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Great interest in games and children's physical activity

Published: 18 October 2017

Anna-Karin Lindqvist and Josef Hallberg, researchers at Luleå University of Technology, filled the The Great Northern in Skellefteå with their lecture on how digital games can promote children's physical activity. The lecture is part of the series University presents.

– This was great fun. For me, it's like going from black white to color tv. Research that lay on the shelves has no significance, says Anna-Karin Lindqvist at the lecture From Treat to Hope - Children, Technology and Physical Activity.

Important cornerstones

Anna-Karin Lindqvist talked about seeing technology as part of the solution to promote children's activity. An important cornerstone is gamification, where game play is used in something that is not a game, to raise motivation. Empowerment is also an important cornerstone, where the power goes to those who will do the job and let them be involved.
– We have chosen to see technology as a health promotion and part of life. We would only lose the battle if we were trying to remove the technology from our children, said Anna-Karin Lindqvist.

Technology is more than computers

Josef Hallberg lectured about behavioral change and motivation, and that technology is not just computers but also give many other possibilities.
– Human is the purpose, not the technology, but sometimes technology can help make it even more motivating or support a behavioral change. Technology itself can build solutions that help us to achieve lasting behavioral change.

Interested teachers

Like the first lecture at University presents in Skellefteå, this was also packed with over 60 participants, ranging from people with technical interest, teachers to parents.
One of them was Mattias Niliman, teacjer in SO and Sport at Norrhammar School in grades 6-9. He has been opposed to using gamification in the classroom, but after the lecture, he changed his mind.

– I thought it was only about external rewards and incentives, but it turned out that there was only a small part. I am now keen to test it in the classroom.

Åsa Eriksson, Teacher of Sport and Health at Boliden School in grades 7-9, has used gamification in the teaching and thought it was interesting to get more angles and definitions of important factors.
– If you want to try something new, it's important to have the components  to succeed right from the start. We already work with it, so I'm in the process of testing how can be done without using technology as a complement.

On November 16, the next lecture focuses on IT security.

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