Can Biofeedback Technology help Young Children “Learn” to Relax in School?
Anita Devi, Kieron Sheehy, The Open University, UK
Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Vol. 4, Issue 4, 2013
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Research over the years has identified a number of stresses and anxiety periods for children during compulsory education (5–16 years). The current study focuses on infants (5–6 year olds) entering the education system. It explores children’s perceptions of ‘relaxation’ and learning, and it evaluates the use of biofeedback technology in helping young children ‘learn’ to relax. This technology gives users awareness of physiological functions such as heartbeat. In this study, biofeedback technology was used as a method for enhancing children’s relaxation, thereby possibly contributing to their self-regulation and enjoyment of learning. By asking the children themselves, the study evaluates a specific software and approach. This research reports on the first pilot study to use HeartMath™ with young children in school. The findings are relevant to young people and educators, as it contributes to an understanding of how a new technology may be applied in new contexts as well as the possible outcomes of this application.