Beas Dev Ralhan, Co-Founder and CEO, Next Education India

Beas Dev Ralhan is the CEO of Next Education India Private Limited, a technology-driven education enterprise, headquartered in Hyderabad. Prior to Next Education, Beas worked as an entrepreneur, investment manager, and consultant for around a decade. In recognition of his immense contribution to the K–12 education segment, CII (Southern Regional) bestowed upon him the ‘Emerging Entrepreneur’ award in 2015. He also received the Indian Education Leader award at the 7th World Education Summit, 2016. Beas likes to be a part of ventures where technology is the game-changer. He ardently believes that a real change in education can take place with teachers adopting and incorporating technology in the child’s learning process, and this learning via technology can create a difference in the lives of millions of students.

‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.’

In this world of online education, computerized learning and video games, children are always hooked onto one device or another. The era of outdoor games is gone whereas the online screen time is increasing every day. With every passing day, technology is evolving in a manner which heralds of a day, not far away, when every educational component will be digitized and easily accessible. But will that be effective for learners? Will the huge amount of screen time, which is so much fun for today’s students, bring the same amount of joy for future learners? We can’t be too sure about this.

We are aware of the fact that any revolutionary technological intervention needs to knit the benefits of both hardware and software. This integration is capable of bringing the fun of hands-on creation and the pleasure of learning by doing, something which ensures not just visual and auditory learning potential but enhances our kinesthetic learning skill of learners. We must understand that we need ourselves and the future generations to grow holistically to witness a wonderful tomorrow which needs more than just the touch of our fingertip.

As education is one of the greatest pillars for self-development, it is imperative to mold the academic sphere in a way that can broaden the exposure for learners and give them ample opportunity to be their best versions. As education has the power to transform life, educators across the globe are working tirelessly to make innovations that not only provide learners knowledge but also keeps the joy of learning alive in them. Be it designing a brand-new curriculum that is age-appropriate or incorporating hands-on learning activities and gamification to make learning fun, continuous research and development are going on with the aim of building the best for our next generation.

In this article, we will talk about how gamification is changing the face of education. But before we proceed, let us get to know what gamification is.

Gamification can be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying game elements. Applied in a non-game context, gamification commonly employs game design elements to improve user engagement, productivity, flow, and learning.

For example, McDonald’s had incorporated ‘Till Training’ to train their employees on the new cash register and ordering system. The company has developed a game that involved scores, different challenges, timers, and feedback. The game helped employees to stay equipped with an environment that is identical to their would-be real-life situation. But the game gave them the leverage to make mistakes and learn from them.

In the educational spectrum, gamification is considered as a technique that can enhance learners’ communication in a classroom scenario. Involving games in the class acts as a stimulus and improves learning outcome, collaboration and communication skill and make the learning a joyful experience.

Importance of gamification

According to the literature review published in Springer International, gamification in education has proved to improve the “Learner Outcome”. The review has stated that gamification in the classroom has enhanced the qualities of participation, engagement, productivity, motivation, enjoyment, sense of achievement and sense of accomplishment. Based on 15 studies on gamification in education, the researchers demonstrated that gamification has a significant role to play to transform education.

Top scientifically proven benefits for gamification of learning are as follows:

  • Increases learner engagement
  • Advocates collaborative group learning
  • Ensures a better learning outcome
  • Improve the capacity of knowledge absorption and retention
  • Makes learning fun and interactive
  • Provides students with the opportunity to check and experience the real-world applications
  • Enhances the overall learning experience
  • Robotics, an integral part to gamify education

Gamification is now perceived as a significant education tool. Many educational subjects are being articulated by gamification because it is capable of engaging young minds and draw their undivided attention. Applications, Software, Coding, and Robotics are invoked in the academic domain to fascinate learners and keep them hooked with the idea of learning.

Teaching young students the abstract subject of programming can be challenging as it is often too complex and difficult to grasp. But introducing Robotics, which is comparatively simpler to understand and more tangible, can be a great start.

When students program physical robots, it becomes easier for them to understand the intricacies and capabilities of robots. They learn the skills needed to create precise and accurate instructions and have fun while learning valuable lessons.

The demand for robotics in education

As the post-millennial generations are more exposed to different technological devices more from a tender age, they tend to be extremely inquisitive about technology and computational discoveries. So, if learners are introduced to the basics of Robotics and programming languages from an early age, it can stimulate their minds with creativity and satisfy their curiosity.

Moreover, children always find robots intriguing. The movements of a robot, the method of controlling the movements as well as the whole programming behind running a robot are always significant areas where learners pay undivided attention.

For example, in a workshop organized by Next Education India Private Limited, which was solely about Robotics, students from different age groups were introduced to two robots named MEER and AZZY. We witnessed how a student can first feel overwhelmed seeing MEER moving, followed by trying to learn the programming behind the movements.

Gamification is a concept that applies the elements of gaming in non-gaming contexts. It is a tried and tested method that witnessed significant growth in different areas of education. The goal of education is not to simply cram facts, but also to create opportunities for a child to develop new perspectives, and it is to this end that gamification is much needed, with the added advantage of motivating students.

Be it honing creativity amongst learners, motivating them to innovate, or making them future-ready, gamification and robotics are all about empowering learners and introducing it in schools can translate into successful futures.

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