In a world filled with multiple sources of information, we often struggle discerning what matters the most. We experience time constraints and information overload at the same time. Games such as Story Chaser provide context for practicing scenarios to learn how to discern importance.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND STORY CHASER
Each person receives about 105,000 words or 23 words per second. Every single day. Through mobile phones, the Internet, electronic mail, television, radio, newspapers, books etc, people are famously having too much information in their heads. Is this something to worry about? In fact, a similar worry has come up every time knowledge technology has made leaps. Oxford University neuroscientist John Stein likes to stress that in the Middle Ages, when printing was invented, people were also concerned that the human mind would not withstand a lot of information. Research confirms that if there’s one thing we should not underestimate, that’s human potential to construct meaning. In fact, U.S. researchers discovered that the human brain can interpret images that the eye sees in just 13 milliseconds. “The fact that you can do that at these high speeds indicates that what vision does is find concepts,” says Mary Potter, an MIT professor of Brain and Cognitive sciences. That’s the basis of designing Story Chaser! We have found that if we intensely motivate our users in finding meaning, they usually do. The reason is that the brain handles text more efficiently by breaking it into streams before parsing and interpreting it (National Reading Panel, 2000), reducing subvocalization and staying in cue. And the key to amelioration is practice! Oh! And practice! Asking from people to tap on words does not necessarily sidetrack them from looking for patterns, even when we decide to add increasing difficulty or emotive distractions in between, such as beautiful illustrations, animations and sounds. Indeed, relatively recent research (Duggan & Payne, 2009) has indicated that the main points of a full text are better understood after skimming (speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning) than after normal reading… with no difference between the groups in their understanding of less important information from the text. Practicing speed reading and context comprehension might be as important in navigating today’s world as learning to read.
OTHER IMPORTANT EDUCATIONAL WORK MILESTONES
Our team has also worked in important Horizon 2020 educational projects such as “Stories of Tomorrow” – which examined storytelling in Mars and “QTales“, an attractive content creation and delivery tool for storybooks. Publisto has also created online stores and has also published multiple iPad apps in Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and English languages which have sold tens of thousands of copies around the world.
See our research in the use of AI and conversational agents in education.
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