Giving children the ability to express their creativity and not be hindered by their English language acquisition is very exciting to us! Working with teachers in the GRPS District and talking with community leaders who work with refugee families, they shared that to be able to use the app as a visual dictionary is very valuable in and of itself, but for children to also be able to communicate visually, to create visual stories, to let their imaginations unfold – there’s nothing else like it on the market. Visual dictionary apps exist, but none of them allow users to create. There are also many apps which children can use to be creative, but they are apps for drawing, music making, video making, or photo manipulating. There are also a few story book making apps, but they rely on elaborate illustrations created by the company that cannot be manipulated by the user, or the apps require users to upload images. None of these creativity apps are in multiple languages, only in English.
The multiple language feature would be an extremely beneficial tool to increase understanding, communication, and creative collaboration between teachers and their ELL students and between ELL students and their classmates. They will be able to collaborate and learn from each other through the process of creative expression, using the language with which they are each most comfortable. With Wimage we want to empower kids to become producers of their own content instead of just consumers.
What I Will Do With $5,000
The money will be spent on the programming expenses to integrate various languages into the Wimage app. We plan to start with Spanish and Swahili and then with further research, consulting, and feedback, decide the additional languages to follow. Users will select which language to begin their interaction within the app and which language is the secondary, allowing for two way communication and collaboration.