4. External motivators


What's that?

In Africa, in general, there are not enough teachers and not enough hours of classes a day to teach children everything they need to know. That's why we need children to stay interested and continue to learn voluntarily, even after leaving the classroom.

There is a solution that costs virtually nothing: alternate reality games.

An Alternate Reality Game (ARG) is a multi-media game that deliberately blurs experiences perceived within and out of the game.

Immersive fictions that blur the boundaries between the real and imaginary world, they unfold both online and in real life, they spread through all channels: treasure hunts in the city, texting, posters, e-mails, websites etc.
(Marie Lechner - Libération)

More than a riddle game, ARGs are essentially a new way of telling stories. These are fictions that are played in real life, instead of being confined to the pages of a book or the images of a screen. Players can see the plot hatch and expand in real time. It's a much richer and fun interactive experience.
(Adrian Hon - Puppetmaster)

Basically, it is the encounter between a large-scale treasure hunt, implying the interactive unfolding of a story, and a community of players (or students, in this case).


Why is it cool?

We can use the information we want students to learn as keys to unlock more and more games. And while looking for this information, they will necessarily learn many other things at the same time. And if it's really interesting, they could even meet after school to continue the treasure hunt.


5. Unexpected connections


What's that?

The previous game is good but it requires a lot of preparation time for anyone who wants to arrange it properly... For those who want something simpler, there is a research game which is about choosing 2 unrelated interesting concepts, and find the connection between them.

For example: Africa and Deep Learning.

Each player finds a series of links that lead from one theme to another.

The game works well with Wikipedia. It's not just about scanning links, but they should also describe the connection between these links. All successful students earn experience points but the winner is the one who makes the connection using the fewest possible links, he obviously gets bonus points.


Why is it cool?

This exercise encourages curiosity and allows students to come across information that they would not have explored otherwise.

Also, encouraging them to take the shortest path is giving them the motivation to go back to information, to think about it, to explore new directions that derive from this information.

But more importantly, this exercise leads them to study the connection between information, that is, how ideas are related, which is a vital skill, even for adults, it is important to contextualize knowledge and to understand the importance of certain topics that do not interest them directly.


So for our example, if we want to find the relationship between Africa and Deep Learning:

Africa => Evolution => Artificial Intelligence => Deep Learning


Try to beat that...


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Inspired by a presentation from Extra Credits
Image credit : Africa