To show how cool I found her interest in ASL, I reached into my bookshelf and dug out a book I bought over 10 years ago but never got around to reading: "The American Sign Language Directory" by Peter Adams.
My daughter immediately challenged me with a learning project: learn the alphabet in ASL within two days. Not one to shy away from a challenge, I immediately set out to find some useful resources on the web to help me learn the alphabet really quickly. (I've listed my favourite resources at the bottom of this post.)
In this fun exercise of learning ASL along with my kid, I found a feel-good kind of intertwingularity: a common and intertwingled interest in learning something, intertwingled learning process/journey, and an "apple doesn't fall far from the tree" warm fuzzies. Très cool.
As always, it didn't take long for intertwingulitis to set in. The scope of this project (learning ASL) immediately grew into something bigger when these intertwingled thoughts materialized:
- I really enjoy hobby programming and am fascinated with SpiderBasic, so why not create a SpiderBasic client-side web application to help learn American Sign Language as I'm learning it? (i.e. create my version of this pretty sweet tool)
- I love (LOVE) organizing info with wikis and am fascinated with TiddlyWiki, so why not treat this effort (to learn ASL and build a related application) like a major software development project, and create a "project web site" with TiddlyWiki ?
- Opportunity: use this wiki as a work in progress example showcasing:
- the features and benefits of wikis in general
- the features and benefits of TiddlyWiki specifically
- TiddlyWiki "How To's"
- a "project documentation" process (i.e. Intertwingularity Mapping?)
Today, I've put together the "infrastructure" of the project web site and some barely-there beginning content: CJ's ASL Project.
That was easy. The rest of it will incrementally and iteratively evolve over time.
Next, the hard part: the analysis, design, and implementation of an ASL - learning application. Stay tuned ...
Some ASL Alphabet Resources
In the meantime, if you have an interested in American Sign Language, I've found these very helpful:
- ASL Alphabet Charts Google Search
- Wikibooks' American Sign Language/Fingerspelling
- Dr. Bill Vicars' ASL.ms fingerspelling tool
- (I prefer the tool's "vanilla" mobile version)
Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!