Monday, 26 May 2014

Ipad in Education - Transoranje School for the Deaf #iPadLearningZA

Following on the inspiring story and challenge by Abdul Chohan, "What would you do if you were not afraid?"on Friday, we were shown this video as one of the iPad in Education projects in South Africa that is transforming Education.

The Transoranje School for the Deaf, located on the outskirts of Pretoria, is home to 200 deaf and hard-of-hearing pre-primary to high school students.

The children are developmentally behind their peers because of a lack of language exposure.

Photo: Core Group
The iDeaf Project on the iPad originated out of a necessity to better equip the deaf students with the critical reading and language skills needed to accelerate their learning to desired levels.  The developers set out to combine a variety of visual and language elements because their learning are centred around visual methods.

Picsterbooks developed a series of locally relevant and interactive story books in both English and Afrikaans that would teach deaf students to read using South African Sign Language. The books are not only engaging but also enables a level of in-depth understanding that has surpassed previous learning methods.
It has transformed the way the school teaches students to read and communicate effectively.

The iDeaf app overview

"The storybook apps were designed locally to meet the needs of deaf students who use South African Sign Language.
  • There are 6 storybooks which include folk tales such as 3 Little Pigs, Goldilocks and The Gingerbread Man, as well as uniquely created stories which are based on the local curriculum such as The Clever Plan and The Big Carrot.
  • All the storybooks are based on the objectives of the South African curriculum and contain beautifully illustrated stories designed in a standardised format.
  • The storybooks can be read in English or Afrikaans and contain various visual elements: simplified text and syntax, picture animations, highlighted words, finger spelling and SASL (South African Sign Language) interpretations and video.
  • The highlighted words in the app are words that deaf children commonly struggle with. When selecting these words they are explained in 4 formats: text, an animation or an image, SASL and finger spelling (deaf ABC). By combining the learning elements into 1 place, the student is able to move through the book and develop a range of skills in an easy to understand format.
  • The books also contain an audio element for only partially deaf children so that they can also hear the book read aloud, while reading the text and learning the sign.
  • The storybooks were created using the Demibooks Composer app only available on iPad."

"We are working with children who are naturally language users with their hands 
and this was just an extension of their own language."
                                          Karen Hart, App Developer and Digital Publisher

I love the fact that the students AND teachers have already found new ways to use their iPads in their learning at the school, not only for reading and language skills!

1 comment:

  1. I am working with deaf children in Pakistan. This sounds like an amazing project, and I would like to communicate further with you to find out more information on what you did and how. Please write me at


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