Monday, 4:00-5:30pm, 3515 Tolman Hall
Refreshments will be served
The Cognition and Development and SESAME programs invite you
to an exchange of ideas and innovations in education
Fall 2016 Colloquium Series
Sponsored by Cognition and Development & SESAME
3515 Tolman Hall
Mondays, 4–5:30 pm
Audio-haptic interactives for universal learning
Touch Graphics, Inc.
Abstract. Since the early nineteenth century, teachers of the blind have relied on tangible learning aids such as tactile graphics and models to explain spatial configurations to students who cannot access print maps, diagrams and other visual-only media. However, touch is not a direct analog for vision, so the design of these materials requires an understanding of how other senses can fill in details or provide context that is often impossible to explain through touch alone. Founded in 1998, Touch Graphics, Inc. creates exhibits, classroom aids, and public access maps for wayfinding and orientation that rely on sensory substitution to ensure that every learner’s needs are accommodated. These materials combine spoken descriptions, sound effects, and other audio cues with touch-activated maps and models to provide universal access to spatial information. This approach eliminates the need for a patient and informed human whose job is to identify each feature of an image during tactile exploration. Now, as the technology underlying these products becomes cheaper and better, new opportunities for multi-sensory learning have emerged. Steve Landau, President of Touch Graphics, Inc., will demonstrate a 3D printed, touch-responsive replica of a Chinese buddhist sculpture, to explain how a simple gestural vocabulary of two-handed taps and swipes executed against the sculpture’s 3D surfaces permits any user to experience this important work of art, and will explain how the company’s research has led to a better understanding of how we all learn through various combinations of available sensory inputs.
About the speaker. Steve Landau is president and founder of Touch Graphics, Inc. Steve studied art at Oberlin and design at Harvard. His company carries out R&D leading to new educational products for the blind such as the Talking Tactile Tablet and the Talking Tactile Pen, both in wide use around the world; digital signage like the network of Universal Maps now operational throughout Google’s NYC offices; and interactive touchable museum exhibits, most recently at San Diego Museum of Art, Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, and at the Smithsonian Visitor Center in the Castle in Washington, DC, where the company will install the National Mall Universal Touch Model (see image above).