The M4ALL project is a European research and design project, in the EC Lifelong Learning Programme, that aims to fully exploit the potential of motion-based playful learning experiences for children with disabilities.

The project has a period of 24 months. It starts on 01/12/2012 and ends on 30/11/2014.

Why such a project?

About 5-7% of the population worldwide has some form of Motor Disability (MD) or Intellectual Disability (ID), which in turn induce strong Learning Disabilities (LDs). The disability itself, and its causes, can hardly be removed. What is possible to do is to put the children in the condition of lightening and “bypassing” the effects of their disability and to help them learn how to perform, as autonomously as possible, given tasks and to make disabled children’s’ life less hard.

Since many years, academics and practitioners are trying to use ICTs (usually simple computer aided quiz games) in special needs education. The overarching goal of M4ALL is to exploit novel interactive technologies in order to help children with LDs as well as the teachers, therapists and parents. The project will investigate the integration of two technology-enhanced learning paradigms specified to have significant impact on education over the next one to five years, namely: Game-based Learning (or Playful Learning) and Motion-based Computing (or Motion Based Interaction).

Aims and outcomes

  • Developing new types of Playful Educational Experiences will be specifically conceived for children with motor and intellectual disabilities, and will be developed using Kinect technology in 5 languages (English, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Dutch).
  • Developing a “professional” version of these games, addressed mainly to practitioners, therapists and teachers, which will have an integrated back-end that will record user behaviors and motion patterns, and automatically generate reports about them.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the approach (motion-based  + game-based learning) by carrying on pilot user trial cases of the motion-based playful experiences at authentic learning environments
  • Based on the outcome of these evaluations, and the know-how gained during the whole project, outlining a new design model for motion based playful learning experiences devoted to children with some specific classes of disability.
  • Offering a set of guidelines and training material (including video tutorials) for therapists and special educators as well as parents on how to apply the pedagogical model and the technological approach in real practice.
  • Offering training events for teachers, therapists and parents who will use these games at pilot studies
  • Creating an online Community for People Interested in motion based educational experiences for Children with MD or ID — an online web2.0 space where teachers, parents, therapists can connect, communicate about their experiences and share ideas.