|By Marketwired .||
|September 4, 2014 11:16 AM EDT||
CARY, NC--(Marketwired - September 04, 2014) - A free, multitouch iBooks Textbook for iPad® is now available to inspire students of all abilities to pursue futures in science. Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn incorporates new, assistive technologies so children with visual disabilities, too, can experience striking deep-space images like never before.
STScI astronomer Elena Sabbi worked with developers to translate brilliant imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope into content any student, including those with visual disabilities, can learn from and enjoy. The development of the iBooks Textbook is funded by a Hubble education and public outreach grant.
"This book allows any child to experience the wonders of space," Sabbi explained. "We want young students to understand that anyone can be a scientist."
Traditionally, the abundance of charts, graphs and data visualizations has made it challenging to bring math and science to visually impaired students. And their teachers struggle to transition from printed textbooks to digital instructional materials. With accessibility directly embedded into Reach for the Stars, every student in the classroom can use the same book. Educators don't have to convert the content to special formats for students with disabilities.
Ed Summers spearheaded the development of the iBooks Textbook, leading a team of programmers, graphic artists and accessibility specialists. The software engineer and Senior Manager of Accessibility and Applied Assistive Technology at SAS, himself blind, emphasizes that Reach for the Stars is not solely for blind children.
"This is a mainstream book to benefit every student, rather than something limited to a small audience of students with visual impairments," said Summers.
The iBooks Textbook consists of seven chapters. Children with learning disabilities can touch the audio icon on each screen to hear the text read aloud. Students with visual impairments can use the VoiceOver screen reader available on iPad.
Images, graphics and animations, some of them interactive, highlight every chapter. Prominent star clusters in the Tarantula Nebula, for example, are marked by circles. Touch a circle and hear the name of the feature as a caption appears on the screen.
The iBooks Textbook takes advantage of accessibility features built into iOS including Text to Speech, captioning, a compatibility option for hearing aids, compatibility with refreshable Braille displays, and high-contrast colors for students with low vision.
Another option, "sonification," uses sound to convey data. For instance, in a diagram plotting the brightness of stars against their surface temperature, touch-generated pitch variations indicate the intensity of a particular star. The brighter the star, the higher the pitch. The star's temperature is conveyed through either the left or right ear. Hotter stars are on the left of the graph, cooler stars on the right.
National Braille Press has created tactile overlays for all of the interactive images in the book. The tactile overlays contain raised lines and textures that are perfectly congruent with each interactive image. For example, the tactile overlay for an image of dozens of galaxies lets a blind student feel a shape for each galaxy and simultaneously hear a sound that represents that galaxy.
The Baltimore-based National Federation of the Blind, a project partner, will promote the book through its network of teachers and parents.
Prospective users can download the iBook Textbook from the iBookstore and order the tactile overlays from the National Braille Press website. A short video and teacher support page will help jumpstart learning. Users can even download a 3-D model of the Hubble Space Telescope and print it on a 3-D printer..
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.
SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2014 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.
The following files are available for download:
- Hubble image of the Tarantula Nebula. Interesting features such as star clusters, stellar nurseries, etc, are highlighted and provide auditory information when touched
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Dec. 6, 2016 07:15 AM EST Reads: 706
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Dec. 6, 2016 07:15 AM EST Reads: 1,820
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 6, 2016 07:00 AM EST Reads: 799
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to simplify and streamline our lives by automating routine tasks that distract us from our goals. This promise is based on the ubiquitous deployment of smart, connected devices that link everything from industrial control systems to automobiles to refrigerators. Unfortunately, comparatively few of the devices currently deployed have been developed with an eye toward security, and as the DDoS attacks of late October 2016 have demonstrated, this oversight can ...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:30 AM EST Reads: 1,097
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:15 AM EST Reads: 756
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Dec. 6, 2016 06:00 AM EST Reads: 457
Kubernetes is a new and revolutionary open-sourced system for managing containers across multiple hosts in a cluster. Ansible is a simple IT automation tool for just about any requirement for reproducible environments. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Patrick Galbraith, a principal engineer at HPE, discussed how to build a fully functional Kubernetes cluster on a number of virtual machines or bare-metal hosts. Also included will be a brief demonstration of running a Galera MyS...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:45 AM EST Reads: 5,289
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
Dec. 6, 2016 05:00 AM EST Reads: 1,645
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 04:45 AM EST Reads: 998
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:30 AM EST Reads: 1,929
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Dec. 6, 2016 04:15 AM EST Reads: 1,753
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 03:45 AM EST Reads: 819
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 6, 2016 01:00 AM EST Reads: 1,848
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 6, 2016 12:45 AM EST Reads: 853
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...
Dec. 6, 2016 12:30 AM EST Reads: 3,890