March 1, 2024

Professor and Student Help Kindergarten and First-Grade Learn their Short Vowel Sounds using Technology

Jennifer A. Polack-Wahl, Professor of Computer Science, and Jacob Bowman, junior Computer Science Student, iPhone/iTouch app Short Vowel Mahjong is now free on iTunes.  In the last three days 109 downloads have occurred.  The downloads have primarily been in the United States but they included Australia,  Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, China, Hong Kong, France, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Korea, UK, and Spain.

This app was made specifically at the request of Heather Howe a Kindergarten and First Grade teacher at Hartwood Elementary. Heather wanted a game that would reinforce short vowel recognition.  Jacob and Jennifer A. Polack-Wahl brainstormed a variety of ideas and decided on a Mahjong style game.  The list of words we used was approved by Heather and included approximately seven different words in each vowel (a, e, i, o, and u).

The app is for anyone who wants to help their children or students to reinforce short vowel sounds or start short vowel recognition.   You do need either an iTouch or iPhone with IOS 4.0 to play the game.  We want to find out how to make it better so we can aid elementary education, we are in it for the kids.

Continue to check out for more games in education.  Our ice cream Math game is our next to be submitted to the app store.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.