Informal learning ideas
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Idea originator: Alpha-Active Ltd
Futurelab will explore the issues around the idea and opportunities in this area and will publish an article soon.
A device to convert the mental process of concentration into a tangible feedback signal that can be used to control a game, an instrument or a process, as an aid to a positive learning experience.
i-Mind™ is a proposed innovative game-system aimed at informing users when they are ‘in the learning zone’, ie producing alpha brainwaves, so that they can reproduce this state when they wish. Research shows that when people are producing high levels of alpha, their concentration and receptiveness to learning improves. The games will be controlled by the user’s alpha brainwaves directly, based on our proprietary HeadCoach™ EEG brainwave measuring technology platform. Our current CE-marked product employs contacts inside a cap worn by the user, with a connection lead into the HeadCoach™ module connected to a PC. We are trialling this platform technology with sports coaches and psychologists including at the University of Bristol. It is proposed to develop games played both on a PC and physically, as our software is robust to wearer movement. The i-Mind™ games will increase ability to focus and learn and be fun to play alone or with others. Examples of PC games suggested include those based on sports, puzzles, life scenarios, and fantasy.
How it might be used
We envisaged that the i-Mind™ system would be used by students as a recreational toy. The user puts on the i-Mind™ cap and connects to the PC. More players could connect at the same time, whether in the same space or via the internet, and play a competitive version of the game.
When the software is turned on the user would choose the game and then be guided through some initial steps to get them in a good frame of mind. This would be levelled to the age or ability range. After this settling period, the game screen would come up.
After playing, the user is likely to be more receptive and calm, and generally in a good mood. The ability to focus the mind at will to control a game should enable the user to become more focused in educational situations and more receptive to information and learning.