2017-18 INDUSTRY CIRCLE WEBINAR WITH CLASSCRAFT ON YOUTUBE LIVE
On May 29th, join the fourth installment of the Games for Change 2017-2018 Industry Circle. The Industry Circle is a program that showcases the achievements and opportunities in the impact games sector by highlighting leading studies that have made a significant contribution to our community. André Thomas, CEO of Industry Circle member Triseum, shares tips on how to engage with Europe’s educational market and develop partnerships with public bodies and other stakeholders to successfully implement game based learning in European classrooms. If you would like to learn more on the subject matter, sign-up to the Webinar and Q&A on May 29th at 2 p.m. EST.
NAVIGATING GAME BASED LEARNING IN EUROPE
Having been born and raised in Europe I always felt that our Triseum suite of educational games should not only be used in the US but could also help students across Europe. While the forming of the European Union has been very beneficial for doing business in Europe, when it comes to education and educational games, each country still has its own individual needs and approaches. Imagine if you had to understand each country’s educational system, their curriculum, cultural differences and way of doing business, plus the language barriers, coupled with knowing that it takes just as long to sell to European schools as it does in the US? It could be a very long time before you see any meaningful adoptions, not to mention it requires a huge investment.
How do you overcome such a challenge?
While we have by no means successfully navigated all of these challenges, we would like to share with you our approach in hopes that it can help you move seamlessly through the process. Today Triseum’s games are being used in 16 schools around 5 European countries, and another 46 schools are piloting our games as well. We are in conversations with one Ministry of Education about adopting our games for their national curriculum and we are exploring partnerships with key partners in almost every European country.
How did we get here?
It was never a question of “if” but a question of “when” and “how.” In my ignorance, I realized quickly that my initial thought of “build the game and players will come” does not really work in education and certainly not in Europe. Nobody is sitting there just waiting for us to turn up. Teachers all across the world are constantly trying to help students improve their learning experience and they do not necessarily tune in to social media for an American startup company to show up and offer their wares. Being active on social media and attending a few conferences was not going to be enough. How about a trip and visiting schools in person? Surely that should do the trick, but not quite. I visited Greece a year and a half ago and met with many teachers, faculty and administrators, all of whom loved our games. To help organize the trip, I hired a local consultant who had knowledge of the space and great connections. Triseum’s positive reception was overwhelming and I was sure in no time all of the students in Greece would be playing our games to help them succeed in calculus.
Several months after that visit, I was eagerly awaiting the news that all of the schools would be adopting our games. I heard nothing but silence. What happened? The teachers were definitely interested, however our games were not in Greek, nor did we have any training materials for teachers, efficacy studies or even case studies. We also realized we did not have any local support or office that teachers could call and ask for help. As a result, we hired our consultant in Greece on a permanent basis to help us develop our business across Europe.
One of the first things he did for us was establish a connection with the European Schoolnet. EU Schoolnet is an organization setup by 31 Ministries of Education from Europe with the purpose of identifying and bringing new innovations into K-12 classrooms across Europe on behalf of those Ministries. After an initial meeting where we had the opportunity to show our games and share our vision, we got invited to join the Future Classroom Lab – FCL. At the same time, we collaborated with the European Schoolnet team on the design of a pilot project that would test our games in 5 countries. The goal would be to measure the viability of our approach and how it might fit into a classroom and the educational experience in those countries.
As of this writing, we are wrapping up a 1-year pilot program and we are publishing the results in the next few weeks. Thus far, we have seen extremely positive results and I highly recommend collaborating with the experts at European Schoolnet. This partnership paves the way for you to learn firsthand from teachers in the classrooms what works and what does not work, providing valuable insights on how to adjust your games and your approach. The teacher feedback has been instrumental in shaping Triseum games and approach:
Giulia Bini, Italian mathematics and physics teacher, previously had an 80% success rate with her students, but after implementing Variant: Limits, our Calculus game, her success rate went to 100% and the average grade jumped up across the board. Click here to learn more about Giulia’s experience with game-based learning.
Anita Streich, Polish language and Ethics Education teacher, saw that ARTé: Mecenas taught her students social skills, decision-making skills, and English language skills. Click here to learn more about Anita’s experience with game-based learning.
Anica Tričković, primary math teacher in Serbia, saw that her students gained problem solving and social skills while playing Variant: Limits in pairs. Click here to learn more about Anica’s experience with game-based learning.
We look forward to sharing the results of the European Schoolnet Validation study in the next few weeks.
Triseum grew out of the LIVE Lab in the Department of Visualization in the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. Education will always remain at the heart of this learning company. Partnering with industry leading experts in gaming and instructional design, Triseum creates entertainment quality, immersive learning games for foundational subjects where high school and higher education students face challenges with engagement, course completion and success. Delivering world-class digital experiences that profoundly impact students while maintaining strict learning efficacy backed by rigorous research, Triseum’s bold curiosity means pushing the boundaries of what educational games are all about. For more information, please click here.