Volo, IL (PRWEB) March 9, 2009
Don Johnston, a leader in assistive technologies for students with special needs, announces the release of FACELAND, an innovative software program to help children with autism, Aspergers and developmental deficiencies learn how to recognize facial expressions that display the emotions of surprise, fear, disgust, anger, sadness and happiness.
Most children begin the process of learning to recognize facial expressions that convey emotion at an early age. Children with autism, Aspergers or developmental delays often have difficulty with recognizing facial expressions. This is an important literacy skill in a social environment.
FACELAND was developed by Dr. Dorothy Strickland, President of Do2Learn and Donna Stanger, former Edmark CEO and 20-year teaching veteran, responsible for over 100 award-winning software programs such as Millie's Math House, Imagination Express and Thinkin' Things. FACELAND combines years of education experience and research, with proven pedagogy and teaching methodology using the power of interactive technology. Successful approaches include carefully structured content, spaced repetition, checks for understanding and clear and consistent feedback, all in a colorful, child-friendly interface.
Ms. Stanger said, "For children who have not intuitively developed this complex skill, we broke it down, as we do for reading and math, and used what we learned in software development to create a program that engages and encourages children to learn. We do this through playful interaction, respectful feedback, game motivation and a welcoming environment. It was a labor of love to assemble and work with a team of highly talented artists and engineers who care about the quality of educational software and about empowering all children."
Six Schools of Emotion Combine Innovative Learning Approaches with Engaging Games
Children ride the monorail through an amusement park where six schools and eleven games help them learn to recognize the six most-common emotions in a playful and fun learning experience. Real-life scenarios and videos provide the context for learning facial expressions from Zak, a friendly robot. During the exercises, unique videos display one part of a facial expression at a time to help children recognize clues about a particular emotion. Mirror mimic sessions add kinesthetic involvement. FACELAND includes over a thousand photographed faces across ethnicity, age and gender to help children recognize facial expressions and promote generalization and transfer to real life social behavior.
11 Motivating and Fun Games
As children watch, listen and practice facial expressions, they will learn new skills in a multi-sensory environment. Eleven games motivate practice and persistence. Scenarios and input methods are creatively varied to hold a child's interest. For example, the cursor turns into a spatula for bouncing face cakes. Face cubes are flipped to make rows of happy faces. A submarine vacuum rescues divers showing signs of fear.
Student Progress Reports
Teachers and parents will benefit from the easy-to-use management system which records number of correct and incorrect responses and date and time on task. Assignments can be modified to address diverse needs and progress reports printed for portfolio assessment or IEP.
Kevin Johnston, Director of Business Development for Don Johnston, said, "FACELAND will help students learn to recognize facial expressions that lead to positive social behavior. Positive social behavior will help them engage in meaningful communication. For 29 years, we have brought dozens of products to the special education community to address students' unique learning challenges. This has held us to the highest standard in offering quality products, like FACELAND, that truly benefit students and individuals with learning disabilities."
FACELAND for Windows/MAC CD is priced at $179. Volume discounts are available.
Learn more at http://www.donjohnston.com/faceland.
About Don Johnston Incorporated
Don Johnston empowers educators with specialized accessible technologies and supported reading and writing tools for students with cognitive, physical, and learning differences. Since 1980, the company has partnered with literacy experts, assistive technology specialists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, teachers, researchers, and scientists to develop over a dozen assistive technology products. The company also publishes Start-to-Finish®, a collection of paperback, audio and computer books for students who read below grade level.
Do2Learn (http://www.Do2Learn.com) began in the mid '90s through a Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Institutes of Health. Its goal is to apply the latest research and technology to develop solutions for parents and teachers to help individuals with specific learning challenges and special needs. This website gets over ten million hits per month.
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