Sunday, April 15, 2012

ExerGame Lab Demo at SUNY Cortland

As PE teacher-candidates prepare for student-teaching and a career in transforming children's lives, they will be required to demonstrate their ability to impact learning with the assistance of technology (Standards established by NASPE, NCATE, ISTE). Given the ubiiquity of technology in society today, I feel it is our responsibility as teacher educators to demonstrate competency in multiple forms of technology and to provide meaningful learning opportunities that impact learning across the domains (psychomotor, affective, cognitive). We also have to keep in mind that they need to have the skills and understanding to provide great learning activities for their students once they start teaching.

We use social media, blogs, Facebook, electronic portfolios throughout the year as part of  Learning How to Teach PE Like a Rockstar - but we also give them opportunities to learn how to incorporate technology to impact health - and to that end we turn to simple forms of technology (foam letters, Hyper Dash, cups, etc.) to exergaming systems (iDANCE, Move +, DDR, Wii, EyeToy, SmartCycle, GameBike, BrainBike, ExerGame Station, and Kinect, name a few) and monitoring systems  like heart-rate monitors (Suunto, Activio, Polar) as well as accelerometers (ArmBand, Actical, RT3, S2H) .

Given that technology skills have a half-life of two years, it is so important to not only expose them to what is currently available, but to start their own professional development (PD) and Personal Learning Network (PLN) to stay current with the ever changing faces of education, learning, growth, and development. Remember to Play for Better Health!

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Mario Kart Exergame Bike (mod)

#Exergaming with an old exercise bike and  a few electronics on your old Super Nintendo will help you relive classic game like Super Mario Karts in a new way. Brent Smith hooked a directly to his SNES with the help of an arduino processor (plus sensors/switches and some transistors) and not through an emulator like other modders have done.

Be sure to check out the many other bike exergame setups profiled previously here on the ExerGame Lab blog.

Peddling at a certain rate holds down the A button to accelerate, left and right are buttons on the handlebars and there is a red button in the middle of the handlebars for using special items.

An Exercise Bike is the Controller for this Mario Kart Mod'via Blog this'

Check out his other mod using the same bike playing a Unity game designed by his buddy.

As part of an internal game jam here at the office I modified my SMKCycle (an exercise bike I retrofitted using Arduino to play Super Mario Kart on my SNES) to interface with unity and a colleague, Mike McGraw, made a 3-D game designed around the bike.
The game itself puts the rider in the position of defending the town/himself from rampaging alien oranges (The game jam had specific themes). There are 2 modes the bike can be in, a travel mode where peddling moves you forward at a relative speed and the left/right buttons turn left and right. Once you are in a position to fire on the vile citrus you can press the center button and switch to gun mode. In gun mode the tank stops and begins shooting (the rate of fire is commensurate to the speed at which you peddle) and left/right again turns left and right. At any time you can press the center button to swap between the different modes.

Monday, April 9, 2012

ExerGaming Participation in US Youth (study)

How often do US Youth play exergames? According to NHANES 2010 data, 4 out of 10 high school students play exergames / active games on a weekly basis. If played at sufficient intensities and duration, exergaming may be a viable mode for U.S. youth to meet physical activity guidelines.

Objective: Active video game usage (active gaming) is a viable way to encourage and increase physical activity. Video game technology is perceived as ubiquitous although no current nationally-representative study describes participation in active gaming in U.S. youth. Our study describes the proportion of high school youth who report active gaming and the characteristics associated with active gaming.
Methods: The National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey, 2010 provided data for this study. A nationally representative sample of 9,125 U.S. students in grades 9=12 completed a self-administered questionnaire during class in Spring, 2010. The survey response rate was 73%. Active gaming was assessed as the number of days reported participating in active video games [Wii, Dance Dance Revolution] in the past 7 days. Students reporting 1 days were classified as active gamers. Characteristics hypothesized to be associated with active gaming [demographic (sex, grade, race/ethnicity), BMI (normal, overweight, obese), sedentary behaviors (watching DVDs and TV), and physical activity (sports and physical education participation, meeting aerobic and muscle strengthening guidelines)] were also obtained from the questionnaire. Statistical software was used to account for complex sampling and to calculate prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Logistic regression was used to examine the association between active gaming and demographic characteristics, BMI, sedentary behaviors, and physical activity.
Results: The proportion of U.S. high school students reporting active gaming was 39.9% (95% CI = 37.9, 42.0%). Adjusting for all covariates, the following characteristics were positively associated (p<0.05) with active gaming: 9th and 10th grades (versus 12th grade), African-American race/ethnicity (versus Hispanic), overweight or obese (versus normal weight), watching DVDs >0 hours/day (versus watching DVDs 0 hours/day) and watching TV >0 hours/day (versus watching TV 0 hours/day), and meeting aerobic physical activity and muscle strengthening guidelines (versus not meeting the respective guidelines).
Conclusion: Four out of 10 U.S. high school students report participating in active gaming. Active gamers are more likely to be younger, African-American, overweight or obese, spend time watching DVDs or TV, and meet physical activity guidelines. Active gaming may be a viable mode for U.S. youth to meet physical activity guidelines.

Fulton, J.E., Song, M, Carroll, D.D., & Lee, S.M. (2012). Active Video Game Participation in U.S. Youth: Findings from the National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Survey, 2010 Circulation, 125

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Competitive versus cooperative #exergame play on Cognitive Function

Montpellier in Game - 2010 - Ambiance - P1420981
Montpellier in Game - 2010 - Ambiance - P1420981 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For at-risk ethnic minority adolescents, exergaming helped them lose weight (over 10 weeks) and improved executive function skills when compared to a control group. Although there have been many studies in exergaming, most of it has centered around physiological outcomes, but this is one of only a handful of studies that measured cognitive function over a period of time.  This study is from Amanda's 2010 dissertation from Georgetown.

Exergames are videogames that require gross motor activity, thereby combining gaming with physical activity. This study examined the role of competitive versus cooperative exergame play on short-term changes in executive function skills, following a 10-week exergame training intervention. Fifty-four low-income overweight and obese African American adolescents were randomly assigned to a competitive exergame condition, a cooperative exergame condition, or a no-play control group. Youths in the competitive exergame condition improved in executive function skills more than did those in the cooperative exergame condition and the no-play control group. Weight loss during the intervention was also significantly positively correlated with improved executive function skills. The findings link competitive exergame play to beneficial cognitive outcomes for at-risk ethnic minority adolescents.

Staiano, A., Abraham, A., & Calvert, S. (2012). Competitive versus cooperative exergame play for African American adolescents' executive function skills: Short-term effects in a long-term training intervention. Developmental Psychology, 48 (2), 337-342 DOI: 10.1037/a0026938

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

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