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



Huw--

In the summer of 2011 I found myself touring large areas of southern Gansu
province in China, piloted by my rich brother in law in a big black
Cadillac SUV with gold trimmings. One of the non-gold trimmings it had was
a GPS device that would--I am not making this up--tell you in good Chinese
where the nearest Chongqing Hot Pot restaurant was when you were tooling
around virtually roadless grasslands inhabited by Tibetan herdsmen and only
the very occasional Han settlement. The way my brother in law interfaced
with this extraordinary contraption was by inputting Chinese characters
written with his index fingernail on a touch screen.

When I think about it, the optical illusion you mention (which must be
related to the reason why wheels of cars seem to be going backwards in
movies) seems tame in comparison.

David Kellogg

On Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 6:18 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:

> That all sounds rather encouraging, David.  And I am agreement with the
> writing to read principle.  Actually, I confess that half of my
> announcement is to help me get over the hump of completing the first
> development cycle, so thanks twice.  I hope to have something to show
> within a month.
>
> As you're no doubt aware, the smart phones and tablets are operated by
> finger touch or with styluses.  My application is presently coined
> 'Penmanship' because I am considering that it could be used to experiment
> with calligraphy, or foreign lettering too.  It is quite interesting
> talking to people about it.  A software developer I was talking to this
> summer thought it might also be useful for stroke victims as it turns out
> that his writing had changed since such an event.  Also it is interesting
> reading about the history of handwriting (I am more ignorant of Orthography
> generally), in which it appears there was far less variation in writing
> style when handwriting was _the_ means of communicating via the written
> word.
>
> Incidentally, there are some other products I would like to produce too.
> Both software based and maybe some specific wooden learning products too.
> The ideas keep flooding in, but at some point soon I'll need more
> income...  I'd love to find a way to fit learning Russian in too, though
> I'm also starting to think about how stigmatised Russia is becoming in the
> media.
>
> Best,
> Huw
>
>
>
> On 1 October 2015 at 21:47, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Huw:
> >
> > I'm in Australia right now, talking at the annual national meeting of the
> > Australian Systemic-Functional Linguistics Association (my other life is
> as
> > a Hallidayan linguist). The "hook up" between orthography and phonology
> is,
> > in my humble theoretical opinion, the hottest issue in literacy teaching
> > bar none, for three reasons.
> >
> > a) Nether the "whole language" (teach only meaningful units) or the
> > "phonics" approach has delivered the systemic mastery of "spounding"
> > (spelling plus sounding) that lies behind mastery of orthography. (c.f.
> the
> > "Reading Wars" in the USA).
> >
> > b) The theory of "realization" (that is, the idea that the relationship
> > between meaning, wording, and sounding is stratal but not causal and not
> > dualistic) is at one and the same time the most difficult concept to
> master
> > in the whole of linguistics and the first thing you must "know" if you
> are
> > going to read, and the best way I've found to teach it to children is not
> > through reading but through writing and the best way I've found to teach
> it
> > through writing is through deautomatizing it and making it once again a
> > kind of drawing.
> >
> > c) Keyboards interfere with this process. But for kids today, writing
> > without a computer is oxymoronic; it's writing on the air, or in the sand
> > (which is how handwriting was taught in China for thousands of years,
> > because paper was too expensive to waste on children).
> >
> > David Kellogg
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 5:24 AM, Greg Thompson <
> greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > Huw,
> > > 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.
> > > -greg
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 6:13 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > >  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
> > > http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson
> > >
> >
>