Game a chal­lenge for ed­u­cat­ing kids

Midland Reporter - - News -

MANY chil­dren have seen aug­mented re­al­ity in ac­tion through Poke­mon Go but at the Con­sta­ble Care Safety School, the gam­ingstyle tech­nol­ogy helps chil­dren see and ex­pe­ri­ence sit­u­a­tions with­out putting them­selves in ac­tual dan­ger.

It’s a key part of the learn­ing pro­gram avail­able at the school, with chil­dren car­ry­ing iPads around the fa­cil­ity for a full in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence and to test their road aware­ness and nat­u­ral re­ac­tions.

“Through the tech­nol­ogy the stu­dents can learn what to do in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions, such as whether to ride or push their bikes at road cross­ings, or what to do if they drop their phones on a rail­way track,” Con­sta­ble Care Child Safety Foun­da­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive David Grib­ble said.

“This gam­ing style aug­mented re­al­ity will en­sure that chil­dren re­tain mes­sages that aren’t just en­gag­ing, they’re also po­ten­tially life-sav­ing.

“The tech­nol­ogy also al­lows hi-tech data col­lec­tion to give teach­ers a re­al­time view of their stu­dents’ progress as they over­come the risks pre­sented, with ev­ery­thing linked di­rectly back to the school cur­ricu­lum.” By point­ing the iPad at des­ig­nated marker posts around the school, chil­dren can in­ter­act with quizzes and an­i­ma­tions that act out their cho­sen ac­tion as if it were ac­tu­ally oc­cur­ring right there in front of them. For the chil­dren, it’s a clear mes­sage and demon­stra­tion as to whether their an­swer was the safe or un­safe op­tion. DSBS man­ag­ing direc­tor Ian Sloan is part of the IT firm that de­signed the tech­nol­ogy for the Con­sta­ble Care Child Safety Foun­da­tion. “We used an ex­ist­ing game en­gine Unity as a base for the soft­ware and de­signed ev­ery­thing else from there, in­clud­ing the an­i­ma­tions, mark­ers and the writ­ten con­tent which we cre­ated with School Drug Ed­u­ca­tion and Road Aware (SDERA) to keep in line with the cur­ricu­lum,” Mr Sloan said. “Our first thought when de­sign­ing was the ex­pe­ri­ence for the kids, to make sure they’re en­gag­ing and un­der­stand­ing in con­text so as to bet­ter re­mem­ber what they’ve been taught. “We are look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Con­sta­ble Care to make the tech­nol­ogy trans­portable to take out to re­mote schools.”

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