discover your world’

In this session you will get an overview and in-depth analysis of the potential application of tactile images for educational purposes.

In 2012 Bartiméus Education, in cooperation with Dedicon Educational, started the long-term research and development project ‘Discover your world’ since hardly any research to the use of tactile images in an educational setting was available. Tactile images in The Netherlands had mostly been used for maps, plans, schemes, diagrams and other two-dimensional topics. For explaining 3D concepts predominately descriptions were used. There were no conventions for designing tactile images of 3D objects, animals, buildings, and so on. Conventions also lacked for designing images depicting processes, like the water evaporation cycle or photosynthesis. These shortcomings were tackled in project ‘Discover your world’.

This study proved that young children not only liked to work with tactile images, but also had better learning results when using them. Verbal explanation combined with tactile images provides more precise and quicker understanding compared to solely a description. Additionally, tactile images invite both teachers and children to ask questions, to explore and discover as well as correct gaps in the knowledge or even misconceptions the child may have. Thessa will discuss how the impact of tactile images on learning results was investigated and how tactile images contribute to acquire knowledge of concepts for blind students. You will learn the guidelines for designing tactile images on swellpaper that were developed based on academic research.

 

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