Brother P-Touch as kid’s toy – Damien Stolarz
My daughter learned the alphabet using a variety of learning aids. I particularly credit the Leapfrog DVD series for teaching her both letter recognition and phonics. The learning games on her computer also helped reinforce some of the alphabet concepts, and with our coaching, she’s learned to recognize and spell a nice sampling of three letter words – cat, mom, dad, dog, etc.
One day I was labeling boxes with my Brother P-Touch system. The P-Touch is a thermal labeling system, battery powered, with a full QWERTY keyboard. It has a digital display, and you simply type in a word, press “PRINT,” and then your label emerges.
My daughter, already familiar with a keyboard from a computer, found my P-Touch lying on the floor and became engrossed in it. I suggested that she type in her name, and after a fairly rapid hunt and peck, she was delighted to have a sticker with her name on it. I proceeded to ask her each of the words in her small spelling vocabulary and she successfully printed all of them out with very little coaching.
Probably the most fun, though, is her creative writing. I’ll come back to my laboratory where my daughter has been contentedly making up long, unpronounceable words on the P-Touch like QIDKMGKPUZ and printing them out one after another. The remarkable thing is that a 3-year-old is experimenting with words, at length, learning to use a keyboard before she can even write. believe an old test of literacy was whether you could write your name or whether you could only sign legal documents with an “X.” Well, my daughter can type her name and is certainly on her way to literacy.
Damien Stolarz is an inventor with a decade of experience making different kinds of computers talk to each other. His book, Car PC Hacks, is published by O’Reilly Media.
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