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PlayDate - Building a culture of movement everyday!

An application to inspire physical activity by making it easy to create and share activities even when participants are physically separated

Photo of Americo Alves
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I am a.....

  • We are a team of 4 professionals coming from GVDS 4th Edition

Tell us about your idea

Our idea was inspired by a challenge around Remote & Blended Learning put forward during the Global Virtual Design Sprint. We focused on physical education as our research indicated this activity had practically ceased due to the pandemic. Our goal was to find a solution to the lack of activity, accountability, and interactivity experienced by students around the world.

Our solution was inspired by the Zoom meetings that teachers were using to conduct classroom activities. We designed an interactive activity builder that allows students, teachers, and parents to collaborate to build activities performed live in a Zoom-like setting, so that students can see each other, interact and share activities in real time. These activities can be saved, shared, and evaluated by teachers for standard evaluations. The activities can also be shared to inspire other teachers and students.

During our discovery phase, we learned that many activities that are assigned at school are not enjoyed by all students, and many wished for a solution that allowed them to choose activities that matched their particular preferences. We also learned that many students dislike physical activity because they are reluctant to be visible to other students. Our solution addresses this by facilitating a fun and interactive approach to physical activity.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

There are 2 aspects of the pre-COVID school system that we want to leave behind and improve on are: A. Increase the diversity of playmates, B. Encourage more physical activity A. In the traditional school system, classes are generally formed by segregating children by their age. Our concept allows children to transcend the class/age boundaries and engage in physical activities with other children of a variety of ages and backgrounds. This brings more richness and diversity to the child's experience and therefore gives them better opportunities for growth. B. As a team we were initially concerned about reports of young students no longer having the ability to play with each other due to the pandemic, but our research indicated that organized physical activity had been drastically reduced over the years before the pandemic and that it’s unlikely to increase after pandemic related restrictions are lifted. Our solution has 2 aims: 1. To stimulate organized physical activity during the pandemic, 2. Increase the amount of physical activity AFTER restrictions are lifted by removing the obstacle of physical distance as much as possible.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

We’re a team of 4 professionals who came together in the Global Virtual Design Sprint event in May 2020. Our team was inspired by Maike Strudthoff's (France) Remote and Blended learning GVDS challenge.

In our problem framing meetings we decided to focus on the issue of remote and blended physical education, applying a 5 day design sprint process - alignment, ideation, storyboarding, prototyping and user testing. To understand and answer critical questions about the large-scale effects of COVID-19 Pandemic in education.

The outcome of our efforts is PlayDate, an application to create and share physical remote activities, designed with educators and PK-12 students in mind.

Based on user testing with both educators and PK-12 students, we see that our idea could have a huge beneficial impact on students and educators who are separated by physical distance.

Furthermore, we see that even after COVID-19, PlayDate could encourage students to engage in physical activity within their local environment with the resources/equipment they have to hand.

What region are you located in?

  • Europe

Where are you located?

We are an international team: Américo Alves - Lisbon, Portugal Ken Soto - San Diego, CA USA Margarete Ousley - NJ USA Ming Lee - Melbourne, Australia

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Photo of Maike Strudthoff

What I particularly like about this idea is the point "allows children to transcend the class/age boundaries". I am working on a similar idea of creating social interaction that is pupil-led and I think we could add the point to break age boundaries: Learning-by-Doing TOGETHER