How Mobile Gaming is Driving Innovation in Education

Date

October 4, 2018

4 min read

The provision of universal education is no easy task. Data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics show that there are approximately 263 million out-of-school children and youth today. To put that into context, that is around 1 in 5 children around the world. What’s more is that progress towards reducing out-of-school numbers have remained stagnant over the last 5 years. These statistics call for urgent and targeted action towards delivering quality education, particularly for those that are living in marginalized and underprivileged communities around the world.

What Causes the Out-Of-School Phenomenon?

The Global Partnership for Education has identified a disproportionate number of out-of-school children living in countries characterized by instability, conflict and/or extreme poverty. They are often unable to break out of their cycle of poverty due to inadequate human talent, financial and operational resources to educate communities and raise awareness of the importance of education. Often times, parents are unable to justify education costs as the competitive urban job markets are too far away for the communities to consider[1]. For others, the cost of an education itself is too much of a burden and they simply cannot afford it.

Reaching Out to the Marginalised

Persistent marginalization denies certain socio-economic groups of the right to an education. Without government intervention, socio-economic inequality continues to remain the underlying driver of out-of-school rates. With smartphone penetration expected to reach 70% by 2020 and the growing ubiquity of broadband and smartphone technology, we are at a much better position to tackle the challenge of universal education.

Solve Education! is experimenting with game mechanics, incentives, and artificial intelligence to provide mass-customization of education. In doing so, they are determined to provide education for youths around the world who are unable to receive an effective education through traditional means.

The Dawn of Civilization: An Educational Gaming App

Blended learning, which combines digital and face-to face learning, is commonly used at universities to enhance students’ learning experience. In the context of out-of-school children, EdTech is both a scalable and sustainable approach to deliver education for the disadvantaged. Not only does it reduce traditionally high logistical costs, but it also incentives youths to learn[2]. According to MIT Open Learning, digital education can enable students to connect theory and application more adeptly as well as engage in learning more readily. This is a particularly important factor for marginalised children who struggle with the motivation to learn.

Dawn of Civilization (DoC) is an educational gaming app developed by Solve Education! to create a fun environment that would increase their students’ motivation to learn. It combines game mechanics, social media elements, and artificial intelligence to provide engaging educational opportunities for students who otherwise would not attend school or have an adequate education[3].

Promising results

Since its launch in 2017, DoC has a total of 10,185 users worldwide and a combined 6873 hours of learning. A close comparison against other benchmarked gaming apps reveal DoC’s average weekly usage of 8.94 sessions/ week exceeds those of games (2.375 session/ week)[4]. In addition, the app has more than double the average session length (15.75 mins) compared to that of other gaming (6.8 mins) apps[5]. These figures reveal that DoC’s users are not only active engagers of the app, but exhibit the propensity to play the game for longer periods of time. According to the Adjust Blog, games generally have a 30 day retention rate of 10% but DoC has an impressive 30 day retention rate of 43.5%[6]. These promising figures show that EdTech could certainly be a viable solution to delivering education to the millions of out-of-school children around the world. Their end goal is to pave the way for students to have access to a personalized and engaging learning tool to empower them with the skills and confidence to face the challenges of a changing world, and transform their own lives[7].

Please visit their website at ​https://solveeducation.org.

For collaboration enquiries, please contact Janine at janine@solveeducation.org.


[1]IMF, 2004
[2]Peng T. Ong, Solve Education! Annual Report (2017)
[3]Solve Education! Annual Report (2017)
[4]Dave Hoch, Loyaltics (2014)
[5]Dave Hoch, Loyaltics (2014)
[6]Statistics taken over a 90 Day period.
[7]Solve Education!, Annual Report (2017)

References


About Author
Janine Teo
Janine Teo Chief Executive Officer Solve Education!

Janine Teo heads Solve Education!, an education technology not-for-profit with the mission of delivering quality education to everyone, focussing on the BOP (Bottom of Pyramid) demographic.

Janine is a passionate entrepreneur who has founded and sold companies in the technology, beauty and consumer goods industries. On top of her entrepreneurial experience, Janine has also a strong international track record in sales, marketing and revenue management in the corporate world, mostly in the highly competitive hospitality industry. She has worked in 8 different countries, and has trained and supported hotels across almost 100 countries. As an enthusiastic linguist, she is fluent in 5 languages.

Janine's research paper on Solve Education!: "How gaming, artificial intelligence and big data is changing education" is published in IEEE's International Conference on Game, Game Art and Gamification 2016. She has also published her research paper in IEEE, ACM and SCS conferences in the field of parallel simulation.

Education is the key to solve the many challenges we face in the world today, and because of this, Janine is an avid speaker on topics like education, edtech, and poverty alleviation. She is also on the advisory board of YCAB - ranked #49 in the world's top 500 NGOs (http://www.ycabfoundation.org/en/).

She is born and raised in Singapore, and has a Bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore.