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New General Election app aims to inspire young children

An education technology company has teamed up with Newcastle University to develop an iPad app aimed at engaging 11-14 year olds with the General Election.

Reflective Thinking’s free app is called Digital Mysteries: UK Election 2015 and aims to show young people how politics is relevant to them at an early age.

The app follows “Grace” an 18 year in the North East who is able to vote for the first time and users are asked ‘Where should Grace put her cross on May 7th?’

A total of 25 slips of illustrated information details Grace’s background, family life and interests.

Because the app is intended to create discussion, it can be used in pairs or small groups and there is no one right answer.

“As part of the Digital Civics initiative, we wanted to help get young people more interested in politics and the UK 2015 General Election,” claimed Newcastle University’s Professor Patrick Olivier.

“Digital Mysteries, originating from research at the university, seemed the right way to get the type of thoughtful engagement we are hoping for.

“The customised app addresses the election through an engaging story combined with exciting technology,” he added.

Building Awareness For The Future

Although the app’s target audience is a while away from being able to vote themselves, it is hoped that by encouraging the discussion of election issues early on in life, they will be more likely to vote when the time comes.

“With so much coverage and focus on the Election right now, it may be that young people are aware of ‘an election’ going on, but many cannot see how it affects them,” claimed director of Reflective Thinking and research associate at Newcastle University Dr Ahmed Kharrufa.

“The open ended nature of Digital Mysteries makes it a well-suited tool for discussing politics,” Dr Kharrufa added.