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Smartpen Technology and Revitalization of the Myaamia Language

Suppose your goal was to help re-establish a language that was no longer spoken and bring it back into everyday useWhat if you knew this work could help bring about cultural revitalization?

  1. How would you do it?
  2. Would you consider using a Livescribe Smartpen and creating custom penlets using the Livescribe SDK?

This is what Victor Obonyo, a Master’s Degree candidate did recently at Miami University (Oxford, OH).  His extraordinary 82 page thesis shares many details: http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi?acc_num=miami1260321780 and paints a vivid picture of how the wise application of technology can help do things that are difficult at best in other ways.

Abstract: The main purpose of this research is to determine whether appropriate technology can contribute towards revitalization of the Myaamia language. Language revitalization refers to the development of programs and other learning opportunities that result in re-establishing a language, which has ceased being the language of communication, and bringing it back into use in everyday life. Although it seems possible that various technologies can play an important role in these efforts, a survey of language revitalization programs has shown little assessment of the role of technology in language revitalization. In this project, a case study was done to determine, to what extent, if any, appropriately designed technology (in this case a Smartpen) can be useful in Myaamia language revitalization efforts. The result collected, after participants had used the research material, showed that technology, if configured appropriately and made interesting and purposeful, can play an important role in language revitalization efforts.

More about the Myaamia People and Language Project:

  1. The Myaamia Language Project: http://www.myaamiaproject.org/index.html
  2. The Myaamia Foundation: http://myaamiafoundation.org/index.html
  3. Wikipedia – Miami Tribe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miami_tribe

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