Us­ing tech­nol­ogy for a good cause

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide - ■ Visit http://www.un­ or call 1300 885 008 for de­tails.

IN aid of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties, two Univer­sity Malaysia of Com­puter Science and En­gi­neer­ing (Un­imy) stu­dents and their lec­turer have demon­strated dis­rup­tive in­no­va­tion to max­imise so­cial im­pact.

Un­der the guid­ance of lec­turer Dr Nor­shuhani Zamin, Fuadah Az Zahra Khairud­din from the Fac­ulty of Com­puter Science and Bach­e­lor in Soft­ware En­gi­neer­ing stu­dent Muham­mad Zharif Amin con­cep­tu­alised the use of dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies for early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, par­tic­u­larly those with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

For their fi­nal projects, both stu­dents came up with the idea of cre­at­ing learn­ing tools to help im­prove so­cial in­ter­ac­tions among chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties.

Dr Nor­shuhani said: “We are mo­ti­vated to study the chal­lenges faced by typ­i­cal (chil­dren who are not re­ceiv­ing spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion) young chil­dren and chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, es­pe­cially those with autism, Down Syn­drome, Attention Deficit Hyper­ac­tive Dis­or­der and slow learn­ers.

“We try to iden­tify the gap be­tween the needs and solutions avail­able, while ad­dress­ing the is­sue us­ing a sus­tain­able ap­proach.”

Fuadah’s project, ti­tled Em­parti, uses Aug­mented Real­ity (AR) to de­velop a frame­work for vir­tual de­vel­op­ment.

She used an AR game that presents young users with sit­u­a­tions that re­quire an em­pa­thetic re­sponse and en­cour­age them to act the same way in so­cial set­tings.

Dr Nor­shuhani said the re­search found that dig­i­tal ap­pli­ca­tions such as video games can im­prove vis­ual-spa­tial ca­pa­bil­i­ties and cog­ni­tive skills.

Muham­mad Zharif’s project uses ro­bot­ics to im­prove the con­ven­tional method of teach­ing so­cial in­ter­ac­tion skills, in­clud­ing vis­ual, audio and hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion.

Known as ROBOTher­a­pist, the main ob­jec­tive is to de­velop a low-cost ro­botic tool us­ing an open-source elec­tron­ics plat­form to aid the teach­ing and learn­ing of chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties in Malaysian schools.

Fuadah and Muham­mad Zharif are cur­rently work­ing with lo­cal spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion schools to test their projects. They also work closely with lo­cal start-ups Arleta and Tech Smart to pro­vide them with es­sen­tial tech­ni­cal aid.

Such in­dus­trial col­lab­o­ra­tion is a key el­e­ment of Un­imy’s aca­demic frame­work, which en­hances in­no­va­tion through knowl­edge ex­change. Through its cour­ses and pro­grammes, Un­imy ad­vo­cates in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity through tech­nol­ogy. Stu­dents are en­cour­aged to think out of the box to de­rive solutions that make life bet­ter.

Un­imy is Malaysia’s first ICT-fo­cused dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy univer­sity and ben­e­fits from the sup­port of par­ent com­pany Prestar­i­ang Ber­had. It of­fers pro­grammes in com­puter science, soft­ware en­gi­neer­ing, game de­vel­op­ment and other ad­vanced ICT pro­grammes fo­cus­ing on cy­ber­se­cu­rity, big data and cod­ing. The April 2018 in­take is now open.

In­dus­trial col­lab­o­ra­tion, such as this project fo­cus­ing on chil­dren with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties, is cru­cial to Un­imy’s aca­demic frame­work, which en­hances in­no­va­tion through knowl­edge ex­change.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.