Hi-tech collaboration at NIMBUS aids pre-school speech and language development
Published on: Friday, 01 August 2014
Researchers in the CIT Nimbus Centre and Marvellous Mouth Ltd are collaborating to create digital applications that help preschool children speak more clearly. The Mouthercise programme was developed by Marvellous Mouth Ltd using a multi-modal pedagogy to optimize speech and oral language development. They enlisted the help of the team at Nimbus to include state of the art digital technology.
According to John Sheehy, Nimbus software developer, adding whiteboard features increases the impact of the programme in the classroom. “Through a process of User Centred Design we developed features for Mouthercise that build a child’s fine motor skills, their attention and motivation. An equally exciting feature is the light touch data-collection technique that enables teachers to store pertinent information about a child’s performance.”
Mouthercise implements the theory that multimodal learning - learning something using all the senses - provides a more powerful, solid foundation for mastery and retention. In this way, though clear speech is the primary focus, the activities involve much more than moving the mouth. Learning involves much more than mastering words.
The platform Nimbus designed for Mouthercise includes a data collection feature, gathering pertinent information on each child interacting with the whiteboard. The teacher is also able to add information on the students from either the whiteboard or a tablet during the session.
While Mouthercise is predominately aimed at mainstream education these forms of interaction and data collection could be readily adapted for several behaviour modification programmes such as ABA, VB and BCBA for applications with autism spectrum conditions and with adults with cognitive disorders.
“The digital features developed by NIMBUS allow children, teachers and parents to shape the programme through online data collection that does not distract from the interaction with the children,” says Alex Joyce, Project Manager at Nimbus. “This is very much a collaborative process and the developers of Marvellous Mouth include every child and adult who has participated in shaping the Mouthercise sessions to naturally integrate into the child’s daily life and experiences”.
For more details on Mouthercise visit - www.marvellousmouth.ie
The Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at CIT is Ireland’s only research centre devoted to the field of networked embedded electronic systems and supports research, learning and industry – for more details visit http://nimbus.cit.ie