Optical Character Recognition for Kids Learning sample essay

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Education is the learning and development which results from this process of teaching or training. It is the academic discipline dealing with teaching and learning methods in the schools. Learning starts at home and the parents are their first teachers to their kids. When they are about 4 to 6 years of age, parents are starting to bring their children at school where they are able to learn not only the basic skills such as reading and writing but also to develop simple logic and abstract ideas like numbers, shapes, colors, time and many more. Yet, learning first how to write is by far the most important lesson of all and is the priority of all those people who are teaching childhood education. Writing is a skill that is used in all academic coursework as well as through a person’s professional and personal life. Children learn about reading and writing by thinking about the sounds that words make and what those words look like when written out. When children are eager to learn something, they want to explore it themselves. Nowadays, children’s potentials are determined by their ability to learn the basics of writing and reading at their very early age (Patterson C (2008).

Child Development. New York: McGraw-Hill. ). In today’s complicated world, the continuing advancing of technology has opened many doors when it comes to education. Technology has become an influential factor when it comes to education. This gives students the opportunity to choose what they are interested in learning. Computers have started to make a huge impact in our lives and begun to show up not only in only offices and households, but also in classrooms, as they have become cheaper, more powerful, and easier to use. There have been many software applications developed for the purpose of education and for use in the classroom. Computers and mobile phones are used in developed countries both to complement established education practices and develop new ways of learning such as the concept of E-learning. It is the unifying term to describe the fields of online learning, web-based training, and technology-delivered instruction. By adding interactivity to teaching, Not only would the children will be able to see what is involved, but he or she would be able to learn from hands on experience.

Computers can be a very effective way of accomplishing this. The use of computers in Elementary schools is basically vision as teaching and learning aid besides develop computer literacy amongst the children. Computer Aided Instruction will help us to make the present teaching learning process joyful, interesting and easy to understand through audio-visual aids. Teachers will be resourced with Multimedia Contents to explain topic better. Overall it will help us to improve quality of education in long term. In this study, the proponents develop software that will be an aid for teaching children how to write by using stylus and be able to write on the touch screen monitor of the computer. A stylus is a pen-shaped instrument that is used to draw images, select from menus and write characters which come with different devices that contain touch screens. The following are some of the reasons the proponents have develop such software: (1)Time constraints. Considering it applied in classes, children are pressured in terms of completing a given handwriting task which affects their performance. (2)Level of activities.

Occasionally, activities that are held in classes may be inappropriate when it comes to the capabilities of the students. (3)Limited school activities. Children are only provided limited amount of activities in school to learn a specific area in school particularly handwriting. (4)Assessment procedure. Usually, it takes time for the instructor to evaluate the handwriting activities that they are providing for the kids. The basic handwriting software for kids will show certain gif format containing simple steps on how to write the letters and audio sounds to identify what letter should be written. Children can trace uppercase and lowercase letters using the stylus and will be evaluated afterwards in a friendly manner. The program will also contain a different order of teaching a child to write the alphabet and works can be saved. The program has a quiz section that assesses the learning of the child without the aided instruction of gif format.

To help children to construct correct handwriting, there would seem to be a case for the use of ruled writing spaces and assist them to follow the proper procedure of writing a specific character and obtain precise strokes. There would also a field references or guidelines for line and cursive character in the every letter of alphabet. Error messages, if used, need to be in a simple English language that the children can easily understand. A different level of practicing is considered to be sure that children will be able to take hold of the writing technique through gif images that shows how characters should be constructed properly.

An erase function will also be available as a feature for the children to make them avoid discouragement from scribbling out and overwriting. The children should see at the screen the characters they intend to write and see the results produced after the program recognizes it and be able to see the evaluation of their performance afterwards. Children should be able to understand what was happening effectively. There will be a comment or message alert for every wrong input of the children. The group will use an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is a subsystem for pattern recognition. Character recognition identifies the input handwriting and translates it into a machine language or the ASCII. With OCR, the software could identify and evaluate the child’s handwriting performance.

When the child inputs the character the OCR will read and identifies whether the character is valid. If the character is valid the evaluation will takes place and calculate the handwriting performance of the children. There will be a set of points within a specific character that has a corresponding score. Children will be evaluated according to the use of Back Propagation algorithm. Back Propagation algorithm will trace the input characters and get the error percentage. A deduction will be conducted to the total score of the user if he fails to follow the designated ordinates. Scores will be evaluated and will be shown as follows; Very Good, Good and Fair.

The software that will be implemented will serve as a teaching tool in developing handwriting skills of kids ages 6 and below only which can be used by pre-school teachers and parents as well. It is only an alternative way of teaching basic handwriting rather than the traditional way of learning. The validity of the software can be tested by parents, homeschoolers and teachers who have acquired the skills and knowledge in teaching the traditional process especially those teachers in nurseries and kindergarten.

Chapter II
Review of Related Literature
Children’s Early Age

Children ages 4-5-6 need some attention and care and parents must be able to identify the interest of the child and what they are capable of. In this stage they will be responsible but they still need assistance. They can do simple things on their own like wearing clothes, tying their shoes, brushing their teeth and others. In this stage of development they have their own specific interests like playing blocks, dawdling and others. Play with other children who need what she needs and like what she likes, who understand her because they are the same age, becomes very important to most children. By the age of 4-5 children can now accept the social interaction with other children. (Irma Simonton Black, Children from 4-5-6)

There are other activities in this early age that are very short tempered to parents like dawdling but according to Black “Dawdling may be a child’s indirect way of asking for help, of asking for the warmth and quick affection of his babyhood”. If the child needs parent’s help they must give them a full hand but remember that there are some help that can be done by the child like putting and tying their shoes. The role of a parent is to be helpful, sympathetic and patient. Parents must also praise for the things that the child accomplish rather than disapproval of the things the he/ she did not do. Children are very easy to learn but they must need guidance and care. ThE-learning capabilities of children need time and patience. (Ruth Mason 2000)

Schoolchild Development

The E-learning capabilities of this early stage is different they can develop a sense of logic and often sticks with a problem until he/she has solved it. They can gain a sense of satisfaction from tackling simple number problems. These new ability gives confidence in developing and expressing on their own point of view. They can also grasp more abstract ideas, like numbers, time and distance. During this time the brain undergoes its most dramatic growth, and children rapidly develop the cognitive capacity that enables them to become intellectually curious and creative thinkers. In this child development they can now focus on their interest like reading books on related subject that are taught in the school. They can now express their point of view and reasoning. (Graham, Rob and Hess, Heidi) There are also circumstances that hinder child’s development and this is thE-learning Disability this causes a person to have troublE-learning and using certain skills.

The skills most often affected are: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and doing math. “Learning disabilities (LD) vary from person to person. One person with LD may not have the same kind of learning problems as another person with LD” according to National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities. Learning Disability is not a sickness but this situation are caused by the different approach of processing the brain. Learning Disability does not include visual, hearing and motor disability and also mental retardation. There are no concrete sign of having learning disability but by observing them you can actually identify and these signs are helpful:

• may have troublE-learning the alphabet, rhyming words, or connecting letters to their sounds; • may make many mistakes when reading aloud, and repeat and pause often; • may not understand what he or she reads; • may have real trouble with spelling; • may have very messy handwriting or hold a pencil awkwardly; • may learn language late and have a limited vocabulary; • may have trouble understanding jokes, comic strips, and sarcasm; • may have trouble following directions;

• may mispronounce words or use a wrong word that sounds similar; And to help children with this disability parents must identify the strengths of their child. The parents must praise the good things about their child with this disability .And for teachers they can help their child with such disability by: • breaking tasks into smaller steps, and giving directions verbally and in writing; • giving the student more time to finish schoolwork or take tests; • letting the student with reading problems use textbooks-on-tape (available through Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic, listed under Organizations); • letting the student with listening difficulties borrow notes from a classmate or use a tape recorder; and • letting the student with writing difficulties use a computer with specialized software that spell checks, grammar checks, or recognizes speech. (National Dissemination for Learning Disability)

Children’s School Level

This is often categorized in pre-school and kindergarten levels. Pre-school is the preparation ground for children, this shows how kids will they be when they are 7 because of different aspects. In this level of education children only go to school for an hour which includes playing and 20-30 minutes of listening. The schools strategize a three days per week at an academic program and two days per week at a play-based school, hoping to achieve the best of both worlds.

Preschool are very egocentric which they believe everyone sees the world as they sees it. They still don’t know what is the cause and effect and they give a process that is not logical and complex. They also focus on one event and ignore the other. According to Martha E. Mock “Young children learn best through meaningful interaction with real materials and caring adults and their peers, not through the drilling of isolated skills”. Preschool approach is commonly a play-based program to enjoy child academically and socially. After they excel in preschool year they can now step to kindergarten where they can formally in different approach.

(Laura Davy, 2007)

Kindergarten is being called nowadays as a new first grade of education. But be sure that your child is ready for kindergarten and there are signs to identify that are being analyzed by parents. This checklist are created by the National Center Disabilities Inc,. The purpose of kindergarten is to show the child the good feelings about learning and school. This is the building block for stepping in first grade. The curriculum starts by building familiarity with a wide number of aspects of the written and spoken word. In kindergarten the general trend of teaching is basic literacy and writing t hat is covered for first grader. The students taught a basic curriculum in all subjects, including science, social studies, and arts; but the most important academic topics will be literacy, handwriting exercise and math, which underlie everything else to come. Handwriting and dawdling is the common tool for expressing children’s idea and taught. (Julie Williams, 2007)


Handwriting is the first education that is needed for children. This is important because research shows that when children are taught how to do it, they are also being taught how to learn and how to express themselves. Handwriting is the best way to express children’s idea and feelings to their loved ones and friends. Emily Knapton, director of program development at Handwriting without Tears, believes that “when kids struggle with handwriting, it filters into all their academics. Spelling becomes a problem; math becomes a problem because they reverse their numbers. All of these subjects would be much easier for these kids to learn if handwriting was an automatic process”.

In the research led by the professor of Venderbilt University, Steve Graham he found out that teachers believe that students with fluent handwriting produced written assignments that were superior in quantity and quality and resulted in higher grades aside from being easier to read. Evidence is growing that handwriting fluency is a fundamental building block of learning. It should be exciting and an enjoyable activity through which children can experience success. If we stop teaching penmanship, it will not only hasten the dreaded day when brides acknowledge wedding gifts by e-mail; the bigger danger is, they’ll be composed even more poorly than they already are. According to Baggett, changing a child’s handwriting can improve their grades, their behaviour, and their self-esteem. (Raina Kelley, 2007)

Process of Teaching Handwriting

In teaching the children the best way is to write their name first. Begin with lower case letters, rather than capital letters. This mechanism will help the child when first encountering reading and writing because lower case letters are commonly seen in the books. (Shirley Erwee et.al)

The time span in teaching is between 20-30 minutes to avoid boredom. If the parents teach the child to write in large interval of time they will lost their interest. Their eyes are not that fully developed so they have no focus on every book or page like adults. This technique will avoid child’s eye strain and the limit is 15-20 minutes. Encourage the child in continuing handwriting practices and praise the work of the children. Do not compare the work of the child to the other children because they have a process in developing this talent. (Sandhya S. Naidu)


When children are practicing handwriting it is very important that you oversee their work so that they do not develop bad habits. Take over some inappropriate letters so that they will not rooted to it.


Focus on correcting or improving one objective at a time – be it a particular letter, spacing, size, alignment, etc.
Handwriting practice should be scheduled every day but keep lessons short for best results.
Correct pencil grip allows a writer to write quickly and smoothly, while a tight or awkward grip can hinder writing.
Be sure that your child is sitting properly at a surface that is not too high. Her arms should rest comfortably and her feet should be supported (by the floor or a box), rather than hanging loosely. This is to avoid fatigue and bad habits which may develop as a result of improper posture. Monitor your child’s posture regularly.

Improvement in handwriting requires a combination of skills and developmental maturity. Each child will progress at her own rate. Remember that fine motor skills develop more slowly in boys, than gross motor skills.


Keep handwriting practice or copy work separate from composition and other writing tasks, which require attention to other skills such as focus on content, organizing ideas, editing, spelling, punctuation etc. so that students will not be reluctant to write.

Assessing Child Handwriting

According to Occupational Therapy Handwriting Resources in assessing child’s handwriting there must be clinical observation skills. There are different clinical observation skills and uses according to purpose.

The child’s proper grip in pen or pencil is important because improper grip can cause fatigue and joint problems. The proper grip is the normal dynamic tripod give where the thumb is placed at the side of the pencil and the index finger is placed on the top of the pencil. The pencil is stabilized on the side of the middle finger. This position allows for needed stability and mobility. Improper grip can cause: – lead to joint problem and early fatigue in written assignments – tightness or pain in the thumb web spaces

(Occupational Therapy Handwriting Resources)

The Evaluation Tool for Children’s Handwriting (ETCH) is an assessment that ensures the legibility in word, letter and numeral percentage, as well as letters per minute. Pencil control, near and far point copying, manuscript to cursive translation, dictation and sentence completion are included.

The Bruininks Oserteksy Test of Fine Motor Proficiency assesses motor proficiency of students without disabilities, as well as those with serious motor dysfunctions and developmental difficulties. It is administered to children from ages 4 years 6 months to 14 years 6 months. Occupational Therapist typically administer only the fine motor development subtests which include:

– response speed
– visual-motor control
– upper-limb speed and dexterity

The Peabody Developmental Motor Scales is composed of six subtests that measure inter related motor abilities that develop early in life. It assesses the motor skills of children from birth through 5 years of age. Occupational Therapist typically administers the grasping and visual motor subset. (Occupational Therapy Handwriting Resources) The assessment for teachers is based on the books and criteria. Teachers tend to teach children according to books instruction. The child needs some patience and virtue to achieve a good handwriting skill. This skill can visualize the children’s future and development.

Handwriting as a Symbol of Success

There are also instances that penmanship and handwriting predicts success according to Bart Baggett. They also identify the handwriting of Michael J. Fox , Martin Luther King and Oprah Winfrey which shows success. Baggetts identify the seven personality traits according to stroke that are common to successful people. – High Goals and Ambition (t-bars crossed on the top of the stem) – Strong self-esteem (Large signature and high crossed t-bars) – Determination (heavy downstrokes below the baseline) – Persistence (not picking up your pen when you cross the letter t) – Strong Physical Drives (large and heavy y and g loops) – Long Lasting Enduring Emotions (pressing very hard on the paper) – Enthusiasm (extra long strokes to make the crossing of your t) Handwriting is an important task to learn by the child and need some proper interaction to their instructor or teacher and also parents. (Yenra, 2007)

Interaction for Teacher

The quality of interactions between teachers and children plays a key role in accounting for gains in children’s development when compared to typical quality indicators such as teachers’ education, class size, and child-to-teacher ratio. High-quality instructional interactions happened when teachers provided children with feedback on their ideas, commented in ways that extended and expanded their skills, and frequently used discussions and activities to promote complex thinking. Teachers by doing this teacher-child interaction the children can improve or develop good cognitive, socio-emotional and language skills. Interaction could help children understand the knowledge he/she wants to gain, like media that are so interactive nowadays. The size and number of the students is not the basis for thE-learning of the child but the interaction of the teacher’s to them. A child learns a large amount of knowledge with the help of the emotional interaction. (Physorg, 2008)

Children’s Interact Emotionally

In early stage children does not only learn social skills and language but they also learn the act of sensitivity and emotion. Having a social interaction helps child to develop their logic and sense of reasoning. With this emotional interaction they can decrease their fear in reasoning out or expressing their emotion. Interaction benefits every child very much, because they not only get one on one time to talk to their teacher but they also produce positive relationships between teachers and students. Teachers by doing this teacher-child interaction the children can improve or develop good cognitive, socio-emotional and language skills. There are also materials that are very interactive to children and they could gain knowledge with this interaction. Technologies nowadays are very interactive to child which helps them to learn more. (Killi, 2008)


According to studies and researches more and more kids are applying technology to their lifestyle like playing video games, using computer and watching TV. According to parents using media and technology children helps to learn while entertained. Today’s children might use their brain differently than the kids in previous generation this is according to UCLA professor, Patricia Greenfield. Patricia Greenfield found out that TV, Media and video games does not limit the mind of the children but they also help them in other ways. In a concrete result they found out that surgeon who has a skilled in video games can be better in keyhole surgery.

The use of technology can have a great effect of schools. With an increased emphasis on more teacher discretion over teaching and learning in the classroom has a potential to increase. Technology can also be integrated into the class through the use of software. Technology allows the student to comprehend the subject matter at hand easier. The children nowadays are better than their ancestor when it comes to multitasking as a result in complex visual information that they deal with. The school, learning institute and parents must understand this study and apply to their learning techniques according to the UCLA professor. (Patricia Greenfield 2005)

Technological Adaptability in Education

Many different types of technology can be used to support and enhance learning. Everything from video content and digital moviemaking to laptop computing and handheld technologies (Marshall, 2002) have been used in classrooms, and new uses of technology such as podcasting are constantly emerging. Various technologies deliver different kinds of content and serve different purposes in the classroom. For example, word processing and e-mail promote communication skills; database and spreadsheet programs promote organizational skills; and modeling software promotes the understanding of science and math concepts. It is important to consider how these electronic technologies differ and what characteristics make them important as vehicles for education (Becker, 1994). Each technology is likely to play a different role in students’ learning. Rather than trying to describe the impact of all technologies as if they were the same, researchers need to think about what kind of technologies are being used in the classroom and for what purposes.

Two general distinctions can be made. Students can learn “from” computers—where technology used essentially as tutors and serves to increase students basic skills and knowledge; and can learn “with” computers—where technology is used a tool that can be applied to a variety of goals in the learning process and can serve as a resource to help develop higher order thinking, creativity and research skills (Reeves, 1998; Ringstaff & Kelley, 2002). The primary form of student learning “from” computers is what Murphy, Penuel, Means, Korbak and Whaley (2001) describe as discrete educational software (DES) programs, such as integrated learning systems (ILS), computer-assisted instruction (CAI), and computer-based instruction (CBI). These software applications are also among the most widely available applications of educational technology in schools today, along with word-processing software, and have existed in classrooms for more than 20 years (Becker, Ravitz, & Wong, 1999).

While DES remains the most commonly used approach to computer use in student learning, in more recent years, use of computers in schools has grown more diversified as educators recognize the potential of learning “with” technology as a means for enhancing students’ reasoning and problem-solving abilities.

In part, this shift has been driven by the plethora of new information and communication devices now increasingly available to students in school and at home, each of which offers new affordances to teachers and students alike for improving student achievement and for meeting the demand for 21st century skills describe earlier. No longer limited to school labs, school hours and specific devices, technology access is increasingly centered on the learner experience. Bruce and Levin (1997), for example, look at ways in which the tools, techniques, and applications of technology can support integrated, inquiry-based learning to “engage children in exploring, thinking, reading, writing, researching, inventing, problem-solving, and experiencing the world.

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