Primary school pupils lend researchers a helping hand

January 11, 2016, University of Twente
Primary school pupils lend researchers a helping hand

One hundred primary school pupils will be coming to University of Twente on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 January to test the creative possibilities of some of our new technologies. During this 'tech test' at the DesignLab, the children will become acquainted with around 15 different projects including a serious game that teaches them financial literacy, programming a robot, a music game, a creative game with marbles and an app for sensible internet use. Children's experiences will be measured and they will contribute to various University of Twente design and research projects.

Many of the above-mentioned products have been designed by teams of students from three degree programmes: Creative Technology, Computer Science and Business Information Technology. "Two months ago these students were asked to design something new, with a focus on user experience", explains Dennis Reidsma, researcher and lecturer in the Creative Technology programme. "These two days will show to what extent their design is suitable for children."

Game of Tag 2.0

The visiting primary school pupils in the age range of 9-11 go to the Constantijn school in Rijssen and the ESV school in Enschede. The visit is organized by the UT department of Human Media Interaction. Researchers are taking this opportunity to evaluate several creative and technological products such as Game of tag 2.0 (Socially adaptive interactive playground), by PhD students Robby van Delden and Alejandro Moreno. In this project, two projectors, hanging from the ceiling, create a five-by-five metre playing field. Four Xbox 360 Kinect sensors register your movements. The researchers are looking into ways to get children to be more active, but they also want to analyse children's behaviour and see how they react when the system intervenes.

Other Dutch and European from researchers consortia COMMIT, EASEL and SQUIRREL will be evaluated with the help of children whose parents have given their consent.

Children's experiences are very useful

"The children's visit is very useful to our research group, as we are currently conducting a lot of research into new interactive technologies for children, aimed at learning experiences and game play experiences", says Reidsma. "We will put our research to the test during the 's visit to the DesignLab and our students will try out some new ideas. The results will be useful for us. The results of research in the area of play, learning and technology should yield new insights and lead to new developments that will end up in schools and at home in the future", concludes Reidsma.

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