Thursday, 3 October 2013

Authoring eBooks with the Deaf School in Jakarta

My current class is working on a project to author eBooks with the deaf school here in Jakarta. We have already had two face to face meetings. In the first meeting the Grade 4 from SWA travelled to the Santi Rama Deaf school. We paired up each student and got down to work.

As preparation, both Grade 4 classes learned how to do some simple ASL - American Sign Language. We learned to perform the song Fireflies in ASL. It was interesting to learn the song and quite fun too!

We learned during our first meeting with the deaf school that Indonesia has it's own sign language. Luckily it is really similar to ASL so we were able to use a lot of what we had learned in preparation. We found that being able to spell out words came in very handy!! My first sentence in sign language was 'What's your name?' and 'My name is Jane'.

Prior to our first meeting I travelled to Santi Rama with my partner teacher Ade to meet with the principal and discuss the details of the project. We agreed that the deaf students needed to prepare their stories in advance by writing them down on paper. We also asked that each child supply some drawings for the book illustrations.

In that first meeting we were able to begin making the story in Keynote. The plan was to create all the layouts in Keynote and then do the final formatting in Book Creator. Out issue is that there is only a small set of iPads at our school and we can only borrow them for a short period of time. It takes time to create a quality book so I will do the final format for the students in my class. The students will simply export their Keynote pages as JPEGs and I will put the videos and pages together and export them out of Book Creator as an ePUB3 files. 

In the second meeting the Santi Rama students travelled on our school bus to SWA. They had a great time playing with our students and working on the final video shoot for the sign language. It proved to be challenging for the deaf students to sign each sentence as they were using vocabulary that was not common so they needed extra support from their teachers. This is the first time that they had ever tried to make a digital story book that included sign language videos inside. Take a look at the school Vice Principal supporting this Grade 4 student to do the correct sign language for the sentence, 'Ghina was really happy and thanked God'. This story is about Ghina herself and how she celebrated her recent 11th birthday.

The books are looking quite nice and I am slowly putting the final touches on them in Book Creator. Take a look at these cover designs. My students are currently making Book Trailers in iMovie to promote each book. I can't wait to show you the finished products. It's certainly keeping the teachers; Jocelyn, Ade, Julie and myself all very busy!


  1. Very cool project Jane. I love how the kids are making Book Trailers to promote their books, great touch!

  2. Loved the expression on her face when the discovered that signing was connecting her with the teacher, and will add that as a long-time hearing aid wearer,