MILE answers to specific needs of the Italian Education System: – an extremely heterogeneous environment (mixed abitilies) – the importance of learning foreign languages that MIUR (Ministero dell’Istruzione dell’Università e della Ricerca) encourages by supporting the introduction of new teaching methods; – the lack of physical activity in a child’s life that, according to the European Commission for the Health Sector, requires the implementation of actions to resolve this public health problem.
MILE suggests that the Nursery and Primary Schools should use some interactive technological tools as an alternative or support for traditional teaching methods to meet the real needs of the child. MILE proposes the construction of an interactive multimodal environment: a room called the Stanza Logo-Motoria that generates audio, video and tactile feedback by using video-tracking and analysis of voice tools and different types of sensors responding to users’ actions. The following is an example of a hypothetical scenario applying this learning environment. The child entering the Stanza triggers the playback of a tale. Exploring the Stanza he/she discovers that they can interact with the tale by adding audio elements to the story by moving from one area to another and manipulating objects which offer them dynamic multimodal interaction (Enactoys). The child, simulating situations and characters in the story, can paint on a virtual canvas (Pittore Virtuale) with his voice leaving a significant track of his “journey” inside the story. We hope to cater for children with phonatory difficulties (production of vocal modulations) by using an analysis and real time voice processing system in order to develop or enhance communication skills already in place. The tools, briefly described above, used in synergy, allow the user to apply both gross and fine motor skills, gestures and the potentialities of the human voice. The application fields of MILE include speech disorders, physical and sensory disabilities and motor planning and coordination difficulties.