Note: DEMO is timestamped.

💡 Inspiration

Remote learning posed challenges for everyone, but according to studies it affected children with learning disabilities the most. During virtual learning, a lot of these children did not have access to the same resources as they did at school. The lack of assistance children with learning disabilities were receiving in remote learning left them behind from other kids of their age. This made it paramount to address this problem. To provide a solution to this problem, we created a website called SPED (Specialized Education). Our website can help students with disabilities learn better and provide information for teachers to be able to help their students better.

💻 What it does

SPED’s ethical vision is to give quality education to children with learning disabilities and put them on the same playing field as other kids of their same age.

SPED has various features which target and provide a solution for the different types of learning disabilities that children have:

Emotion camera 📷 : In a classroom setting, it's easy to identify when a student is confused about the topic that is being taught, but in a virtual setting it is significantly hard. The Emotion Camera allows teachers to gauge students mood (confused, happy, sad, normal) and assess their understanding of the lesson, to adjust their lectures accordingly.

Augmented Reality Learning: Augmented reality (AR) in education enables the visual depiction of the learning material and enables teachers to impart interactive learning in lessons while it allows learners to view information visually (layered on the top of their real-world surroundings). AR can greatly help students become more involved in their classes. It provides much more interactive learning along with opportunities to implement hands-on learning approaches that can increase engagement and enhance the learning experience for the students. Below are some human body parts and animals that we transferred to AR. In the future we hope to implement a sorting gallery and add in many more visual representations of topics. Keeping this in mind we did some research and figured out that several children prefer to see a depiction or representation of objects for better understanding. So we decided to incorporate this feature in our site. This feature essentially utilizes virtual reality to display items better remotely. For example, it shows a 3D model of a human skeleton for a better understanding

Text-to-Speech Learning: This feature caters to children with vision or reading disabilities (children with Dyslexia). Using this feature, children will be able to listen to the text in front of them. Additionally, they will also be able to type, save, and listen to their notes.

Speech-to-Text Learning: This feature aims to help children who have writing disabilities and poor communication skills. (It aims to help children with Dysgraphia.) Using this feature, children will be able to speak and the computer will write whatever they say down for them. This can also help in taking notes.

How we built it

We utilized the templating language EJS, along with CSS for our frontend. We made sure to make use of things such as partials when we were using EJS. We also utilized NodeJS to set up a simple web server, and this was all built on in-browser IDE Repl.it, which was very useful for collaborating and giving feedback in real time.

Then for the emotion camera we utilized tensorflow.js and machine learning to train the model and then we added it to our website through JavaScript!

Also, we incorporated a few features in Python and Flask.

Furthermore to build our presentation slide we used Canva and then to build our initial prototype before hard-coding our site we used Figma.

🧠 Challenges we ran into

We all are from different time zones so we had a hard time to coordinate timings that would be feasible for all of us. Additionally we also had a few internet problems due to which some our code did not save. Despite all the challenges we faced, in the end we were successfully able to finish our features and site and record the demo video.

🚀 What's next for SPED: Specialized Education

In the future, SPED hopes to:

  • Utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to recommend personalized flashcard sets and quizzes!
  • Create an ios and android learning app with fun ways to review and study
  • Implement user authentication for teachers and students so that each student could have their own specific platform to work and learn on
  • Graph the data of the student emotions after lessons and send it to the teachers so that the teachers can adjust their lessons and materials accordingly
  • Expand the Augmented reality gallery and implement a sorting algorithm to sort representations with the subject(s) they relate to (Ex: skeleton clavicle goes with human biology and elephant goes with wildlife)

📔 References

  • B. Butterworth, Y. Kovas. Understanding Neurocognitive Developmental Disorders Can Improve Education for All. Science, 2013; 340 (6130): 300 DOI: 10.1126/science.1231022
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