EdTech News for Friday, January 20, 2023: VR Games as ADHD Diagnostic Tool

Ed Tech news

Here are the teaching and learning news stories that inspired our EdTech journeys this week. We’ve certainly had an imagination boost to help us think about what we should develop next.

Have you always suspected that you have ADHD? Maybe you could never sit still in a classroom. Maybe teachers commented that you had “a lot of personality” or are “quite a character.” Maybe you have a messy bedroom until you have a periodic cleaning attack and then you have a pristine bedroom. It’s always been hard for medical professionals to differentiate the symptoms of ADHD from a highly-developed sense of individuality. For up to 6% of the population affected by ADHD, diagnosis and misdiagnosis can mean the difference between effective and ineffective therapies, including medications take by school children to manage their classroom behavior.

Researchers now believe that ADHD can be diagnosed more objectively using data gathered when patients play virtual reality games. Almost a year ago, a research team in Finland created a VR game called EPELI to assess children for ADHD. The game simulated daily tasks such as brushing teeth or aiming for a target. As children played the game, the research team monitored their eye movements through eye-tracking software and then used machine learning to compare how the movements differed in 36 children diagnosed with ADHD and 36 without.  The results may lead to better diagnostic tests using VR and, ultimately, therapies using VR.

‘We tracked children’s natural eye movements as they performed different tasks in a virtual reality game, and this proved to be an effective way of detecting ADHD symptoms,” said Liya Merzon, a doctoral researcher at Aalto University. “The ADHD children’s gaze paused longer on different objects in the environment, and their gaze jumped faster and more often from one spot to another. This might indicate a delay in visual system development and poorer information processing than other children.’

Press release:

While Google and Microsoft are laying off thousands of their workers, hiring in the EdTech sector is not slowing down. Everspring is one example from the sector of a company that is actively hiring and growing. This week, it was named one of the 100 best mid-size workplaces in Chicago by the media org Built In Chicago.

“Universities partner with Everspring because of the top talent we attract and our team’s deep knowledge and expertise. The enthusiasm that the Everspring team brings to our work drives outstanding outcomes for our partners, and our shared commitment to shaping the future of higher education creates a culture that enables our team to thrive,” said Beth Hollenberg, CEO and co-founder of Everspring.

There was a lot happening on the Edusity EdTech blogs this week too.

The incredible expansion of online learning inspired growth for The Babb Group. This week saw three new appointments announced at the instructional design and curriculum development consultancy.

The Edusity blog explored Internet security’s dirty little secret this week: Malicious Insiders. May you never know the pain of sabotage by your own co-workers.

Focus on diversity, equity and inclusion is creating a society in which everyone can prosper, to continue pursuing that dream means academic and knowledge industry workers need to describe their lived experience in job applications. Professor Services explained how to do it.

American Sign Language is the primary means of communication for many deaf and hard of hearing people. Hospitality workers can learn the language and provide their customers with better service as a result. Read more on the Cudoo blog.

Disclosure notice: The EdTech News is compiled and distributed by the Edusity family of companies that includes Edusity, The Babb Group, Professor Services and Cudoo.

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Kate Baggott is Head of Content and Communications for the Edusity family of companies that includes The Babb Group and Professor Services. A digital content veteran, Kate's portfolio can be viewed at
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