We're often asked how Lumo Play can be used in schools and child care centers.
Over the past few years, we've worked with hundreds of child care professionals around the world to set up interactive walls, floors, and large touchscreen games and effects We’ve done this not only for schools, but also for sensory labs and special needs programs.
Here are just a few examples.
"For all the awkward little Guys who can't dance."
Just last week some adventurous teachers in California installed Lumo Play at a junior high dance. They were testing the software for a summer program, and decided that testing it at the dance would be good "for all the awkward little guys who can't dance."
Amy, one of the teachers involved, discovered Lumo Play through an organic search for "Interactive Light Play." They'd contacted a few other companies as well, and said they felt as though the other solutions were a bit of a scam. They chose Lumo Play because our website quoted prices upfront, and seemed more legitimate than the others.
Curious about Amy’s experience—and wondering what other teachers like her might be finding—we conducted this search ourselves. To our surprise, we discovered that there are companies like the Lü Interactive Playground that charge twice as much for a single day rental as it costs to purchase and install a typical Lumo Play system in a school.
Needless to say, the teachers in California were really happy with our software—not only for the price, but also for the unexpectedly easy setup and installation. Long-term, they plan to use Lumo Play for a summer "maker" camp featuring a program focused on playing with light. This is a common use for Lumo, both in summer programs and in K-12 schools across North America.
Permanent Interactive Displays in Schools
The Harmony School of Innovation is a group of a high performing K-12 public charter schools in Texas that focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math to provide opportunities for underserved communities. Students are encouraged to create their own effects for the permanent interactive wall installed in the hallway of one of the schools.
Teachers frequently express concerns about introducing technology to an educational environment just for the sake of saying there's technology. Lumo Play brings a level of kinesthetic learning that sitting around with a personal screen cannot achieve, which is why many of the teachers that use our software value Lumo Play for increasing physical activity, and empowering children to design and share their own digital creations.
"I believe you need to incorporate tech with other learning modalities in order to enhance learning. Kids can sit on their personal devices all day long, that's not what needs to be duplicated. Technology is a means to an end, not the end."
Amy - Junior High teacher
Outreach and Play testing
Lumo Play doesn't have a sales and marketing department. We—the founders of the company—conduct our own outreach and market research around the world. In fact, all of our revenues go into researching and building new ways for people to interact. We believe that everyone in our company should connect with (and care about) our customers. When travelling for meetings, we often schedule play testing events at schools and daycares to learn what teachers and children like about Lumo Play, and what we can do to improve it.
We also participate as sponsors for child-focused fundraising events, allowing us to engage with parents and other childcare professionals. These events are a lot of fun, and we always learn something new. Plus we love watching people enjoy our software, and sharing real pictures of real people playing with it, instead of shooting unrealistic, staged commercials.
Of course, we do plenty of play testing in the office as well—on our kids, and children within the community—to be sure that the games we produce are fun and engaging before we release them.
Creating Educational Games
Feedback from teachers and childhood development professionals helps us identify a wide variety of curricular applications to add to our game market. Recently, for example, we worked with a teacher in Ireland to create a kinetic game that teaches young children about the immune system.
The Immune Defenders game fits curriculum material for children 6-8, and is played on a wall. Children throw balls (representing immune cells) to try to destroy pathogens, while avoiding healthy cells. The game is accompanied by supporting curriculum materials, and helps children understand the immune system, and how sometimes immune cells make mistakes.
Special Needs and Autism
Lumo Play is frequently used by special needs centers, schools, sensory labs, and therapy clinics. The video above was submitted by a special needs school in Argentina, where an interactive floor is used to help promote activity, and teach children about animal life around the planet. Since these are sight impaired children, some of whom have other motor and sensory challenges, a large, bright, interactive display is a great way to engage them with content they might otherwise never experience.
How we work with teachers and childcare professionals
Most of Lumo Play's revenue comes from advertising and event installations. We work on education because we love it, and truly believe this technology can change the lives of children around the world. That’s why our mandate is to support educators, autism and special needs treatment providers, and parents, by offering an affordable, simple alternative to what is normally a difficult and expensive solution.
We do this by investing a significant portion of our revenue into subsidizing the creation of educational games and sensory effects. Since we're not domain experts, we rely on input from child development experts to create relevant and useful experiences for education and therapy. And that means we want to hear from you!
If your school has a projector, a computer, and a web camera, you already have most of the things you need to bring Lumo Play to your classroom. If you'd like to learn more, or to submit an idea, please reach out on our Contact Form.