November 20th, 2019

Activity summary

In this activity, we used the "Sound Canvas" experiment, which is a simple drawing tool that works through both sight and sound. In the first half of the session, each student was provided with an iPad with the experiment running on it. Students had about 10-15 minutes to try the app and make drawings with their fingertips. In the second half of the session, students were invited to use the Promethean board and try drawing on the large screen.

Drawing made by a studentDrawing made by a studentDrawing made by a studentDrawing made by a student


  • Observe and compare the interactions between the small screen devices e.g. tablets and large screen devices e.g. Promethean Board
  • Observe students response to audio feedback
  • Learn more about visual and 2D interactions that are accompanied by a sound

Notes from the session

  • Teachers had to use activate "Guided Access" on the iPads to block certain areas on the interface and prevent students from accidentally touching different controls or links
  • Adding sound as a supporting stimulus seemed helpful in most cases
  • More than one teacher asked if we could change colors or sounds which wasn’t possible with Sound Canvas
  • Some students wanted to use their wrists or entire hands to interact, not just fingers, which we weren’t able to accommodate
  • Students weren’t able to use both hands at the same time 
  • Most students were able to maintain contact with the touch surface long enough to emulate drag and drop function
  • We observed one student who remained engaged regardless of whether the sound was on or off. We didn’t try this with most of the students. 
  • One of the teachers suggested adding light to this demo to make it more engaging for students

Notes for C2LC design

  • Option to turn the sound on/off is very important
  • Option to change the color of the lines
  • Option to change the thickness of the lines by pressure
  • Option for multiple pointers, so individual students can use both hands or multiple students could collaborate at the same time. 
  • Option to quickly save and export images 
  • Option to insert images so students can draw on top of the images and educators can use this as a tracing activity
  • Option to zoom in/out of canvas