With technology's proliferation into our homes and schools, too little is still known about the effects on young children. Specifically, the impact on their development; with reading comprehension, attention and knowledge retention top of the list.
A recent pilot study by Psychologists Piotrowski and Krcmar1 starts to shine a light on the issue and gives insight that would be useful to parents and EdTech designers alike.
96% of children under 4 use mobile devices at home
Virtual Reality (VR) as a technology is unique in its integration and connection with the person under the headset. VR technology works through using and creating what is termed ‘immersion’ and ‘presence’. In short, these transport the mind and sense of self to wherever and whatever the VR story tells. This psychological bridge is an area of study that interests many different types of psychologists, from cognitive to behavioural and sociological.
What are the positive and negative effects of VR on real world behaviour?
VR has been proven to have a positive effect on a person’s real world self, from saving more trees to saving for their future. It sounds like an amazing new technology, but we must heed the warnings. Worryingly, it can also make people meaner and possibly more violent.
The buzz around Virtual Reality, VR, is everywhere. The technological advances are starting to make scenarios reserved for sci-fi a reality. Spanning the likes of The Matrix’s fully immersive worlds, Star Trek’s holodeck and Minority Report’s personalised and targeted advertising.
Described by Forbes as ‘technology's next big wave’1, Google, Facebook and now Apple are investing heavily in the sector. With Google’s cardboard VR simulators and Facebook’s purchase of Oculus Rift last year, VR devices are starting to make their way into our homes and classrooms2. Undoubtedly, it’s an exciting field.
If I said ‘Coca-Cola’ what colour immediately comes to mind?
The highly iconic Coca-Cola red.
In 2013 Coca-Cola introduced their new Coca-Cola Life range, a brand using only green. This gives an interesting opportunity to observe a globally recognised brand and colour association and turn it on its head.
In effect, creating the Stroop Effect on a mass scale.
Ever seen a redblueyellowgreen Stroop test?
The confusion between the written colour and the perceived colour is named The Stroop Effect. It is due to the brain’s ‘speed of processing’. Meaning that words are processed quicker than perceptual processing like colour. The same can be applied to emotional responses, the Emotional Stroop Effect and Spatial and Numerical.
Decisions made on legibility, readability, aesthetic appropriateness and even personal favourites inform a designer’s choice.
Choosing one on its life-saving ability, however, doesn’t rank high on the meter, but:
Bad typefaces can kill.
A bold claim - but when it comes to health education and user instructions font choice is especially important, as researchers Song1 and Manly et al2 found. Typefaces that are hard to read stop a user engaging with the information. When that is the difference between someone taking their full course of diabetic medicine correctly and not, it can have huge implications.