Cross cultural study of reading support


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Two studies about the use of text to speech and technology to aid reading by Mamoru Iwabuchi, Kenryu Nakamura, Maiko Takahashi, Toshihiro Kono, Rumi Hirabayashi (University of Tokyo, Japan), E.A. Draffan (Universitiy of Southampton UK)

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Cross cultural study of reading support

  1. 1. Cross-cultural study of reading support Mamoru Iwabuchi, Kenryu Nakamura, Maiko Takahashi, Toshihiro Kono, Rumi Hirabayashi (University of Tokyo, Japan), E.A. Draffan (University of Southampton, UK)
  2. 2. Accessible Digital Information <ul><li>Fundamental to effective education for those unable to access the print on paper. </li></ul><ul><li>It is pan disability, offering as much benefit to visually impaired users as to people with dyslexia and benefiting those with learning difficulties as much as those with mobility and dexterity difficulties; </li></ul><ul><li>It has significant mainstream potential (e.g. for navigating audio books, podcasts, reports without needing to look at a screen); </li></ul><ul><li>There are now internationally agreed standards e.g. the widely adopted EPUB standard for commercial publishers is compatible with the DAISY standard for digital talking books. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Issues of the Day <ul><li>Lack of access to learning materials same time as other students </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of independence for print impaired students whether due to visual, physical or cognitive difficulties. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of support for e-text in schools, colleges and universities </li></ul><ul><li>Technology can help but is not always available. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Statistics <ul><li>The Right to Read alliance estimates that 1 in 8 people have print impairments. Three million people in the UK are being denied the right to read on a daily basis just because they have a sight problem or reading difficulty (RNIB, 2010). </li></ul><ul><li>In Japan statistics for disability do not have a classification for print impairment, but around 2.5% of the school population have a difficulty with reading and writing. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Students <ul><li>40 11-14yr old students with visual impairments or dyslexia in 9 schools across North of England using laptops. </li></ul><ul><li>1 grade: 9 iPad, 9 students (nominated by the teacher) </li></ul><ul><li>5 grade: 2 iPad, 2 students (nominated by the teacher) </li></ul><ul><li>4,6 grades: 8 iPad, Shared among students who wanted to use </li></ul>
  6. 6. Software <ul><li>Microsoft Word – Daisy </li></ul><ul><li>EasyTutor or TextHelp or ClaroRead </li></ul><ul><li>EasyReader </li></ul><ul><li>EasyConverter </li></ul><ul><li>Olympus digital recorder </li></ul><ul><li>Text file converted to vertical layout of characters </li></ul><ul><li>iPad used with t hree eTextbook Readers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Touch & Read (prototype) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iBooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>iBunko HD </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What is Touch & Read (TR)? <ul><li>For iPad, iPhone and iPod touch </li></ul><ul><li>Tap to read aloud text using TTS with highlight </li></ul><ul><li>Pinch to zoom </li></ul><ul><li>Swipe to turn pages </li></ul>
  8. 8. Unique features of TR compared to text to speech applications <ul><li>Text to Speech </li></ul><ul><li>Used with MS Word </li></ul><ul><li>Text re-flow with highlighting set to user preferences. </li></ul><ul><li>Text to speech chosen voice, speed and phrasing or word by word </li></ul><ul><li>Touch and Read </li></ul><ul><li>Different from iBooks - Fixed layout - No text reflow </li></ul><ul><li>Accurate reading using alt text (Accessibility labels for a button object) </li></ul><ul><li>Not required to turn on VoiceOver </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Simple and consistent navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Word by word reading (for younger students) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Technology used in class <ul><li>Reading with other students </li></ul><ul><li>Reading on their own and problem solving </li></ul>
  10. 10. Data collection <ul><li>Interview with students and teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire among students </li></ul><ul><li>Exam scores (Japan) </li></ul>I do loads of homework on it – reading is better than me reading from a book. The highlighting is good to see, you can follow it and see where you are.” (student) “ She doesn’t see it as being different from her friends or anything else and her friends are jealous and they think it is cool and it is a lot better than having large pages of A3 flapping around you.” (parent)
  11. 11. Result: Interview with teachers <ul><li>Pros </li></ul><ul><li>TTS  auditory support for comprehension </li></ul><ul><li>Zooming helped students focus (on text and pictures) </li></ul><ul><li>eTextbooks enhanced students’ motivation to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Touch reading led active leaning </li></ul><ul><li>Students had control over their choices of reading accommodation </li></ul><ul><li>Students did not hesitate to use eTextbooks </li></ul>
  12. 12. Result: Interview with teachers <ul><li>Cons </li></ul><ul><li>Switching to VoiceOver mode made navigation complicated (Japan) Laptop boot up slow (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of voice (inaccurate pronunciation and intonation patterns at times) </li></ul><ul><li>Word-by-word reading feature would also be useful for older students (Japan) Sentences better for comprehension (UK) </li></ul><ul><li>Finger “trace” reading would be more useful than “tap” reading in Japanese class </li></ul>
  13. 13. Result: Interview with teachers <ul><li>Touch & Read made students with reading difficulty </li></ul><ul><li>Motivated in class (1, 4, 5 grades) </li></ul><ul><li>Have less negative feeling toward reading (1 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>Active in group discussion (4 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>Capable to use the functions of reading aloud and zooming themselves (1 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>Understand more, capable to write Kanji (5 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>take notes (6 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>Score 30 % more in the exam (6 grade) </li></ul><ul><li>Similar results with text to speech in UK </li></ul>
  14. 14. Teacher and Teaching Assistants’ Comments (UK)
  15. 15. iPad was easy to use (deep red reading difficulty group) Abs. agree Abs. disagree No opinion Increased confidence using computers after the project (score 1-6) (UK group)
  16. 16. Result: Printed textbook is easier to use than iPad (TR) (deep red reading difficulty group) Abs. agree Abs. disagree No opinion Ease with which books could be accessed on the computer. Despite late arrival of books, lack of support and poor access to the intranets (score 1-6) (UK)
  17. 17. Result: I also want to use iPad to learn at home Abs. agree Abs. disagree No opinion All those not allowed to take laptops home wanted to be able to, but weight, insurance and issues around safety were concerns for some schools (UK) (deep red reading difficulty group)
  18. 18. Result: I want to keep using iPad to learn Abs. agree Abs. disagree No opinion Differences in feelings about how a computer may help with school work (score 1-6). (UK) (deep red reading difficulty group)
  19. 19. Result: Ratio of students who wanted to use iPad in class ( % ) UK 100% of students wished to keep their laptops ! (deep red reading difficulty group)
  20. 20. Result: Exam scores (Japan only) <ul><li>Grade 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Grade 6 </li></ul>n.s. p < .05 Before After After - Before Students used TR 95 92.5 -2.5 Other students 92.94 94.12 1.18 Before After After - Before Students used TR 74.38 98.25 23.87 Other students 84 97.39 13.39
  21. 21. Why the technologies worked <ul><li>Text to speech/screen reading with laptop </li></ul><ul><li>1 grade: Fun, helped learning </li></ul><ul><li>4, 5 grades: Made easier to understand, made possible to zoom text </li></ul><ul><li>5 grade: Provided dictionary software useful for Japanese class </li></ul><ul><li>6 grade: Helped access to Kanji (difficult letters), gave opportunity to use new technology esp good for those with reading difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>Touch and Read with iPad </li></ul><ul><li>Personalisation and a sense of ownership lead to increased confidence and independence - those with dyslexia made the most improvement in reading and writing. </li></ul><ul><li>A high proportion changed fonts, colours, print size on the screen, levels of magnification and highlighting (76%) </li></ul><ul><li>Most students coped well with the mix of technologies and were willing to make choices depending on the type of material they were accessing. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Issues mentioned <ul><li>Text to speech and laptops </li></ul><ul><li>1 grade: Bad for eyes </li></ul><ul><li>4 grade: Distracting, Printed textbook is better for me </li></ul><ul><li>5 grade: No needed, I can ask friends next to me when I do not understand, Hope all students use TR, not only me. If I did not use it, I would be envious </li></ul><ul><li>6 grade: Not possible to annotate, TTS was distracting, Learners should use printed textbooks and dictionaries, Cannot rely on technology </li></ul><ul><li>Touch and Read with iPad </li></ul><ul><li>Targeted training related to students ’ work provides them with a reason for using the technologies on offer. </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of the special nature of some of the technical support involved with the use of assistive technologies offers better chances of success. </li></ul><ul><li>Planning ahead allows students to make full use of the electronic books available and to be able to convert worksheets into alternative formats. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Students’ comments <ul><li>Reading text aloud helped me to understand. </li></ul><ul><li>TR helped to check how to read beforehand (comment from one of the top students) </li></ul><ul><li>Zooming was good  The student had difficulty of visual control. Marker was helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>I was surprised at many useful features </li></ul><ul><li>TTS monotonous voice was just fine for me. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Summary <ul><li>All students preferred Touch & Read, because of the same layout as that of printed textbooks (Japan). </li></ul><ul><li>55% improved reading and 70% writing skills according to teachers (UK only) </li></ul><ul><li>Reading aloud (Japan), zooming and highlighting features were helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Visually impaired students were more confident and increased speeds of access to e-texts (UK only) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Progress: ongoing study <ul><li>Touch & Read for iPhone is also provided </li></ul><ul><li>Goals - Self-regulated learning </li></ul><ul><li>Reading for understanding and thinking </li></ul>
  26. 26. Thank you More information about the UK study at: T More information about the Japanese study at: