Prerna Jhunjhunwala is the Founder of Creative Galileo, an e-learning app that weaves together the best of education and entertainment to create personalised, integrated learning experiences for young minds. A graduate from NYU, Prerna’s vision behind Creative Galileo is to modernise and upscale the education imparted to children in their formative years. She is a firm believer that a child’s future not only depends on the grades in various subjects but also on their impeccable social, cognitive and leadership skills. Her thoughtfully chosen team comprises of award-winning educator, product designers, animators and software designers to make learning fun for children.
The gamification of learning through the introduction of goals, problem-solving, competition, narrative and fun elements through engaging storylines can enhance learner engagement similar to games, thereby improving their skills and optimising knowledge.
In Today’s world, when a significant part of our lives has moved online, it would be difficult not to accept technology’s role in learning. We cannot ignore the charm of video games for children. So why not use gamification for early learning modules? Engaging our young children through games and motivating their learning with rewards becomes engaging and fun. It’s a win-win situation as children love to play, and the pedagogy becomes exciting.
Context creation for modern learning
Games have existed from time immemorial. From board games, we have shifted focus to online games. According to App Annie, an analytic insights platform, India is the leader in the education app market by downloads. Globally this segment has grown 70% in downloads and 40% in the amount of time spent.
So how to set the context of gaming into various learning modules? Gamification for early learning considers the psychology of the user, lays out a decisive strategy and designs content accordingly. The concept would involve:
- Setting goals.
- Allowing small rewards for crossing.
- Completing modules and encouraging them to move ahead for more significant rewards.
Placing value on content
Every educator would agree that learning has to be both informative and engaging. It’s not a one-way street. The scope of engagement increases when there’s a spark attached to the content. The spark arises from creating content in such a way that results are visible without delay. That’s where gamification becomes a significant mode of learning.
Gaming exists in all aspects of society. Say, for instance, reward points on your debit card are spent further to gather more points. It is redeemed for a reward at a later stage. This process can be replicated in creating content. Learning apps encourage young minds to earn coveted points, cross over to the next level of learning, and move ahead, making learning an engaging activity. Isn’t it what children do in video games? The goal of crossing one level keeps them hooked, and when they do that, they are rewarded suitably but only to move to the next level and further prosper in the game. It’s this challenge that develops creativity and innovation.
Stepping up through goals and rewards
Often, it’s a slippery slope when making young children understand the concepts as they lose interest quickly. But if it’s made interesting, engaging, and innovative, then the setting changes drastically. Gamifying content ensures that learner engagement reaches optimum levels. It works well to utilise strategies to break learning content. Also, instant feedbacks often prove to be a promising concept with young children. Learning apps with their various in-built features replicate this model very well.
To make the journey more interesting, the final learning goals can be broken into smaller segments. Gamification allows achievement, even if small, to be visible and gratifying. Concentrating on smaller goals keeps the learner engaged in meeting the immediate task rather than worrying about the final task. Children often don’t realise how they have progressed in their academic learning, as gamification is fun. It’s cool and exciting where archaic methodologies have taken a backseat.
Road to Guilt-free Tech Use
With the pandemic outbreak, when adults gravitated towards Zoom for everything from work to socialising, it was only natural that children would have followed suit. It’s here that gamification can play a significant role to identify between quality and quantity of screen time.
It’s imperative to keep in mind that learning apps are not trying to replace classroom settings. The goal is not to disengage the teacher-pupil relationship or dislodge parent-child learning equations. Instead, learning apps can be considered as the starter that complements the main course.
Future of Education
The only way to move forward is to adapt to what technology has to offer. Knowledge retention and learner engagement are the two critical pillars on which learning apps rest. Gamification allows learning to be developed as incentive-led, challenging and a goal-oriented objective that’s neither dull nor boring.
We must move beyond the defined norms of success and failure. With learning apps, failures aren’t sacrosanct as users get repeated chances to improve their skills-set. Gamification allows personalisation, which is the need of the hour, keeping in mind individual learning objectives, skills and goals. The future of education will roll out when the best possible outcomes are achieved through minimal external intervention.