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Learning to Write with DoItWrite

Contributed by Joel Zimba, Special Projects Coordinator, MDTAP

With the release of iOS7, Apple added a hand writing function to VoiceOver.  When the “Hand writing” option is selected via the rotar function, print characters, such as uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation, can be drawn directly on the screen of an  iOS device. I find hand writing particularly useful when unlocking my iPhone.  It also makes for a handy way to select apps from the home screen. This is a great feature, but I discovered my hand writing is a little bit rusty.  Here is where the DoItWrite app comes in.

DoItWrite is the first iPhone app produced by Draconis Entertainment.  They make many accessible games for the Mac and PC.  DoItWrite is an educational game, of sorts.  DoItWrite turns hand writing practice into a game. The game section of DoItWrite announces a letter and the player must draw that letter on the screen as quickly as possible.  The longer you take, the fewer points are awarded.  The letter is repeated until drawing of the letter is completed. In addition to the game playing section, DoItWrite has a “learn” feature.  Spoken directions are given to teach a user how to write each letter.  If done incorrectly, feedback is given to help improve accuracy, for example, “The line on the right hand side of the letter J is not long enough, which registers as a U.”

After some practice my hand writing has improved and my speed has increased. It’s worth mentioning that DoItWrite does not teach penmanship per se. The letters are taught in a way which makes them easily recognizable by VoiceOver. However, they might not look so hot to an experienced scribe.

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