The project concerns two platforms for the analysis and remediation of handwriting difficulties, Dynamilis and Grafos, respectively developed at PHBern and EPFL.
The PHBern and the EFPL both conduct research in the field of graphomotor skills. They work together on the basis of the two instruments Grafos and Dynamilis This cooperation is obvious. The PHBern contributes its many years of research experience in graphomotor skills and its expertise in pedagogy and special education. EPFL, on the other hand, is strong in creative technical solutions for the diagnosis and promotion of graphomotor skills. Dynamilis uses machine learning algorithms to identify children’s handwriting difficulties and then help them improve.
Graphomotor skills, which interact closely with executive functions (EF) and language, form an important basis for learning at school and for participation in education, society and culture. At the PHBern, research has been conducted in the area of graphomotor skills for many years. The diagnostic instrument GRAFOS and the concept Grafomotorik und Inklusion GRAFINK have been developed. Since a meta-analysis shows that the use of technology in the context of handwriting acquisition can be one of the target-leading methods, learning apps for the promotion of graphic motor skills were thoroughly investigated in connection with the development of the GRAFINK concept. None of the existing learning apps can fully meet the central professional criteria. In parallel, the promising app Dynamilis was developed at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). The tool includes diagnostic aspects and games for promotion and is constantly being further developed. Accordingly, there is the possibility of helping to design the app from a pedagogical and curative education perspective. For the PHBern, the expansion of diagnostic and support concepts on the basis of its own specialist expertise is of great importance. In addition, Dynamilis complements the diagnostic tool «GRAFOS» developed at the PHBern in that it examines the writing of short texts.
Last year, the PHBern and the EPFL jointly carried out a first pilot project. The two recording instruments GRAFOS and Dynamilis were carried out and compared with children from 1st and 2nd grades. Initial results show correlations but also differences. However, the small sample does not yet allow any conclusive statements. For this, both tests must be carried out with more children. Cooperation has already taken place in the area of further development of the Dynamilis support games. In order for these games to be used meaningfully in the school environment and to be applied in relation to the individual development of the children, cooperation between pedagogy and technology is needed. The goal is to integrate technical and analogue possibilities of support into the school routine in such a way that as many children as possible can receive adapted support in acquiring familiar and legible handwriting.
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