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Chantry Primary Academy

Chantry
Primary Academy

Learning values for life

VI - Thinkerbell Labs

Monday 5th November 2018

The children in the VI provision have been very lucky over the last year to be involved with a team from Thinkerbell Labs, a team focussing on braille learning in India and across the world. Blind children in India use the slate and stylus method of Brailling. This method involves punching braille dots into paper backwards, so that they can be read when the paper is turned over. This is a very time consuming and means completing school work is very challenging.

This led to the team at Thinkerbell Labs to develop ‘Annie’; an electronic teaching device named after Helen Keller’s Braille tutor. The idea behind Annie is that larger classes of pupils in India can learn Braille quickly and interactively with the need for only one braille teacher and access to the machines. The Thinkerbell team are really hoping this will lead to the wider use of Braille machines across India.

Dilip and Sankriti from Thinkerbell came over from India to visit us at Chantry last year to let our VI pupils use Annie while it was being developed, and came back again in November to show us the finished product. George and Haaris thought Annie was fantastic and really enjoyed using the machine. Although Annie was initially developed for blind children in India it is now being sold worldwide. Our VI pupils clearly enjoyed using Annie and giving their feedback, they were also able to access electronic games in a way they have never experienced before. We have been able to have a glimpse and be part of the future of braille for children across the world. We are hoping to purchase our own Annie machine soon.

Take a look at the work Thinkerbell Labs do, they have some very distinguished supporters and we are glad to been a very small part of their journey! https://www.thinkerbelllabs.com