Creative educational fun
At Campus Party 2013, I explored some of the start-up ventures and I met Josh from Night Zoo Keeper, whose website and app really appealed to my imagination, hence I have decided to dedicate a full post to it and I have to admit I did have a go at playing too. (The inner child needs something too 😉 right?) Personally I am always interested in apps and ideas that can make learning more fun. When I saw what www.night zookeeper.com could do to make homework fun again and play more educational I was hooked.
In school I always did relatively well, but I had to work to get good results and being the daughter of a then teacher (now sports journalist) there was a little added pressure on it too, so homework was always high on our agenda at home. I also learned that getting help in maths homework from my mum and a friend, wasn’t the best policy for great scores ;-/
I had a creative side and loved reading, so the app would have been perfect for me. I always dreamed up stories only my drawing skills weren’t that great. Essay and story type homework was definitely my thing, I guess that is probably why I write blogs, articles and books now. But as an adult I just had to try out the app and have a go at drawing albeit computer assisted (which is so much more forgiving), so the night owl you see in the picture is my wonderful creation. I just love those wise creatures.
Apps like these I believe are a great way to create some gamified yet educational fun for children and their parents. Even if they have to travel for work, they can still set missions and engage online. Imagine that long journey in a car or plane, with your child actively creative and making pictures and stories. I would also say it could work wonders for essay type homework where imagination is involved.
From speaking to Josh I learned there are a lot of exciting developments in the pipeline, but for the time being he is keeping the app free to play and is looking for parents and teachers to help play the game. I think you could take the animals created on many educational missions from a museum tour where they can interactively press on things they like to hear the story related to that artefact. A tour around the galaxy, whilst learning about the planets. Meeting other real animals in their normal habitat, so you can find out how they live in story format. The learning potential is vast.
In the end of the day it instills curiosity and as long as the fun and surprise element stays within the app then this is the way forward for keen creative kids like me, who just had to try out the system, hence the existence of a fabulous Night Owl called Chum 🙂
As I sent the above blog post to Josh, he responded by saying that he also has a new app out just this week: it's called Story Pairs Tell you what, if you would like to encourage your child's creative story telling ability, you really ought to have a look at the clip below to learn more. In my view the game will not strengthen their memory, it will also teach them about sharing and collaborating with other children and earning the right to tell your story to all other players in the game. Imagine the confidence boost you gain from doing this. My nieces always beat me in memory card games, but if I look very upset for losing she will help all the same and maybe that is a level-up possibility to help others with their story in a phone-a-friend kind of way.