Write On! :
A Handwriting Recognition
Application Developed to Drill
and Assess Spelling Skills
Lecturer, Computer Science
SUNY at Stony Brook
Senior Developer/Interface Designer:
Write On! is an interactive educational program designed for children in grade school. Its purpose is to help students learn how to spell and write simultaneously.
Students are prompted by a pre-recorded voice, and then expected to spell out the word to the best of their ability on a given writing tablet. Any letter that they get correct will appear on the screen, while those that are in incorrect remain hidden with an underscore. The student has the ability to try wrong words until they get it right or skip a word if they find it too difficult. After their game, an administrator has the ability to check a log that records an individual's activity, and see exactly how many times a student chose to either try a word, or skip it entirely.
The game has fifteen pre-made lessons built for kindergarten and first graders. Each lesson focuses on a particular sound or phoneme. In addition, administrators have the ability to create their own customized lessons through the teacher interface in the program.
As of the fourth grade, only 32% of American children are reading at proficient national standards, while the scores of those performing at unsatisfactory levels are steadily declining. Phonemic awareness (the ability to hear and identify sounds in spoken word), and phonics (the relationship between written letter and spoken sounds), have been pinpointed as two of the most crucial areas of instructional focus. For this reason, spelling lessons have become of major interest to grade school educators. The proposed project is a multimedia solution to this national crisis.
The hardware component consists of a WACOM writing tablet connected to a MAC computer through a USB port.
The WriteON! application is written in Macromedia Director MX’s scripting language, Lingo.