Interactive floor makes motion magic in schools and kindergartens
Schools, kindergartens and hospitals are increasingly adopting IT and digital media in order to utilise the educational potential of digital media. The most recent trend is an interactive learning floor, the so-called WizeFloor, which combines play, movement and learning. Visionary Danish schools and kindergartens use it to support learning as well as the development of children's social and motoric skills. Hospitals also started implementing the technology to help children recover faster.
An interactive floor that promotes physical motion, teamwork, communication and creativity through play is becoming an integrated part of children’s everyday life at visionary Danish schools, day care centers and hospitals.
From a Panasonic projector in the ceiling the WizeFloor projects different learning-games onto the floor. The children and students use their hands and feet to interact with the floor allowing them to solve various riddles and team tasks.
Experience shows that playful and socially integrative approaches foster a natural curiosity for gaining new knowledge and develop children's social and motoric skills. Moreover, the combination of a physical approach and the act of playing together enables educators to more easily reach children who otherwise find it difficult to concentrate.
Develops children’s social and motoric skills
The Danish kindergarten Porskjær is one of the institutions that has discovered the benefits of integrating digital media in the day care center combining it with interactive approaches and physical motion.
"IT and digital media have a huge educational potential that can be used in day care centers, especially when combined with motion and games. At Porskjær kindergarten the WizeFloor is used to promote children's social and motoric skills. In addition, this technology is highly effective when applied for children with special needs such as the need to improve their capacity for concentration and contemplation," says Rene Ipsen, educator and promoter of the acquisition of the WizeFloor in Porskjær kindergarten.
"Our children live in a world of digital media and it significantly affects the way they learn and play. The WizeFloor targets this intuitive way of learning and strengthens social interaction skills between the children. The children work together to solve the tasks and this develops their social skills to a greater extent," says Rene Ipsen.
The WizeFloor offers play and learning for both the physically strong children and the more quiet children."Mixing motion and learning stimulates the development of language, motoric skills and cooperation at the same time. This is also a great solution for the less physically active children who have little desire to participate in outdoor activities. The WizeFloor offers a new kind of physical arena, where children develop their motoric skills and physics, although they don’t like to play outside,” says Rene Ipsen.
Helps sick children recover faster
Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital at Odense University Hospital is the first healthcare institution in Denmark to have installed the WizeFloor to encourage kids to get out of their hospital beds and recover faster.
“The WizeFloor is like a dear friend who supports the kids through a hard time. When the children are hospitalised their bed becomes an important base for them, but the bed is not always the most effective and best way to recover”, says Arne Høst, Head of Hans Christian Andersen Children’s Hospital, Odense University Hospital. “The WizeFloor distracts children from negative emotions and, instead of lying in their beds, waiting to recover, the WizeFloor mobilizes them to get out of bed and have fun”, says Arne Høst.
The children’s play and movement at the WizeFloor also provides the health staff with a more varied clinical picture.
“The interactive floor, which stimulates the children both physically and mentally, is a tool that we can use indirectly in patient healthcare. We observe how the children behave, how they interact with others, what their motoric capabilities are and how they react to various external stimulus. This is valuable information for us as physicians. It provides us with a more detailed picture of the patient. And we also know that happy and stimulated children recover more quickly, ”, says Arne Høst.
The WizeFloor transforms an ordinary floor into an ongoing experience of movement, action, fun and excitement by detecting people's actions on a projection screen. Panasonic PT-VX500 & PT-DX610 either on the floor under a glass or mounted on the ceiling, projects different learning and game applications onto the floor. Children and students use their hands and feet to interact with the floor allowing them to solve various tasks, and the system uses camera-tracking to create a user interface in which multiple people can interact simultaneously.
The WizeFloor promotes collaboration, physical activity, communication, teamwork and sharing of knowledge. The solution comes with a bundle of interactive software and allows the users to create their own learning games that can include both audio, text and images. Through an app all content can be created, managed and activated on the floor. The WizeFloor is developed by Danish Solutors in cooperation with the Alexandra Institute.
The hospital school at Odense University Hospital has also decided to integrate the WizeFloor into their internal schooling program intended for long-term hospitalised patients.