SCHOOLS ARE STUCK, CAN GAMES FIX THEM?
Today’s children and young people are increasingly disinvesting from their school paths. However, one approach has been dramatically effective in motivating all young people to pursue, in a dedicated and persistent way, personal (though seemingly virtual) self-improvement goals – games. What is the mystery behind games? Our answer is that games are nothing more than ideal spaces for learning. Games allow young people to control their own course and their own pace and they allow collaboration with other players regardless of their capacity or provenance. Moreover, player are not afraid to fail and feel safe. And when they fail, they try again until they have overcome all obstacles. They are always challenged in the right way, according to the level they have. To summarize in one sentence: players remain optimistic about the final result, always believing that they are capable. Our mission is to transform schools through games – SPOT GAMES. SPOT GAMES are tools that change the mechanics of learning making learning a fun, magnetic, collaborative and inclusive process. With the implementation of our games schools can bring parents and teachers together and engage them as co-players around students’ progress goals while also bringing together the network of local partners (municipalities and local projects) of the school, where everyone has an active role in the games. We also want teachers to have a system of results and impact analysis that is integrated into the games’ backoffice and bureaucracy facilitator. Finally, our goal is also to expand the learning spaces beyond the time and space of the classroom, integrating the natural and cultural heritage of the surrounding of the school in the physical course and in the contents of the games.
Francisco Miranda is a former student of IST that is now the head of a development studio for educational games named SpotGames.
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