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[Xmca-l] Re: Psychology of handwriting -- mobile app.

I'll give my two cents on this (primarily in hopes of prodding someone else
to chime in).
1. Don't know, but my sense is that most of what is developed for children
is not informed by anything but the simplest psychological theory. Most of
the time the litmus test is whether or not it will keep the kid engaged for
a few minutes so that the parent can run off and do XYZ.
2. I would suggest making it so that people pay by providing their data to
be mined (you'll want to say it differently than that but you get the idea
- also, note that there is a question of how you can be sure that you are
tracking the right user - what if someone logs on as a user and then leaves
the app open and someone else plays with it? okay, that's a little bit of
cart before horse...). This might act as an incentive for do-gooder parents
who are interested in contributing to research.
3. Can't help on this one.
4. I can't imagine why not.

Also, I wouldn't worry about the hedging that you do at the beginning, I
suspect it is unnecessary (even for this cynical bunch!).

As a parent, I'm not sure that I would be terribly interested in a
handwriting app. And I fear that I would probably subject it to the litmus
test I mentioned above (will it keep my kids occupied for a spell?).

Anyway, my two cents.

On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 6:13 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>

>  Dear All
> I am writing a smart-phone / tablet application for practising handwriting
> and related activities and have a few questions (below) which some of you
> may have some feeling for.
> The initial audience I had in mind for the application are children of
> adults owning ipads and the like.  There are, I am aware, numerous issues
> and scope for criticism with respect to promoting this kind of application
> and pastime.  However, given that there is a young user base for tablets, I
> reason that we might as well embrace the technology and try to put forward
> some good products, rather than the 'pop the balloon' games that, I
> imagine, populate many of these mobile devices.  I am currently at the
> stage of implementing the main psychological component of the application,
> which will initially be reminiscent of experiments undertaken by Gal'perin.
> What I am hoping for is to gather a large set of longitudinal
> transcriptions of writing fluency across a potentially rather wide user
> base (i.e anyone with a smart phone/tablet), in order to undertake a robust
> microgenetic study of the development in handwriting and the analytical
> skills that accompany it.  It is my also my thought that this study will
> serve as a good exemplary model for applying the genetic analysis that I
> have been sketching out.
> Given the challenges of implementing the application, I have not spent much
> time trying to find out what presently exists within the apps domain or,
> indeed, whether the psychological research has begun to embrace such
> devices for collating data.
> Here are my questions:
> 1.  What's already out there in the mobile apps world?  Are they informed
> by any psychological theory?
> 2.  Under what circumstances would you use or experiment with such an
> application?  E.g. Does it need to be freely available or would a small
> cost be indicative of quality?
> 3.  Are there any high profile studies of the psychology of handwriting
> that you would want, or expect, the application design to be informed by?
> Presently I am working along the lines delineated by Gal'perin, though I
> hope to return soon to see what Luria has written about this too.
> 4.  Is this the sort of experiment that merits publication in a particular
> journal?  It is my hope that I will get several papers published from this
> effort as a whole.
> Best,
> Huw

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602