Imagine a black dice. Now enlarge it – about 50 times. Add an arch on one side and a bow on the opposite side. On the straight line from one corner to another, change the angles…. Now the XL dice is no longer just for playing board games but all of a sudden for playing learning, playing during school classes and for learning while you move, interacting technically and using your body as a tool for gaining knowledge.
iMO-LEARN is the name of the enlarged dice. It was invented by a group of sport scientists and designers led by Lars Elbæk PhD, head of the research unit Learning & Talent in Sport at the Department of Sport Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark. He is not a designer, but his lifelong knowledge of sports showed him that it was easier to learn through movement and this could support new ways of teaching kids in schools:
“Kids are very often told to sit still and be quiet to gain knowledge and learn more. But all investigations show that movement and playing as you learn is the key to easy access in your brain. You remember better, you understand better and you communicate better if you are allowed to move a lot,” Lars Elbæk explained and threw the giant dice across the room for the DANISH™ journalist to catch:
“It is a ball, a rocking chair, a box allowing a very correct physical sitting position. And don’t forget, you can use it to answer language as well as mathematical questions by moving around because of the accelerometer that you are able to insert into the dice.”
Looking at a lot of schools, Danish as well as internationally, the pattern was clear. In fact, every piece of furniture in schools is static, making anyone who is using traditional classroom furniture sedentary as well. Though Lars Elbæk is not a designer, he used a lot of the tools a designer would use when working on iMO-LEARN:
“We had to figure out how teachers work, what they needed to work with us on this challenge so that they would welcome the finished product. We also had a lot of interaction and co-design activities with very young students attending school, to see if our ideas would work practically.”
iMO-LEARN is now a product sold by I3Technologies, an international Belgium company, which recently bought Danish SIS – Furniture for Schools. Lars Elbæk and his team worked closely with them during the development of iMO-LEARN.
For more information about the idea behind iMO-LEARN: imolearn.dk and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=or2vMAdV2GM as well as: http://www.sdu.dk/aktuelt/nyt_fra_sdu/stolen+du+ikke+kan+sidde+paa
For sales material: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeanuVTZuV0