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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
Curated by Josué Cardona
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Stroke Hero: Gamification Raises Stroke Knowledge in Young Children

Stroke Hero: Gamification Raises Stroke Knowledge in Young Children | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Researchers from Columbia University have now showed us that a video game can help increase stroke awareness in young children.

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Trip Hawkins' new game focuses on social emotional learning

Trip Hawkins' new game focuses on social emotional learning | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Trip Hawkins, the founder of Electronic Arts and EA Sports, is turning his attention to social emotional learning with a new game to help 6- to 12-year-olds develop social skills that can help prevent bullying and help build better relationships...

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Reg Corney's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:54 PM

This is such a great idea. Trip has made his money in the gaming industry and now turns his focus to emotional learning. Great work

Dana Eckhoff's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:21 PM

Excited to see what the huddled masses at EA can do when turned loose on a game for good.

Deborah Banker's curator insight, December 20, 2013 8:08 AM

Finally, found one for the little ones!

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Boy, 10, saves family in speeding car, credits hours of Mario Kart experience

Boy, 10, saves family in speeding car, credits hours of Mario Kart experience | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
A 10-year-old Colorado boy who likes to play Mario Kart and drive go-Karts grabbed the wheel of his great-grandmother's speeding car when she passed out and guided it safely off the highway.
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Nolan foote's curator insight, November 12, 2013 9:51 AM

Wow how can a 10 year old boy do this. All the games he had played growing up Mario Kart it really helped save his brother and his grandma great  that's what they called her. The 10-year old colorado boy drove the car into the muddy ditch where soon the car came to a stop. He told his younger brother to keep playing his game and told him your doing great keep it up. Even though there was a car far ahead of them on a highway he new what do to and he did it right. Grandma great had passed out and the boy tried to get her up but he new he had to take the wheel.

Sarah Hibbeln's curator insight, November 12, 2013 10:01 AM

This article surprised me a lot! I always have thought that some video games were a waste of time but to me Mario Kart came very handy in this situation. The ten year old boy knew exactly what to do and from what I know is that Mario Kart doesn't include a lot of things in a real-life car! For example, the gas pedal, brake pedal, the consequencnes of hitting someone, and moving in and out of a lane, which lane you should be in, which lane you shouldn't not be in. And he didn't have the control of the brake so how could he have possibly got off the highway when there was probably a high chance of a stoplight after you got off the highway? I think that he might have have jumped into his grandma's lap but still how could he have reaches the pedals. It might have been that he pulled over into the grass off the road. Now that I know about this current event, I'm going to play more Mario Kart just in case!! 

robyns tut's curator insight, November 25, 2013 5:56 AM

we are usually inclinde to beleve that the lessons learnt from games are thosed of violence, but this proves that i depends on the game and the player  and not all games are "bad"- Justine Pearce

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Video Game Therapy Used To Help Treat Kids With Chronic Pain

Video Game Therapy Used To Help Treat Kids With Chronic Pain | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. opened a new pain care complex this week which was built to introduce video games as a way to help young patients eliminate chronic pain. The games are specially designed and combined with Microsoft’s Kinect to help young patients improve their health without realizing it as games ask them to paint, play and exercise while doctors are on hand to analyze their range of motion.

Josué Cardona's insight:

Check out the video in the link. It shows how kids are using the intereactive programs and gives a glimpse of the potential of  what this new complex can achieve. The "pod beds" also look very interesting.

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Céline Merchiers's curator insight, May 20, 2013 3:12 PM

This article shows an interesting combination of the hospitals services combined with the use of a special video game in a new pain care complex. This video game is specially designed and combined with Microsoft's Kinect to help young patients improve their health without realizing it while playing the game. The use of ICT in this case gives the patient the opportunity to perform a better range of motion and feeling a greater distraction from their pain.

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Video Games May Sharpen Focusing Skills in Kids With Dyslexia

Video Games May Sharpen Focusing Skills in Kids With Dyslexia | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Study found children did better on reading tests after playing an action game
Josué Cardona's insight:

This article explains a study out of Italy that shows that video games may help kids with dyslexia improve their reading skills. 

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"Kiddio" App May Help Parents Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables

"Kiddio" App May Help Parents Get Kids to Eat More Vegetables | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

When complete, "Kiddio: Food Fight!" will give parents of preschoolers a fun, interactive way to learn some of the best approaches for getting their kids to eat more vegetables, according to Tom Baranowski, who leads the team that is developing the app.

 

The videogame project, funded by the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, will draw upon five studies that the Houston scientists have conducted over the past decade. These studies, involving thousands of parents, kids, and nutrition-related professionals, are examples of what has become known as "behavioral nutrition," a comparatively new scientific discipline that has roots in both psychology and nutrition.

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Study finds asking kids 'What would Batman eat?' improves their food choices

Study finds asking kids 'What would Batman eat?' improves their food choices | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

In the ongoing battle to get children to eat healthfully, parents may do well invoking the names of superheroes to come to their rescue, say Cornell researchers.

 

Just as Popeye inspired a generation to eat spinach, such role models as Spiderman or Batman could help children make healthy choices, according to Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing and director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

 

Wansink, with postdoctoral researcher Mitsuru Shimizu and visiting graduate student Guido Camps of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, conducted a study in which 22 children, ages 6-12, at a summer camp were asked if they wanted "apple fries" (thinly sliced raw apples) or French fries during several consecutive Wednesday lunches.

 

During one of those lunches, the children were first presented with 12 photos of real and fictional role models and asked, "Would this person order apple fries or French fries?"

Josué Cardona's insight:

The oringal link seems to have changed. You can find the article at: http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2012/05/considering-what-batman-would-eat-helps-kids-diets

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Healthy Future Pediatrics Incorporating Technology To Improve Medicine

Healthy Future Pediatrics Incorporating Technology To Improve Medicine | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Instead of being cluttered with patent’s files, Dr. Carl Lindgren’s personal office space includes the latest high tech gadgets. Lindgren has recently adopted a new online interface called Chadis. Once registered, parents use the website to answer a series of questions prior to each check-up.

 

Even though the Healthy Future Pediatrics front office staff personally answer each phone call, the practice is focused on using technology to simplify the health care process.

 

Providers carry small notebook computers between exam rooms and the office operates entirely with electronic medical records. All prescriptions are sent electrically and Lindgren jokes that “the script is at the pharmacy before the parent leaves the exam room.”

 

“I view technology as a powerful tool to improve the quality of health care. This is the future,” Lindgren summarizes.

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Video Game Therapy in India

Video Game Therapy in India | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Game therapy is still a complete new concept in India... However, it is not that gaming therapy hasn't set foot in the country. We came across the Jumpstart Therapy Centre in Mumbai (Prabhadevi and Navi Mumbai) which implements video game therapy to treat children suffering from developmental challenges like Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Dyslexia, ADHD, Learning Disorders, and Intellectual Challenges. The Centre guides parents and trains children who have these developmental challenges through modern gaming consoles, like Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2 and specially designed software for the iPad 2.

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Game Play Has No Negative Impact on Kids, UK Study Finds

Game Play Has No Negative Impact on Kids, UK Study Finds | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

A massive study of some 11,000 youngsters in Britain has found that playing video games, even as early as five years old, does not lead to later behavior problems.

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Michael MacNeil's curator insight, January 21, 11:22 AM

Time for a deep sigh of relief, parents.

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Research Says Parents And Kids Should Play Video Games Together

Research Says Parents And Kids Should Play Video Games Together | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Two studies look at the benefits of intergenerational video game play. Both found that playing video games with your kids has a positive impact on adolescent development and long-term family outcomes.

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Cardiff University comic book project helps African youngsters deal with misery of AIDs

Cardiff University comic book project helps African youngsters deal with misery of AIDs | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Language experts use graphics to demolish myths associated with continent's biggest killer
Josué Cardona's insight:

This project has two parts: It gave children a way to share their experiences and express their feelings about AIDs and it culminated in a book for broad distribution.

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Shadow Quill 's curator insight, July 31, 2013 8:09 PM

What a wonderful way to apply comic books to allow the kids to express themselves about AIDS

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New Research Suggests Extended 'Screen Time' Does Not Breed Bad Behavior in Young Children

New Research Suggests Extended 'Screen Time' Does Not Breed Bad Behavior in Young Children | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Although researchers said that they did find a slight correlation between the two, they also found that other influences like "parenting styles" are more of a cause than regular long periods of screen time. The reason they continue to advise less screen time is because it cuts into other important activities like spending time playing with friends, doing homework, and spending time with parents and siblings.


"We found no effect with screen time for most of the behavioural and social problems that we looked at and only a very small effect indeed for conduct problems, such as fighting or bullying," said lead author Dr. Alison Parkes.

Josué Cardona's insight:

Here's another study showing the traditional bias against "screen time" is unfounded.

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Health and Wellness Apps for Kids Promoting Healthier Living

Health and Wellness Apps for Kids Promoting Healthier Living | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Now, healthcare professionals and tech companies are attempting to promote healthier living among children and help those children who are sick cope with their illnesses.

 

When it comes to getting kids to eat healthier, there are several tools that can help. Food N’ Me is an interactive website that aims to promote healthy eating among children. Also within the category of helping children eat healthy is ZisBoomBah, which offers online educational games to help children and parents learn about food in a fun way. KidsDental aims to teach children about basic tooth care by using Pixar-like animated characters.

 

Technology is also encouraging children to get active. Work It Off is an Android app that teaches children how they can work off the calories they ingest. Trainer is a game developed by a group of students from The University of Southern California... The goal of the game is to give children the opportunity to discover and share health information. iOS app MotionMaze is a puzzle game powered by movement. 

 

Tech companies are also attempting to improve children’s health for those affected with illness. Jerry the Bear, aims to help children with Type 1 diabetes manage their illness using a teddy bear embedded with hardware, AI and accompanying software. The Pain Squad Mobile App collects data on the child’s pain so it could be more effectively managed.

 

Clearly, the way in which the world is approaching the topic of children’s health is a revolution in progress. Technology is encouraging children to eat right, be active and take ownership of their health. However, getting children to actually adopt, continuously use and enjoy these types of educational digital experiences may prove to be the biggest challenge.

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‘Game-based’ learning

‘Game-based’ learning | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Check out the classroom of the future, Bill Gates’ style: Students are grouped according to skill set. One cluster huddles around a computer terminal, playing an educational game or working on a simulator. Another works with a human teacher getting direct instruction, while another gets a digital lesson delivered from their teacher’s avatar.

 

This kind of “game-based” learning is one of the priorities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the Microsoft creator.

 

Two years ago, the nonprofit brought together 20 of the country’s best assessment designers with 20 of the world’s best game designers to discuss creating games that engage kids more deeply, said Vicki Phillips, director of the college ready strategy for the Gates Foundation.

 

“Part of what we’re trying to do is make more robust the array of things teachers have access to at their fingertips that are aligned to standards, that are high quality, that engage kids though technology and let [teachers] be the orchestra leader,” Phillips said.

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Lego Fans Helping Kids with Autism

Lego Fans Helping Kids with Autism | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Lego fans have formed an international advocacy organization to champion an innovative group-based social development program.

 

Called ASD Aid, the organization has grown into the global focus point for Adult Fans of Lego (AFOLs) who are dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in our communities and improving access to services. Many fans have witnessed firsthand the power of Lego play to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders communicate and grow.
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Virtual Training Can Reduce Kids’ Social Anxiety

Virtual Training Can Reduce Kids’ Social Anxiety | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
New research shows how technology can be used to create an ideal setting for teaching skills to children with anxiety. 

 

Researchers at the University of Central Florida’s Anxiety Disorders Clinic and the Atlanta-based company Virtually Better developed a new, one-of-a-kind computer simulation program that enables children to interact with avatars playing the roles of classmates, teachers and a principal.

 

The simulation, designed for children ages 8 to 12, allows clinicians to play the roles of the avatars while the children sit at a computer in a different room and respond to situations they encounter routinely.

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Video games help autistic students in classrooms

Video games help autistic students in classrooms | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Researchers are studying if off-the-shelf video games can spark a breakthrough in treating autism.

 

Can off-the-shelf video games spark a breakthrough in treating autism? That's the question researchers are asking as educators quietly discover the therapeutic uses of motion-controlled sensors. The devices are popular with gamers: Microsoft this week said it had sold more than 19 million Kinect motion-sensor units since introducing it in November 2010.

 

Now autism researchers, teachers and therapists are installing them in classrooms and clinics, reporting promising results for a fraction of the price of typical equipment. Could a teacher armed with a $300 Xbox and a $10 copy of Double Fine Happy Action Theater do as much good as months of intensive therapy?


"Nobody thought of it as a therapeutic device," said Marc Sirkin of Autism Speaks, a New York-based advocacy group. Earlier this spring, when he first got wind of computer engineering students at the University of Michigan hacking the Kinect to develop autism games, he bought a ticket on a red-eye flight to see for himself. "It turns out you don't have to look very far, you don't have to scratch very deep, to go, 'Wait a minute. There's something really cool here.' "

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