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

Thanks for your response, Greg.

My sense of question 1 is rather similar to yours.  The only tablet we have
at home here is for my work purposes (to install and test this app on, when
I'm finished building it).  Mind you, we are probably outside the norm here
as we don't have a tv either, but we do use laptops occasionally for short
programmes during the twilight zone.

With our own young kids, their attention is often a function of what we
endorse or reinforce in a positive, often collaborative, way.  For
instance, I have seen our 4 year old go off and write out numbers etc on a
little white board he has floating about amongst his rammle. I perhaps
differ with you on the 'something to keep them occupied for a spell' --
ours is usually looking for something he can do for at least an hour or so,
but I get the point.

Perhaps a useful distinction in this arena is parents that are not really
concerned about the particular kinds of apps their (young?) kids play with
vs those that are more judgemental, e.g. they would like to see their kids
doing some, ostensibly, thought-provoking things with them.  It looks like
I have a leaning to wards the latter.  I'm certainly that way with
children's books.  A book about ballroom dancing dinosaurs is not one that
I yield to in a read-this-book stand-off.  And a book about the tweenies
received similar mock disgust.  I (we) very much believe that children's
books/media that engage the adults too have considerable benefits.

Your Q2 response is similar to my own thinking.  Conditionally freely
available also keeps the open source route viable.

With respect to Gal'perin's modes of learning (e.g. Gal'perin, 1982), I was
thinking about implementing only the 3rd mode/strategy of presentation
(analytic discovery of segments making up a grapheme), but I think I may
well go for all three modes, as the third mode is probably the most complex


Galperin, P. Ya (1982) Intellectual capabilities among older preschool
children: On the problem of training and mental development.  In WW Hartup
(Ed.), Review of child development research (Vol. 6). Chicago: University
of Chicago Press

On 29 September 2015 at 21:24, Greg Thompson <greg.a.thompson@gmail.com>

> 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