Most people are familiar with simulation technologies in the form
of video games. Many new video game systems have 3-D environments
where participants move around to complete tasks, race-car driving,
searching for clues, etc. The branches of the United States military
and NASA have been using simulation technologies for many years
to train soliders and astronauts before they work with the expensive
real machines and equipment.
Simulation Scenarios for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
A company called Veridian has been developing simulation scenarios
to help improve educational outcomes for students who are Deaf and
Hard of Hearing. Their project is called VREAL.
They began with scenarios that focused on life skills topics such
as when and how to call 911, how to escape during a fire from any
location in their school, and how to order from a menu at McDonald's.
After seeing successes with the life skills scenarios they added
scenarios to investigate how the technology might assist students
in learning academics. Scenarios were developed focusing on skills
and content students were required to know and would be tested on
when they took the state skills/knowledge assessment test. A variety
of Deaf Schools and programs participated in the evaluation of these
scenarios. Research on the project has shown a significant improvement
in students' comprehension of the content.
Sign Language Access in 3-D Simulation Environments
A company called Vcom3D, Inc. has been developing 3D characters
with highly detailed faces and bodies that can communicate in sign
language. These characters have been used in software programs for
students who have hearing loss and people learning sign language.
The company has also developed an authoring tool called SignSmith
Studio that allows digital content publishers to have the characters
sign information on the Internet or CD-ROMs. Vcom3D is involved
in a variety of research projects to evaluate how this technology
can be used and further developed to provide never before possible
access to information for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals.
Read more about this technology and the available software at Vcom3D's
DuPaul University has been researching simulated hands and characters
that communicate in sign language as well.
Simulation for Speech and Language Development
Baldi is a 3-D animated face developed at The University of California,
Santa Cruz. Users can look at the front of the face to watch mouth
movement. Users can look at the movement of the 3D tongue from a
side view with the face removed. Very interesting use of 3D technology!
This technology is being researched and used with deaf learners
to develop speech and articulation.
Research related to simulation