What can social education do…

It is not unusual that on a daily basis the idea of Gamification arises when dealing about education. Let us clarify that education’s meaning here covers all audiences of course.

Many experts provide us with a wide range of recommendation, tips, views, analysis about the integration of gaming into global and specific training. Noting, at least for me, that more than games, we ought to think that games elements should be considered rather than the game itself.

Game elements are many, simple, available and for some ideas (Creativity) may not need considerable budgets but rather human potential to contribute to the success of a learning project. In other words it is the adagio saying “Teach me something I need for a better “me” a better job or a better social collective life! Don’t teach me something I will not use!

If we let our own imagination and passed experiences (Creativity) then reaching people in their essential needs of collecting more knowledge can be done on a more “humanized” approach. People getting involved with and for people! Basic knowledge such as calculus, reading, perceiving of shapes and colours is done at home and reinforced at school. Core knowledge, is a matter of people sharing with people. I would be surprised if someone would disagree about the more learning is fun the more it is not learning but ways more richness and tangible knowledge.

fun theory2

Image credits; Sunrise iPad Project

I was exposed to Gamification principles a couple of years ago, then I was requested to contribute to put in practice some of the concepts I learned and put these into a real life project. It was finding an incentive approach to motivate citizens to acquire healthy ways of taking care of their well-being and avoid more charges on their health-care insurance premiums.

This project is actually ongoing and has the support of the municipal authorities, but moreover the full engagement of the town. None of the sophisticated tools and equipment were purchased except some basic email, spreadsheet and a web page. The rest of the so called costs were provided by people of all ages.  The incentive was reducing the insurance costs, but soon after the benefits were ways more than the initial scope, when people stared feeling better about their well-being, going for winning battles fighting unhealthy food  contesting who’s group would save the more calories, (these results were translated in how much money they’d saved on their next bills, etc.)

It was not necessary to plan complex scenarios, yes it was a risk all of the people involved took about the motivations and the engagement of everyone, and yes the challenge was to ensure a sustainable continuous effort and desire to go on, eventually some people will also bring ameliorations to the initial scenario and why not promote their own idea to other towns and cities.

Isn’t it a similar way to education in class? When all elements are gathered together, and when everyone is concerned and engaged education is and remains a matter of people sharing with people the best thing they could: a better social good!

If you wish to see how some collective fun projects can change individuals and collectivity, visit these unique sites:

The scratch mat

–  The piano stairs

There are more, if you go to YouTube and search for the “Fun Theory“…

Enjoy your evening, have fun creating ways for a better learning

Michel – May 27, 2014

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