Tomsk State University: LUWRAIN from TSU will help children with visual impairments to study

Tomsk State University has begun classes for students with visual impairments using LUWRAIN, an educational and methodological complex based on information technologies that was created at TSU. One of the developers is Mikhail Pozhidaev, Candidate of Technical Sciences, a software engineer at the TSU Institute of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science.

The effectiveness of using educational materials in the international DAISY format in the educational process for people with visual impairments must be confirmed in the classroom.

LUWRAIN Books provides the ability to automatically receive a set in DAISY format based on a text document prepared by a teacher with automated delivery of new material to students’ computers. Students download and work with materials at school and home using the interactive, nonvisual LUWRAIN application for Microsoft Windows and GNU/Linux.

– The internship site at the boarding school is designed to provide approbation of information technologies as an addition to the traditional teaching methodology based on Braille. Applying DAISY is the first step. In the future, it is necessary to explore the possibility of developing nonvisual applications for the transmission of schematic and spatial structures, and for integration with distance learning systems, – said Mikhail Pozhidaev.

The first lessons will have an emphasis on anatomy. The group of children will be taught by Yaroslava Vtorushina, master’s student at Tomsk State Pedagogical University (TSPU), whose dissertation is related to information competence in blind students with mixed education.

– Last spring, everyone had to go to distance learning, including boarding schools. There is a problem for children who cannot receive information visually. The new program is designed for these children, and we started with educational materials on biology, because this is a particularly difficult subject for perception by blind children. It is difficult for them to imagine what the internal organs look like, how the blood flows, and so on. We have compiled these educational materials in electronic form, not in Braille. My task is help children to learn how to find and open the necessary materials in the application, – explained Yaroslava Vtorushina.

In the future, using adapted teaching materials will be possible for boarding school students of all grades and in all subjects.

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