WizeFloor, an interactive floor developed at the Alexandra Institute in Denmark, has been installed in the first primary school in the UK. The innovative interactive system will allow the pupils to learn new things while discovering a range of fun interactive games.
The pupils at The Oaks Community Primary School in Ipswich can now have fun with WizeFloor, an interactive floor that allows children to jump into a gigantic iPad, play different games, and use their hands and feet to move virtual objects. The Oaks has been chosen as the first school in the UK to install the WizeFloor system, and a live demonstration event was organized this week, with a number of education specialists and head teachers in attendance.
WizeFloor is designed for children aged 3 to 11. It is a super-sized interactive floor that is controlled like a tablet or a similar touch screen device. Because it is so large, the system allows children to use their arms, legs and feet to interact with the floor space and engage in activities that are based on the school curriculum. The advanced learning tool consists of a projector, a 4x3m floor mat, a Kinect camera, audio speakers, and an Apple Mac mini containing a bundle of interactive software. The gesture control technology that the system uses allows multiple players to engage in interactive play simultaneously.
WizeFloor offers a variety of benefits for school-age children, as it promotes collective learning styles using interactive games and a range of physical activities. The projector in the ceiling displays various applications designed for learning onto the floor, and pupils must use their hands and feet to solve different tasks and do exercises by interacting with the floor. The response to the new learning system has so far been extremely positive.
Jeremy Pentreath, head teacher at The Oaks school, said in a release: "Pupils who have used the WizeFloor have loved it and been thoroughly engaged in their learning. I am a great believer in ‘learning through play’ and, with the WizeFloor, children have so much fun that they don’t even realize that they are learning."
WizeFloor was developed at the renowned Alexandra Institute in Denmark and it represents more than seven years of research. A number of studies over the years have shown that educational learning is enhanced by physical activity, which strengthens memory and the ability to acquire and recollect knowledge. The gaming aspect makes the activities all the more fun for pupils and helps keep their attention on the tasks at hand. Aside from providing a number of educational benefits, WizeFloor also helps develop children’s interpersonal skills, it boosts creativity when they are creating their own games, and helps them learn to deal with winning and losing games against other pupils. Teamwork skills, turn-taking, and helping other players are just some of the many social aspects present in the games.
WizeFloor has won the Red Dot Design Award in the category of Educational Products, and is now available on the UK market for use in primary schools, nurseries, and special education facilities. The floor is distributed throughout the country by the Suffolk-based company WizeLearning Ltd.
Cameron Wade, Managing Director of WizeLearning, says, "WizeFloor promotes memory cognition, kinaesthetic interaction, physical activity, motivation and teamwork, communication and creativity, plus interpersonal and social skills. It is so intuitive that children can easily create their own WizeFloor games. New games are saved in ‘the cloud’ which allows access from home. Teachers can also collaborate and share content with colleagues. There is already an impressive library of content but, as word spreads across the country, this will grow into a phenomenal curriculum focused resource for nursery and primary schools."