TeachAids , a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in global education innovation, announced its next research-based interactive education product: CrashCourse, for nationwide concussion awareness and instruction. This educational software has been developed over a two-year period by many researchers and clinical experts in concussions and curriculum development. These groups worked closely together to better understand and evaluate the common stigma that has grown in the public perception of concussions and helped create effective interactive content for young athletes. The platform features current athletes such as Stanford running back and Doak Walker award-winner Bryce Love, as well as NFL Hall of Famers Steve Young and Ronnie Lott, and Super Bowl MVP Jim Plunkett.
CrashCourse aims to raise awareness of the latest science around concussions to shift the conversation away from fear and silence and towards knowledge and empowerment. The CrashCourse curriculum components, first in HD then in Virtual Reality, include a short interactive film which puts the learner on the field to experience a concussion, a brain fly-through using Stanford Medicine technology, a concussion symptoms simulator, as well as viewpoints from top athletes to share the latest medical knowledge on the signs and symptoms of concussions. The curriculum was developed with Stanford education, engineering, and medical researchers, as well as Stanford coaches and student athletes.
“In the next 10 years, the CDC estimates that over 20 million children playing school sports will sustain a concussion. No equipment, including helmets, can prevent concussions, and the overwhelming majority of students, parents, and coaches are unaware of the latest science around the management and treatment of concussions,” said Dr. Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids.
“It’s not just in football, but across all sports. When these kids and parents come to our clinics they are starving for information,” said Dr. Gerald Grant, Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine. “The power of CrashCourse is that it speaks to students in their own language. We hope it makes a huge impact around the world.”
“By utilizing proper concussion protocols and supporting athletes and teammates, the risk of secondary injuries from concussions can be reduced by three to five times,” said Dr. Daniel Daneshvar, neuroscientist and CTE researcher at Stanford University School of Medicine. “Parents and players understanding these issues is the first step toward the creation of safer sporting environments.”
With seed funding of $1.5 million from the Taube Stanford Concussion Collaborative, the HD version of the interactive film has been developed and will be available for free at http://crashcourse.teachaids.org . The official launch of the HD version is occurring on Saturday, September 8th , at the Stanford-USC football game. The VR version, as well as the additional modules, will launch in January 2019.
After learning about the early stages of the CrashCourse concussion initiative, eighteen players from the Stanford football team signed up for research units to help understand the problem under Dr. Sorcar through the Graduate School of Education. The following year, several dozen additional Division 1 athletes participated in these research efforts. Experts from across Stanford also contributed to the research that informed CrashCourse, including professors and researchers from the Graduate School of Education, School of Medicine, Department of Communication, d.school, and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Stanford football players also worked with local youth to further inform the curriculum. After two years of research, six months of production, and thousands of hours of user-testing, the CrashCourse program is now ready to take to the public.