What is the life of first year students looks like? Standardised classes and standardised exams after classes. Solutions to problems are set. The line between right and wrong is clear. They need to recite, repeat and regurgitate facts to earn credits and pass the test. This worn out routine has bored students and generated huge amounts of class distractions, which have been exacerbated by the ubiquitous existence of smart devices. Kids are kept away from play since primary school.
This is not a healthy phenomenon, which has drawn the lots attention of social scientists, who come up with studies and conclusions saying ¨lack of childhood play can disrupt normal social, emotional, cognitive development¨. If left free, children will make their own rules, unleashing the boundless potential and innovation, which serves as a huge contribution to a structured gaming like sports and board games.
The process of game designing can be a leveraged as a process of kids learning from and getting to know each other better, thus improving their social and emotional development. But the benefits of letting kids play have not stopped there. It´s proved that the cognitive development can also be improved along the way. Children come out smarter after exploiting what´s behind the game, and how to design a game of their own because they are leveraging the power of their imagination, logics, critical thinking and computational skills. They also need to conquer challenges and obstacles in the way of playing. This process would prepare them better for the future adventure, and their readiness to accomplish tasks.
No One Left Behind, the co-funded EU Horizon 2020 project, is the kind of project that would break the boring circle of ¨all work and no play¨ by implementing all the benefits entailed with playing. Pocket Code special version provides the necessary supporting tool to bring back the play element in classes with curriculum related subject and learning platform.