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KIHT tech could teach children how to put pen to paper

KIHT tech could teach children...
The KIHT system will combine a smart pen (right) and an app which teaches handwriting
The KIHT system will combine a smart pen (right) and an app which teaches handwriting
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The KIHT system will combine a smart pen (right) and an app which teaches handwriting
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The KIHT system will combine a smart pen (right) and an app which teaches handwriting
A diagram illustrating how the different components of the KIHT system will work together
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A diagram illustrating how the different components of the KIHT system will work together

While it would be great if teachers could spend lots of time with each of their students, the fact is that children often end up doing most of their handwriting exercises unsupervised. A new system may help address that problem, utilizing a "smart" pen.

The technology is being developed via the German-French "Kaligo-based Intelligent Handwriting Teacher" (KIHT) project. It incorporates a special version of the existing Kaligo app, in which students currently use a stylus to write letters of the alphabet on a tablet screen.

According to scientists at Germany's Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, however, such a setup isn't ideal for teaching children how to write on paper with an ink pen – which is what they're more likely to end up doing in the real world. With that in mind, KIHT instead utilizes a refillable ink pen which is equipped with an IMU (inertial measurement unit) and a Bluetooth module.

Guided by Kaligo handwriting exercises running on a tablet, students will use the pen to write individual letters on a regular sheet of paper. As they do so, the IMU will track the position of the tip of the pen, transmitting that data to the app. The app will in turn determine if the letter is being written correctly, and will advise the child if they're doing it wrong.

A diagram illustrating how the different components of the KIHT system will work together
A diagram illustrating how the different components of the KIHT system will work together

Teachers can still check the student's work on the sheet of paper, when they get a chance. Student data stored on the app can also be reviewed after the exercises have been completed.

The Karlsruhe Institute and German pen manufacturer Stabilo are developing the hardware end of the KIHT system, while France's L'IRISA (Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires) and Learn & Go (creator of the Kaligo app) are working on the software.

Source: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

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