Local and international universities create digital tools to teach children about Covid-19

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The project combines gaming and reading to tackle common misconceptions about the virus. (Supplied/University of Pretoria)
The project combines gaming and reading to tackle common misconceptions about the virus. (Supplied/University of Pretoria)

Researchers from the University of Pretoria (UP) in collaboration with the University of Leeds have created a digital project to teach South African children about Covid-19. 

Designed for children aged 8 to 12, the project titled Managing the Covid-19 'infodemic' combines gaming and reading to tackle common misconceptions about the virus. 

Lead by Dr Nico Claassen, a senior lecturer at UP’s School of Health Systems and Public Health, the project uses an illustrated online book called Sibo Stays Healthy by author Ginny Stone, as well as a game which can be played on either a mobile or desktop devise to determine the best teaching tools for young children. 

How it works

Before receiving the free booklet, children are required to complete an online survey on basic health and safety questions about the coronavirus.

"They get the book to read for three days. Some children get the book and the game – the game is sent to 50% of the participating children to determine if playing a game in combination with reading the booklet adds value in terms of knowledge. Thereafter, they complete the same questionnaire again. The results are compared to see if they have learnt anything from having read the book only, or from having read the book and playing the game," Dr Claassen says. 

The project is welcoming local parents and their children to sign up and join the initiative. For more information about the project and how to participate, visit Sibo.co.za

Compiled for Parent24 by Lesley-Anne Johannes. 

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