Social-Emotional Learning through Gamification K12

Mental Health Resources Available for All through Technology!

Lori
Health + Science
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Project Description

The above TedTalk explains the impressive impact that gamification and its concepts can make when applied to learning at all levels. One reason that gamification is so effective as an instructional tool is that it employs several principles found in applied behavior analysis (ABA) such as using positive reinforcement, differential reinforcement, reinforcement schedules, behavioral momentum, shaping target behaviors, using mass trials and social reinforcement, just to scratch the surface. 

Another reason gamification is so effective as a learning tool is because games can adjust the difficulty level, playing with just the right amount of challenge for the individual, not too difficult and not too easy.  This factor avoids boredom from a pace that is too slow and unchallenging as well as from frustration due to a fast pace that causes confusion, misunderstanding and error.  

Digressing a moment, we need to get to the matter at hand, we currently have a mental health crisis in our county with 1 out of 5 children in 50.7 million K-12 students in the US, with a diagnosable, but treatable, mental health condition. These conditions often affect learning, however, are left untreated both at home and at school. School systems do not have enough resources or lack training to adequately meet the needs of these students. Parents don't have enough knowledge to know what the problem is or how to get help for it  Only approximately 1-5% of these students actually receive the support they need.  This is due in part to the fact that the national average of school counselors to students is 477-1 and California is even further behind, ranking last in the nation with a ratio of 945-1.  Our current method for identifying these students is to wait until the problem has become so severe that a teacher or parent refers them to the school counselor or psychologist.  If they qualify to receive mental health support; they will likely only receive 2-4 thirty minute sessions a month, which can only scratch the surface.  They are often the target of ineffective, archaic disciplinary strategies and are punished for their disability rather than given the tools and encouragement they to be successful.  

Gamification designed specifically for the purpose of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) has shown a lot promise in recent research in reducing stress and treating anxiety and depression.  Since it is such an effective teaching tool, motivates and often brings joy to the player it makes sense to at least consider it as a viable teaching method.  What we are currently doing is surely not working.  Considering that over 93% of children ages 3-17 having played a video game before and of the highest risk group, ages 15-22, 97% playing an hour or more daily of some type of game (i.e. CandyCrush, Minecraft, WoW, etc.) this seems like the perfect modality for this population.  

The concept for EQK12 is to make social-emotional learning strategies more accessible to K-12 students through technology such as gamification and other digital media.  This can be achieved by teaching concepts associated with Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and developing a Growth Mindset.  The program also includes a classroom management, leveling system where students can earn points, similar to receiving XP in a video game. The points are tracked and monitored on a leader board to further reinforces their behavior and participation in the program. A parent and staff training module is also an important part of the program in order to educate and inform he adults in their lives how to engage with them in a meaningful and constructive manner. EQK12 is believed to show promise in removing barriers to learning and making the curriculum more fun and accessible to all students. 

The program consists of a universal screener, a social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum based on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and grow mind set using gamification and other digital media, a classroom management system based on ABA principles, PBS, multi-tiered systems of support and what we have learned about motivation from gaming principles and a supplemental teacher/parent training program.  Both interactive games and other engaging digital media are used to build a conceptual framework for social-emotional skills, a social-emotional vocabulary and provide opportunities to practice skills and receive feedback during off-line group and individually initiated mini-tasks.  The student completes these “real-life” activities to continue to foster and improve social interaction skills.  The student is reinforced for this through the classroom management point system.  

Because the intervention includes a universal screener it will detect issues before the become problems.  This could have a significant impact on many lives as well as all community systems including education, medical and judicial systems by creating resilience and preventing mental health problems in children.  Students that participate in a Social Emotional Leaning (SEL) curriculum are less likely to drop out of school, use drugs, commit suicide, engage in risky behavior, access community services and live longer, healthier lives.  This program also has a high cost savings potential as student achievement goes up, attendance goes up and discipline and special services and spending on other resources to support struggling students goes down.  

Gamification in education is an emerging market with rapid growth potential. In 2013 it was a $421million industry that is expected to jump to 5.5 billion in 2018, which is a 67% increase! Companies are just beginning to emerge into gamification as an intervention for children with social-emotional needs.   However, products are not yet in most schools, though they are desperately needed. There's a huge market out there, just waiting to be tapped.  

Updates

The Project FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What stage are you in product development?

We are currently in the reach and development phase.  We are raising money to develop a prototype.

  •   What age group will this be used with? 

This product will be available for students in schools grades K-12th grades and a home version for ages 5-17.  

  • How will teacher fit this content into their already pack schedule?

The format of the program is designed as such the the program can be utilized by any student during any time of the day. So if a student completes his/her work early he/she can login to play and build skills while he has downtime instead of getting into trouble.  

  • Is this based on the Common Core?

It is based on the guiding principles as SEL curriculum is not part of common core, however, when possible concepts have been aligned.  

  • Does it really work?

Research suggests that gamification may actually be a very effective elearning tool as it is able to continually keep the learner engaged and challenged without hitting the level of frustration that causes them to shutdown and avoid learning.     ​​​​

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

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Tips to Improve Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

PDF document that includes 10 tips for school, 10 tips for Home and additional tips for parents to improve Emotional Intellegence in children.

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$50
Lesson Plans for Emotional Intelligence

PDF document that has many great ideas for teachers to raise students’ Emotional Intelligence.

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$75
Free Access (1/mo) Home Version

Free Access (1/mo) when project is complete.

For one child

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$150
Free Access (6/mo) Home version

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$350
Free Access (6/mo) School version

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For five students

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About the entrepreneur

Rewards

Monetary Contribution

Just Because I Care

0 Supporters
Contribute
$25
Tips to Improve Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

PDF document that includes 10 tips for school, 10 tips for Home and additional tips for parents to improve Emotional Intellegence in children.

100 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$50
Lesson Plans for Emotional Intelligence

PDF document that has many great ideas for teachers to raise students’ Emotional Intelligence.

50 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward
$75
Free Access (1/mo) Home Version

Free Access (1/mo) when project is complete.

For one child

100 Left
0 Supporters
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$150
Free Access (6/mo) Home version

Free Access (6/mo) when project is completed.

For one child

 

10 Left
0 Supporters
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$100
Free Access (1/mo) School Version

Free Access (1/mo) when project is completed

For five students

 

50 Left
0 Supporters
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$250
Free Access (3/mo) School Version

Free Access (3/mo) when project is completed

For five students

 

25 Left
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$350
Free Access (6/mo) School version

Free Access (6/mo) when project is complete 

For five students

5 Left
0 Supporters
Select this reward