Design Thinking in Bio Class
Posted: April 6, 2012 Filed under: Teacher Resources | Tags: biology, design thinking, lab, prototype
ReBlog from my school’s website. One student project in particular gave me goosebumps with excitement. Students empathized with kids that had cochlear implants – an amazing biotechnology that can restore hearing to deaf people. Students discovered that these implants can draw unwanted attention and become potentially inconvenient if swimming or bathing (processor needs to be removed). My students’ elegant solution: use off the shelf technologies like Android speech to text apps + pair of sunglasses + small directional microphone to create the EyeTalk.
The EyeTalk uses a small directional microphone embedded int he glasses frame to listen to whoever the user is looking at. This audio is converted to text via opensource android technology and projected on the interior of of the glasses lens. Inspiration was taken from HUD (heads up displays) commonly used in aircraft cockpits. Their prototype was built in class using readily available and cheap materials: oversize party store sunglass with an android smart phone (prepped with speech to text app) mounted to the back of one lens. The prototype was not glamorous as I asked students to keep them decidedly “low resolution” (meaning cheap, quick, and dirty). The result, however, did everything I could ask for in a prototype – it’s a way to make hope visible.