Education/Projects/JetpackForLearning/Profiles/Educational Facilita

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Official page and Educational Facilita Jetpack location

If you wish to view a complete reference about the project Educational Facilita that was developed under the Jetpack for Learning Design Challenge check out Educational Facilita Website.

There you will find all informations and technology description about the project. You will also find the Jetpack instalation and how to use instructions on that Website. And Thank you for using Educational Facilita. All contact informations are also available on the Web page of the project.

Concept Description

We are developing an online reading assistance through the presentation of synonymous or definitions for the words which we classify as difficult to be understood by the user, the Educational Facilita. The assistance would also provide additional information about proper nouns that are inserted in the text.

It is expected that these additional informations presented in the text through the proposed approach would help users in their reading activities of websites and allow the users to learn the meaning of new or unusual words/expressions. It is important to emphasize that even the W3C through its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) in the Successes Criteria 3.1.3 and 3.1.4 acknowledge the importance of providing mechanisms to help users to understand possibly unusual words and abbreviations, in the web accessibility context.

The assistance is to be made available to users through the following interactions in the mockup:

  1. Activate the Jetpack Activation link.
  2. Then every word which is possibly difficult to be understood and proper nouns identified in the text are highlighted.
  3. When the user passes the mouse through the highlighted words or expressions then it is presented the user with synonymous or additional informations.

In order to present this assistance to users, the Educational Facilita will make use of the following concepts and technologies: Lexical Elaboration and proper nouns Recognition.

The lexical elaboration process aims to provide the reader additional information about the words in the text with definitions, synonyms and explanations of the terms. Words considered hard to ready are in general the target of lexical elaboration. In Facilita Educacional is proposed the use of synonyms for difficult words (known by little number of language speakers). The synonyms were taken from the thesaurus TeP. Synonyms are presented only for words that are not in a easy words list presented in the study of Caseli et al. (2008). A study on the presentation of synonymous words in simplicity order is already in progress. It is also developing the synonyms inflection related to the difficult words in the text. The inflection allows synonymous of nouns appear in plural also appear in the plural, and synonyms of verbs keep the tense of the original word, among other operations.

Architectural Project

In order to deliver this functionality we will make use of three distinct textual processing modules already available:

  • Readability: some of the textual processing techniques that we use require the establishment of concrete relations among the words that belong to a phrase in the text (syntactic analysis). So that we can identify phrases inside any page that is being presented to users we will use the Readability application ([1]) implemented by the Arc90. The Readability application selects a specific element inside the page that contains the "main" content, and in this "main" content it becomes easier to identify phrases.
  • Proper nouns recognition: next we need to identify and present users with informations about proper nouns and other elements that might contain some implicit information inside a text. As an example we can look into the expression "Luis Inácio Lula da Silva" which is the name of the President of Brazil. This information is not necessarily available on the text, but is implicit in the expression. In order to make this implicit information available to users, we will make use of Rembrandt ([2]). Rembrandt automatically identifies proper nouns inside phrases and provide some additional information about them, and also direct these terms to their correspondent link in the wikipedia.
  • Lexical elaboration: finally the last module evaluates the complexity of each word separately. And accordingly to the result of this evaluation Educational Facilita will present the user with synonyms for this word that might be more easily understood by users. We already implemented a very similar functionality in [3] in the PorSimples Project ([4]) and will probably reuse it in the Jetpack platform.

These three modules will run in a pipeline just like illustrated in the following figure: Textual processing architecture.

It is important to acknowledge that the Educational Facilita will be implemented, initially, just for Brazilian Portuguese. Given that the applications and modules already implemented are directed to this language. However, the migration of Educational Facilita to other languages just require the substitution of the presented modules by other modules with the same functionality for other languages. Following the same architecture.

Now, going for the technological details of the proposed solution for Educational Facilita. Each of the three modules is implemented in a different environment, in a way that they not necessarily can be implemented in Javascript or in the Jetpack Platform. For example, the Lexical Elaboration module was developed in clear php, while the Proper Nouns recognition operates over groove in Java language. This kind of characteristics among the modules, leads us in the use of webservices to deliver these functionality together in the Educational Facilita. More specifically we will probably use REST to integrate these functionalities.

Besides the modules described, we also plan on using two other resources for other varied functions:

  • JQuery UI to reuse some interface components for the Educational Facilita presentation.
  • Wikipedia to present users with definitions and other informations about the proper nouns identified.

This way, in the technological point of view, the architecture should work like illustrated in the following figure.

Web Technological Architecture.

In this point, we expect two phases of development which lead to direct functional prototypes to be evaluated:

  1. Prototype with Proper nouns recognition and related information presentation
  2. Prototype with Lexical Elaboration

This will be the order since the Lexical Elaboration process require the execution of Proper nouns recognition before it.

All other modules (Readability, JQuery UI and Wikipedia) will need to be integrated through the Jetpack platform previously to the first functional prototype delivery.

Team members

  1. Arnaldo Candido Junior
  2. Marcelo Adriano Amâncio
  3. Matheus de Oliveira
  4. Willian Massami Watanabe.
  5. José Augusto Costa Martins Junior

Mockups and Prototypes

  1. mockup

ToDo list

  1. Studying jetpack development platform