1. Jeanne Reis
  2. Executive Director, ASL Clear Principal Investigator
  3. The ASL Clear Project: Engaging Deaf Students in STEM Learning
  4. http://www.asleducation.org/pages/stem.html
  5. CRT at The Learning Center for the Deaf, Inc., Harvard Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM), Boston University
  1. Lorne Farovitch
  2. PhD Student
  3. The ASL Clear Project: Engaging Deaf Students in STEM Learning
  4. http://www.asleducation.org/pages/stem.html
  5. University of Rochester
  1. Mandy Houghton
  2. http://www.asleducation.org
  3. Program Manager
  4. The ASL Clear Project: Engaging Deaf Students in STEM Learning
  5. http://www.asleducation.org/pages/stem.html
  6. CRT at The Learning Center for the Deaf, Inc.
  1. Barbara Spiecker
  2. ASL STEM Outreach and Training Coordinator
  3. The ASL Clear Project: Engaging Deaf Students in STEM Learning
  4. http://www.asleducation.org/pages/stem.html
  5. CRT at The Learning Center for the Deaf, Inc.
Facilitators’
Choice
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:27 a.m.

    Please enjoy this video about “The ASL Clear Project: Engaging Deaf Students in STEM Learning,” which provides a brief look at a few of the positive impacts of this project being experienced by K-12 teachers and students. The project began in 2005, and there have been many more discoveries we look forward to sharing - it was a challenge to choose one to summarize in 3 minutes! We are very excited to be developing a new set of specialized ASL materials in partnership with Harvard’s Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (http://ciqm.harvard.edu/), which will be made available to CIQM’s faculty, ASL interpreters, and Deaf interns from Gallaudet University. 

    Visit our online browser-based app at http://aslclear.org (mobile development funding coming soon, we hope!). If you’re not an ASL signer, click ‘English’ at the top right to see the text associated with each unit. There are many units in our pipeline awaiting release, and many more topics to develop. For more information on the Center for Research and Training at The Learning Center of the Deaf, please visit our website at: http://www.asleducation.org/ and, if you wish, follow the ASL Clear Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ASLClear/

    Our team looks forward to discussing your comments and questions! We also have a few questions of our own, which we invite you to consider and respond to:

    • How did you most effectively learn STEM concepts in school? What role did academic texts and vocabulary in your language play in learning STEM content?
    • Why is it critical that projects like this one be led and shaped by Deaf subject matter experts?
    • What benefits do you see in learning STEM through a visual, three-dimensional language?
    • What elements do you believe would support and enrich STEM education with deaf ASL signing K-12 students?
  • May 13, 2019 | 08:54 a.m.

    Hello from the Educational Neuroscience program at Gallaudet University! We have a lot of interests in common with you. I have several other comments and ideas, but for now, a simple question. Any plans to add neuroscience or brain-related terms to your online resource? In our program and research labs here we have a robust ASL neuroscience vocabulary, but the vocabulary is not well-standardized or documented. 

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 10:46 a.m.

    Hello Lorna! What you're describing would be a perfect collaboration between our two teams! And the work we're doing with Harvard and Gallaudet for the CIQM project would provide a great model. We'd be delighted to partner with you all in pursuing funding and developing neuroscience and brain-related modules. How has your team documented the neuroscience vocabulary you've created within your lab?

     
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    Lorna Quandt
  • May 13, 2019 | 01:27 p.m.

    I am not aware of any documentation efforts yet. We would be thrilled to chat about making progress towards this. I'm happy to discover a shared interest here. Thanks for a great video!

     
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    Jeanne Reis
  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 12:08 p.m.

    Watching the teachers and students use signed STEM terms, developed by your project, offered a really good illustration of the needs of deaf students and barriers they encounter in STEM classrooms. The importance of including deaf subject matter experts was also evident.  I'm looking forward to visiting your website!  

    Would you explain a little more about the process through which educators identify terms/concepts that require specialized signs, and how you go about developing and testing them?  When you introduce new STEM signs to students, how do you measure whether the new sign seems promising or needs further revision before sharing it broadly?

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 01:23 p.m.

    Thanks for your comments and the great questions, Karen! Over the past 15 years, our team has refined a multi-step process of evaluating drafts of ASL instructional materials and newly coined vocabulary. We begin with several rounds of internal review and then invite external evaluators into the process. As part of the internal review phase, Deaf subject matter experts begin using the new ASL terms immediately in their own academic discourse - as professionals, scholars, and teachers - which serves as a very rigorous testing ground! So rigorous, in fact, our experience is that a very high percentage of the signs released on ASL Clear are well-received and adopted by users. We're writing up a paper on this very topic (in press soon, we hope). It would be wonderful to conduct a formal study and get some solid data on this question. 

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:28 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing that additional information--I certainly expected that the process was a rigorous one, but it is good to see the intensity of the internal stages followed by external evaluator involvement whose "outsider" perspective is likely to support refinements.  I'll watch your website for the paper--I'm eager to learn more!  Your response also highlights, again, the essential role of deaf subject matter experts.

    I think the field would benefit from a formal study when your project is ready.  In particular, understanding the immediate affordances and challenges that ASL Clear provides for deaf educators, who are not subject matter experts but who provide regular support for students, might be important to investigate.  

    Best wishes on your continued work! 

  • May 14, 2019 | 01:38 p.m.

    Hi Jeanne,

    Great video about the ASL Clear project.  You probably know that I have been thinking about this for many years.  It is great to see that you have more support to expand the project.  It is very much needed.  How many STEM terms are now in the ASL Clear database?  What is the goal in terms of number of signs and STEM areas you will be covering?

    Richard

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 05:29 p.m.

    Hi Richard,

    Good to see you in this forum; I enjoyed your video presentation as well! Of course, I am very familiar with your interest and work in this area, and appreciate how much we agree on the need. 

    This effort was supported primarily by the Mass Dept of Elementary and Secondary Education for over a decade, and during that time we developed K-12 materials related to the Mass Frameworks and Common Core Curriculum, and designed and built the prototype online application. We created and internally evaluated well over 1,000 STEM terms, and at last count, over 500 final terms were in the ASL Clear database. That partnership brought the project a very long way, and ended last June. 

    Since ASL Clear was released, we've received over 1200 requests for new terms and topics from users. Our goal is to fulfill those requests -- and then expand endlessly until all STEM topics are in the database. Why aim for anything less? 

    Our recent projects have been more specialized. With support from NOAA, and in partnership with education coordinators from the New England estuarine reserves, we developed 4 modules related to water quality and estuaries and provided training to teachers and interpreters. For the Harvard CIQM project, which began in January, a team of Deaf subject matter experts are developing modules related to quantum materials and physics.

    This road always leads us to interesting places! 

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 09:55 p.m.

    It's truly a shock to me that this area of ASL development is just happening now, and how wonderful that your team is getting it done (finally!). My oldest son has Down Syndrome, causing him to struggle with spoken language in his early years. It's common to teach sign language to young children like him and their families/community. He is in his twenties now but I remember learning some WONDERFUL signs that in three dimensions captured exactly what the term communicated. Some of our favorites were whale and helicopter and crab (delightful). I was reminded when I saw what your ASL Clear team brought to "photosynthesis." You ask about benefits, I'm sure they are far wider than for just those who can't communicate without sign language. Embodying the meaning of a word with shape and movement in your hands feels like a legitimate element of "universal design for learning." Are you familiar with UDL and have you spoken to them? I'm already inspired by the connection your team makes here in the Video Showcase with the SAIL team. Wow!! 

  • May 15, 2019 | 03:50 p.m.

    Yes, thanks for tagging me in! There is so much that can be done to use ASL in education more effectively. Many teams here at Gallaudet University are making exciting progress on this front, but there is a whole wide world of possibilities. 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 06:03 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more, Sarah! There are so many overlapping avenues to explore and UDL is definitely one of them - I would happily spend an entire career on that topic alone. Our team also finds inquiry-based / experiential learning fascinating, very complementary to the materials we develop, and really engaging to deaf learners (and many non-deaf learners too, right?). 

    Whale and helicopter and crab are definitely delightful signs - we each have our favorite signs from the ASL Clear database too - I think the winners at the moment are Ecosystem, Base 10, Photosynthesis, Protein, and Pythagorean Theorem.  :) 

    And to Lorna's point, it does still feel like we're in the early stages of using ASL to increase engagement and rigor in bilingual education with deaf and other signing students -  even after 30+ years in the field! At The Center for Research and Training at TLC (CRT), we're so happy to be seeing progress firsthand -- it's amazing to be in the room when kids eyes light up as they really 'get' a concept, and engage at lightening speed in ASL about a specimen on a microscope slide, and discuss an area of research with a Deaf scientist. 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2019 | 10:26 p.m.

    Jeanne! Where are the links to the video dictionary where I can look up Ecosystem, Base 10, Protein, and Pythagorean Theorem?? What a delightful tease!! I'm so engaged!! This is for everyone...Please, more, soon. I could only give you one "like" but I will find other ways to highlight this fantastic project! Are you in Boston? Can I come meet you?? :)

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:06 p.m.

    Your reply brought a huge smile to my face, Sarah! It would be great to meet you. My office is at The Learning Center of the Deaf in Framingham, and I'm in Boston regularly too - let's connect directly and figure out which works best. 

    Two of the signs I mentioned have been uploaded to ASL Clear, and two aren't up yet (we have a slew of materials in the pipeline, but haven't been able to continue the work of review, revise and finalize since the state partnership ended last June).

    Pythagorean Theorem is part of a unit that's still in production, but I could share a clip with you directly. 
    Protein is part of a really great genetics unit, also not released yet. But we shared a set of DNA-related signs on the ASL Clear Facebook page, so our network could have access to at least the vocabulary for now. The sign is in this clip from the 1st post in our 'DNA Week' series: 
    https://www.facebook.com/ASLClear/videos/312959712705107/  

    And these two signs are released in ASL Clear: 
    Ecosystem: https://clear.aslstem.com/app/#/terms?term=438
    B
    ase 10: https://clear.aslstem.com/app/#/engsearch?enquiry=base%2010

    Thanks! 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
    Lorna Quandt
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2019 | 09:14 a.m.

    I just messaged you on Linked In

  • May 15, 2019 | 04:20 p.m.

    What a great project...and video! Has your project ventured into informal STEM learning environments as well, or primarily K-12? 

     
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    Lorna Quandt
    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 06:18 p.m.

    Thanks for the kind words, Brooks! Yes, and that work is so much fun. We've had the pleasure of collaborating with The Discovery Museum in Acton, Mass, and the National Estuarine Reserves of New England (with NOAA funding). We're discussing projects with several other informal STEM learning venues as well. 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Judy Vesel

    Judy Vesel

    Researcher
    May 17, 2019 | 08:52 a.m.

    Jeanne:

    We should talk. We have  incorporated quite a few terms into our glossaries for use in informal venues that might be of interest/use to your project. If you take a look at our video, you'll see what we are doing.

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 06:40 a.m.

    Hi Judy - I'd be happy to find a time to meet again, it's been years since we touched base at BU! Since then, there have been many new developments - we released ASL Clear in 2017, with materials and ASL STEM terms developed by the team very well received by the community of critical stakeholders, to our great delight. We've presented to educators, researchers, and STEM scholars nationally and internationally, and this network consistently reports that our ASL materials are directly applicable to instruction, lesson planning, and projects such as yours. I saw your video earlier in the week - will post my comments and questions today.

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 19, 2019 | 04:44 p.m.

    Jeanne, 

    I just mentioned ASL Clear to another vidoehall presentation team, an International Network for STEM Media-making. Eric Hamilton, their Lead, is a colleague at Pepperdine where I adjunct in a doctoral program. He is interested in boundary-crossing using videoconferencing across geographic boarders around the planet. Employing universal signs for science and math concepts seemed another way of crossing boundaries, or perhaps thinking about other learners who use ASL to communicate to join the exchange. 

    It may be a stretch but I thought you might be interested in their work.

  • Icon for: Jeanne Reis

    Jeanne Reis

    Lead Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 01:08 p.m.

    I will definitely check it out, Sarah, and thanks for sharing our work with them. 

  • Small default profile

    Benjamin Lovell

    Graduate Student
    May 20, 2019 | 08:10 a.m.

    This video provides clear information about STEM classes and teachers being able to sign clearly to help students understand the meaning of the sign language they apply to the subject. :) 

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.