ABCs of the Galaxy
AR & Critical Language Skill Development
The goal of this thesis work is to examine the combined elements of a physical book and AR app impacting a child’s vocabulary. If the AR content only triggered by physical book pages presented to the child generates engagement and new words that are used in conversation, AR in this approach can be used to positively affect a child’s access to new vocabulary and development of critical language skills.
Full Thesis Report available upon request.
March 12th, 2019 – May 14th, 2020
My research of critical language skills in children revealed that 1/3 of American children start kindergarten behind in this area, but parents or guardians can better prepare their children by reading to them daily. However, 1/4 of children are reportedly never read to and another 1/4 are seldom read to. Further research led me to augmented reality for learning, which is an effective method because of its accessibility, multimodality, non-linearity, and immediacy. I decided to explore whether augmented reality can be used to increase engagement with physical books in pre-readers.
Factors That Prevent Parents From Reading Books Aloud To Their Children More Often. Read Aloud for 15 MINUTES
My ideation process included understanding why critical language skills are so vital and how they are developed, creating an innovative and effective solution that will assist young learners, and delivering a final product that could potentially yield these desired results. It allowed me to devise and execute a plan for an augmented reality personal reader that would place a narrator on the pages of a physical book. This would require me to write a children’s book, secure illustrations, print and bind the book, and then build out the augmented reality application.
If the AR content only triggered by physical book pages presented to the child generates engagement and new words that are used in conversation, AR in this approach can be used to positively affect a child’s access to new vocabulary and development of critical language skills. I experiemented with this idea with just animations then decided to expand to include narration and game play.
Using rapid prototyping techniques to quickly fabricate my complex concepts to physical representation, I was able easily collect specific feedback on the product and not just on the general idea. Reality Composer was effective as my software of choice because I could easily share links with testers to get their reviews. I was able to work on iterations, Z is for Zuri Monster and I Woke Up on the Moon, that ultimately led to ABCs of the Galaxy, a rhyming alphabet book with high quality illustrations that has extended interactivity via an augmented reality mobile application. Users can learn more about a subject, read the pages aloud, or even play educational games.