UnitedHealthcare and Konami Bringing Dance Dance Revolution to the Classroom

UnitedHealthcare Brian Landwehr of UnitedHealthcare talked about their new partnership with Konami, the gaming company to bring the Dance, Dance Revolution Classroom Edition into schools. This is part of the UnitedHealthcare’s Activate Program which also includes dietary and mental health curriculum. The idea is to increase kids physical activity by using something they are already doing, playing video games. The program is tied into each school current curriculum. The student and their parents along with the school can track the student’s progress throughout the year.

At the present time this program is being introduced by UnitedHealthcare into schools that they already have a partnership with. These schools are being used to pilot the program. However the Dance, Dance Revolution Classroom Edition is also available at retail stores and through Konami who will work with directly with school systems.

Interview by Jamie Davies of the MedicCast and the Health Tech Weekly

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Tablets, E-book Readers and Paper

Imagine a school that passes out Amazon Kindles instead of printed textbooks. No books at all, zilch, zero, nada – everything electronic. Printing costs could be completely eliminated, along with a myriad of associated problems – replacement books, textbook obsolescence, and book disposal to mention but a few. A single high-battery-life device such as a Kindle would suffice for replacing all books.

Let’s take this electronic book thought experiment a bit farther. The next logical step would be for the teachers to pass out tests and other traditional paper handouts electronically, eliminating paper altogether. At that point, the Kindle or other reader or tablet would have to be able to allow student interaction, say on a multiple-choice test.

The stickiest problem with this scenario would revolve around having an easy-to-use input system on these devices that allowed students to write phrases, paragraphs, papers, and draw images or diagrams to send back to the teacher.

All of this technology already exists in various forms. Perhaps the iPad comes close to meeting many of these requirements, but some form of the dreaded pressure stylus input would still be needed. Also, two separate devices would be needed – a reading screen, and an input screen on which to write, type and/or draw.

Are we there yet? Not quite, but we are getting close. With the success of the Kindle, iPad, smartphones and maturing touch screen technology in general, the day of eliminating the need for tons of paper is finally becoming a practical, desirable reality.