JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Two professors from Arkansas State University have invented a tool to help students take notes. . .by texting!
Dr. Ralph Ruby, Jr. and Dr. Paula Ruby of ASU recently conducted research in teaching strategies, which lead to a new invention!
Dr. Ralph Ruby, "The major part of our research has been in learning and teaching strategies and in the last four years it's been primarily learning strategies. All of our research pointed to and indicated the fact that note taking increases retention level, thus with retention levels increased test scores will naturally follow. So, we wanted to know how we could take and develop some type of instrument that would help our students increase their retention level. And we looked around and we saw our students using their thumbs doing this thing which we were not familiar with. And as we started talking to them we found out that was texting. And we found out, again, as we were doing more research over the last couple of years, texting has increased at a geometric proportion. Not only in the United States, but around the world."
Next came the question, "How do we incorporate this texting with note taking?"
The answer. . . the Ruby Translator.
It's a software program that allows students to take notes using shorthand text messaging and then it can be translated into full text later and saved onto Microsoft Word for studying.
"It's really a communications tool. It's not just designed for those who are in the texting generation. This is an important tool for parents who would like to know what their children are texting."
But the Ruby Translator isn't confined to the English language. According to Dr. Ruby, as long as there's a dictionary available it can be used in a multitude of languages, "Our database we call a dictionary and as long as it has a dictionary, if it has a Russian dictionary it can translate in Russian. If it has a Spanish dictionary, it can translate in Spanish. It can translate in any English in which there's a keyboard to input data."
The Ruby Translator is also being used by a number of law enforcement agencies, such as the Boston Police Department and the Spokane Border Patrol. Law enforcement officials says they are using this tool to have their informants text information to them.
"We recently talked to several fire departments and found fire departments and 911 coordinators are using texting to get information quickly so they can get out and save lives. So, we're finding out that this has a multitude of possibilities for use to helping individuals."
The Ruby Translator is currently available in Windows and Mac. In two to three weeks it will be available on IPAD, IPOD, and Droid.
For more information about the Ruby Translator, log on to their website.