Monthly Archives: July 2007

converting text into sign language

Sometimes I can be jealous of somebody else’s idea. You know what I mean? For instance, when you hear or read about some brilliant idea and you wish it was you who came up with that.

I had that feeling of envy listening to BBC’s podcast Digital Planet on july 9th.

A group of researchers in the Czech Republic has been developing software that might allow people with hearing impairments to hear classic books and, potentially, conversation.

They’ve done it by representing sign language on the screen of a pocket PC – and made it easy for the user to convert key words and phrases into signing.

Now there is good example of making use of technology in our daily lives. It’s such a simple idea really and wonderful at the same time. In the same BBC podcast, Gareth Mitchell takes us to Cedia, the Custom Electronic Design and Installation Association. Technology is here designed to make life easier and more enjoyable, but in a totally different way than the conversion-software of the Czech researchers. In Cedia technology is used to let people enjoy music everywhere in their homes, and make use of touch screens to control televisions, lights and dvd players.

I may be a softie, but I prefer the idea of using technology in a more educational way.



tracking wildlife with a pda

I just read this article on the Bright website about bushmen using digital devices for tracking wildlife in the Kalahari.
After reading the original article I was astonished.

Here we are, complaining about how to get teachers to use internet tools, mobile devices, streaming video, etcetera. Because the teachers can’t. It’s too difficult for them. We can’t expect teachers to spend time learning how to use rich media. How we try and make everything easy and ready to use for them!

And on the other side of the world, people who can’t read or write are using a mobile device! And for a noble cause too: ecotourism and environmental education. The solution is this: if there really is a need, we can make the software that is easy to use so nobody can ever say again that something is difficult, or impossible or time-consuming.


Hello world!


This is not my first blogging attempt, I had a blog before. Now I’m starting afresh but I’m not quite sure where to begin. I need some time before I can start the real blogging thing. The tale will be continued…