- What is our project? The purpose of our project is to create and
accessible typing tutor that can be used by both people who are sighted and
people who have visual impairments. We wanted to make our project both
educational and entertaining. Because of this, it will contain a tutor that
will teach where the keys are on the keyboard and what fingers should press
them. The tutor will start with the home keys as the ‘resting’ point for the
fingers. It will also have a game. A word will scroll across the screen and
the user will have a certain amount of time to type that word. The project
contains nice visual elements for the user aswell as integrated audio to allow
users that are blind to benefit as well.
- How was our project made? The project was developed using
Macromedia Director. We choose this medium because it has built in text to
speech abilities. It also allows for our project to be used on different
computers and operating systems. It can also be delivered via the web. The
great part about Director is the ease at which it allows us to implement audio
- How will this project be accessible? Text-to-Speech or recorded
audio files will speak all menu options, instructions, letters and words used
in the program. Interaction with the program can be done with the mouse, but
the keyboard can also be used to interact with all parts.
- Why are we doing this? Right now, the options for accessible typing
tutors are limited or expensive. Typing is a skill that everyone can benefit
from and we wanted to take this opportunity to bring an accessible, free,
typing tutor that everyone can use and benefit from. Plus, it was a great
opportunity for us to have fun and get our creative juices flowing. It was
also a great oppurtunity to reach out and benefit society.
- Testing. With the Help of Diane Brauner we meet with some students
that were blind. For the most part, they really enjoyed the game and found it
helpful. One suggestion they had was to put beeps when the fire was nearing
the house. Originally we just had the fire sound moving from left to right.
Hopefully, in the future we will be able to add the beeping sound. It was also
Ms. Brauner's idea to allow the teachers to input words of their choosing.
There were also concerns about version for different kinds of OS as well as
different hardware specifications. We had to keep these concerns in mind.
- What else has been done?
- Regular Typing tutors:
- 1) Many versions
Range from free to ~$50
search for 'typing tutor'
Con: Not useful for all users
- Other accessibility options
- 1) LINK talking
- 2) Braille key stickers
Con: Not practical(hard to feel keys
without pressing them)
- Other Talking Typing tutors
- What exactly does our program do?
- 1) The key tutor Takes the user through the keys on the keyboard
one by one. Starts off with the home keys (with g and h). It then teaches
students the top row of keys followed by the bottom row. For each key, the
user is told which finger is used to press the key. They then get a chance
to try. If they are correct, they get a message telling them so. If not,
they are told which key the pressed and are given another chance. This will
continue until they press the right key.
- 2) Fire Game On the left side of the screen is a house. On the
right there is a fire that is slowly moving towards the house. The fire
graphic has a word under it. The word is spoken once. The user can press the
enter key to have the word spoken one letter at a time. If the user types
the word in correctly, the fire is pushed back a bit, away from the house.
But, the more words that are typed correct, the faster the fire starts to
move. If surround sounds speakers are set up, the fire can be heard moving
from the right side to the left side through the speakers. An audio clue
like beeping is heard when the fire gets close to the house. If the user
does not get the word correct, a sound will be heard to let them know and
they will have another chance to type the correct letter. A pop-up keyboard
on the screen can be activated to highlight which key is being pressed, as
well as say each key as it is typed. One neat feature is the ability for a
user, like a teacher, to enter words of their chosing. The can also decide
the pronunciation of a word in case it is different then how the
Text-to-Speech says it. This way they can enter words like spelling words or
words the have relivance to the subject that they are currently studying.
- 3) help menu: Provides all the information and instructions need
to navigate through and operate our program. And of course, these
instructions are read out loud as well.
- Problems and Solutions
Text-to-speech can be hard to understand. Also, some
older computers might not have the necessary components to allow this
feature to be heard.
Record as many sounds as
possible. Our voices will be used, which are easier to understand. The file
will be a simple wav, which can be used on any computer.
Coordination of media
Learning how to pass control between menus
and active screen elements. Assure sound stops when active element stops.
Integration of our work: Sometimes each of us had
worked on different components of the project and when we went to put them
together the program would crash
Through checking of
the code and standardization of the elements in our project allowed for
smoother, non-crashing integration of our individual work.
- Final Thoughts. Both of us have to agree this was one of the better
and more fun projects we have done in computer science. It was a project that
was extremly meaningful. We were able to design a product that was needed and
benefited society. We were also able to see our results first-hand when the
kids tested our project. It feels good to be able to help people out,
espcially being able to use our computer skills to do so. We hope this product
will be used and that many others will follow. With our project complete,
hopefully no kid will ever have go to the computer lab and have nothing to do.
Tutor director file(must have
Macromedia Director to see)
Tutor exe file(click to
Cast elements(download to folder "Casts". Required to see
Version(Only this file required)
Attack of the killer fire!
You can enter your own words!