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Åsa Gardelli, Peter Parnes, Josef Hallberg, Luleå University of Technology Photo: Linda Alfredsson
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Computer game technology for better reading ability

Published: 30 January 2020

An application will help children in special school to improve their reading ability. Better reading ability will hopefully contribute to greater participation in society. – We want to find out if computer game technology can increase the children's intrest in reading, says Peter Parnes, Professor of Pervasive and Mobile Computing.

Reading comprehension is an important and central ability for education, learning and for participation in society. Today's digital societal development also imposes new requirements, requirements that can be extra difficult to live up to if you have an intellectual disability.

– A central part of the project is about examining how a digital application can help people with reading difficulties to read. The app will be used in special school and thus directly reaches the intended target group, says Peter Parnes.

Digital interaction

Children and young people in special school in Luleå municipality will be involved in the development of the application, LäsLust, for example through workshops and practical tests. The pupils will draw and create stories and it will be used to create digital representations in an interactive game. In the game, the children's stories are shaped with pictures and words. Reading comprehension and choice affect the stories, and leads to replayability. The design of the application is iterative, the participants will try different designs of the application and then give feedback to the researchers.

– We will investigate if it is possible to apply computer game technology to this type of application, says Peter Parnes, who will be mostly involved in the technical design of the application.

Active cooperation

Åsa Gardelli is Associate Professor of Education focusing on special education. She explains that a special pedagogical focus will be aiming at what importance the reading-promoting application has for the students' participation.

– We contribute with the educational and special educational perspective during the app development. The collaboration between special education, computer game technology, libraries, special school and school, makes this an exciting project.

In addition to being used in special schools, the app will be available for free download and demonstration at the city library in Luleå.