Institute for Compassionate Technology
Matt Schneps and Marc Pomplun are proud to announce the formation of the MIT Compassionate Technology Lab @STEP. This collaborative carries out research, education, and outreach to foster “technology with a heart.”
Learn more about our work (and join our activities!) here. Learn more @Machines4Good, where our Twitter feed will post examples of compassionate technology — technology that is good for everyone — technology with a heart. Search our hashtags (#good4dyslexia, #good4autism, #good4ADHD, #good4elders, #good4all, etc.) to discover tips, discussions, and ideas of special interest — and to learn more about our mission.
Please FOLLOW. Please RETWEET.
CBS NEWS: LVL described in E-Reader Gift Guide
See CBS News article featuring our work!
We’ve had many questions about buying the readers for family and friends with and without dyslexia. We added a new page to help offer tips, and share our research.
LVL’s Dr. Diaz Merced to address IAU panel in South Africa
LVL researcher, Dr. Wanda Diaz Merced, is speaking at an event sponsored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), on “Astronomy for Development” 8 December 2015. She will speak of the need for inclusion in astronomy, and describe the benefits people with disabilities will bring to the field. She will outline some of the key steps needed to address to achieve systemic change. Dr. Diaz-Merced, is a member of Astrosense ( Office of Astronomy for Development) at IAU, and Co-Chair of the National Society of Black Physicists Multimodal Access Project (MAP). Dr. Diaz Merced was recently a Burch Fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Among other things, Dr. Schneps of the LVL is collaborating with Dr. Diaz Merced on the IAU’s Astronomy for Equity and Inclusion working group that seeks to build new strategies, tools, and resources in Astronomy that will facilitate the access to Astronomical resources and careers for people with special educational or physical needs, or those who might be excluded for reasons of race or gender.
The IAU’s working group for Equity and Inclusion will develop a “best practices” guide for astronomers with disabilities, modeled after a document produced by LGBT Physicists. LVL’s Dr. Matt Schneps will help lead and organize this effort.
Dr. Diaz Merced is joined at our laboratory by Dr. Silvia Verdolini an astronomer with a passion for science communication and for education who is working on for the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD). She will be working with Dr. Diaz Merced and on a project entitled SOUND TO SEE BETTER to explore the use of sound as an adjunct to visual display to increase sensitivity to the perception of events that otherwise remain blinded by visual noise in space science data.This proposal seeks to enable equality and equity regarding access to space science information (e.g. space science observational data sets, bibliography, textbooks, references, etc.) by people with other learning styles.
LVL Joins MIT’s Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology Course
MIT’s venerable course to help engineers develop skills to support people with disabilities, Course 6.811: Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology (PPAT), will for the first time represent the needs of people with learning disabilities, thanks to Dr. Schneps’s efforts. Schneps will serve as faculty mentor for this course, and link people with dyslexia with student engineers, to try to solve needs of people in this group.
NEW Jan 9, 2016: An outcome of the course was the creation of a new web app called VoiceRead (based on Voice Dream Reader). It is now available on Google Chrome Web Store as a free extension. Please check out the new web app here.
NEW Jan 12, 2016: PPAT course released as MIT OpenCourseware! Take the course yourself, free!
Scientific American MIND
Read it here: Using Technology to Break the Speed Barrier of Reading. New research suggest that one of humanity’s most important inventions can be improved. By, M. H. Schneps.
NSF Awards Science of Learning Centers Award to LVL (UMass)
NSF has awarded a Science of Learning Centers Award for a collaboration with Pasha Antonenko (PI) and Andreas Keil at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Marc Pomplun (co-PI) and Matthew Schneps of UMass Boston, and Richard Lamb of Washington State University (co-PI).
The project known as “Project LENS” (Leveraging Expertise in Neurotechnologies to Study Individual Differences in Multimedia Learning) will employ novel methods and neuroimaging technologies to investigate multimedia learning in order to address the gap in knowledge developing in this field, especially as it pertains to people with learning differences. The project begins in Sept, and will continue for three years. …click here for more about NSF Project LENS.
LVL Joins MIT
The Laboratory for Visual Learning is now a member of the Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Prof. Eric Klopfer, Director. Here we focus on research to investigate how technology can foster the exchange of information between people and machines, given wide ranging differences in the neurology of individuals (including dyslexia, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders). An important example of this seeks to reengineer the technology we use for reading, to make this process more efficient and effective for all.
Visit our MIT web page.
Research Participants Needed
The Laboratory for Visual Learning is carrying out studies to investigate how fonts and formatting can improve reading, especially using e-readers and smartphones. (Press announcements. NSF) Please sign up here to participate in these studies.
The laboratory for visual learning is no longer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The LVL is now a research collaborative of UMass Boston and MIT, and includes members of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit our other websites:
Dr. Matthew H Schnep, Director, Laboratory for Visual Learning
Andrea Facoetti visits LVL (Events)
TALK: Dyslexia and Attention (free and open to the public)
University of Padova
February 12, 2014
MIT building 46, Singleton auditorium, room 3002
Dyslexia is a neurological condition that impairs reading acquisition. A dyslexic child reads in 1 year the same number of words as a good reader in 2 days. It is generally agreed that dyslexia is caused by an inability to map printed text with its spoken phonological output, but the detailed mechanisms remain unresolved. Converging evidence from numerous laboratories has begun to associate dyslexia with impairments in visual and auditory attention. Recent longitudinal studies indicate that attentional impairments identified in preschool –prior to the onset of reading– predict future reading impairments. Evidence such as these suggest that visual attention might play a causal role in dyslexia. If so, remediation programs that train visuo-spatial attention should improve outcomes reading not only in children with dyslexia but also in pre-reading children at risk for dyslexia. Here, we describe recent findings supporting this theoretical framework.
Prof. Andrea Facoetti is the Director of the Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at the University of Padova, Italy. decone.psy.unipd.it
Second e-Reader Paper published; Certification site released.
New research from our laboratories on the use of e-readers in dyslexia has now been published in PLOS ONE.
Read the press release here.
Visit the ReadEasy site where we demonstrate how to set up e-readers. This site will also be the location of the online certification course for reading specialists. This program will be launched in December. Stay tuned! (Thanks for your patience.)
Schneps to Keynote at Landmark College
October 4, 2013 at Landmark College, Putney, VT
The Landmark College 2013 Learning Disabilities Innovation Symposium: Diverse Technologies for Diverse Minds promises to be a dynamic forum spotlighting cutting-edge research, technologies, and tools, while linking innovators and practitioners in the fields of education and technology. More info here.
Marketplace Tech Story on LVL Research
Listen to the story of LVL research on e-Readers by Ben Johnson of Marketplace Tech here.
Paper on E-Readers Now Published
You can download our latest paper “Shorter Lines Facilitate Reading in Those Who Struggle,” published in PLOS ONE, here. This describes results on an eye tracking study demonstrating that reading using short lines (say, via an e-reader) facilitates reading in some people with dyslexia.
ATTENTION Learning Disabilities Specialists (educators and librarians!)
COMING SOON! LVL is creating a FREE online certification course to help reading specialists learn how to use mobile devices to facilitate reading in students with dyslexia, developed at LVL. In studies done at LVL, students with dyslexia showed large and significant gains in reading when using small screen devices configured in special ways. The online course will help participants learn how to configure devices, and provide a grounding in related research. Certification (free) will be offered to licensed educators and learning specialists. To learn more, click here. (Coming Fall, 2013)