On Friday, September 11, 2020, an information seminar "Attractive education and development of high school students" was held in Košice, which took place on the occasion of the launch of a pilot testing of an innovative educational game for business skills called InnoSchool, organized by the Faculty of Economics TU Košice. At the seminar, several presenters gave lectures in the field of education and development of young people in our region, modern elements in their education and adapting education according to the needs of practice.
The seminar was opened by František Janke from the Faculty of Economics of the Technical University in Košice, coordinator of the InnoSchool project for the Slovak Republic, with a presentation of the initiative.
InnoSchool is an innovative education system with a goal to strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit, the perception of social problems/challenges and the creation of social innovations in high school students, which is developed and jointly implemented by 11 organizations from 9 European countries. It combines traditional classroom teaching methods with digital elements and an online educational game. This educational game includes elements of gamification, i.e. playful elements that aim to involve and motivate students in acquiring new knowledge and skills, and in developing socio-business ideas.
He focused mainly on the goals of the educational game, the basic principles of operation and its functionality. Gamification elements of the game were introduced, such as gaining game currency, supporters, remodelling the office and competing between teams and what students would learn. The presentation ended with an explanation of the aspect of the competition and the course of the competition after the end of the online parts of the Educational Game.
“Be innovative! Be creative!”
Slavomír Kožár, who is the head of the education department of the Košice self-governing region, continued the seminar. He emphasized the importance of joining forces and supporting students on their journey through study and life-inspiring ways. He emphasized the importance of innovative teaching methods for the successful placement of students in the labour market. He mentioned and identified as an example the key technologies that will be inevitable in the future of the labour market and the future of students, and asked whether today's students are prepared for these technologies and the importance of incorporating elements of these topics into teaching and critical thinking. He ended the presentation by recommending the introduction of changes in teaching to be more innovative and to anticipate what will happen and change in the future. He recalled the fact that the school is no longer the first source of information for students and therefore they need to be encouraged with interesting and new forms and content of education. In the end, he answered the questions raised about the equipment of today's schools with modern technologies.
Online tools for working with youth
Martin Boršč, IUVENTA - Slovak Youth Institute, continued, introducing the online tools that IUVENTA uses for work with youth. He mentions that students today live mainly in the Internet world, and young people who do not have knowledge of these technologies are at a disadvantage compared to their peers. He talks about the fact that they already consider technology to be a natural part of their lives. He emphasizes the fact that we need to adapt to this time in order to pass on our best and most important knowledge to young people in the educational process. He clarified terms such as "Generation of sloping heads", "Instant gratification", "FOMO" and others.
He recommends tools that have proved their worth to their company, such as Mentimeter (a tool aimed at interacting with the audience) and with an illustrative interactive demonstration, in which everyone involved joined with their mobile phones.
Other ones mentioned include: Padlet - a tool that simulates a virtual bulletin board; Actionbound - can be used to create missions (GPS location and team tasks); Videoscribe - a tool focused on creating short videos; Kahoot - a tool for creating quizzes and similar games.
At the end, the presenter prepared a competition with a prize for 3 winners. The competition took place on the website kahoot.it, where he prepared 3 competition questions for the participants, with content related to his presentation, and at the end he rewarded the 3 best with material rewards.
"Check the quality of your idea"
This was followed by a presentation by Juraj Kováč, who is the founder of the Rozbehni.sa program - business preparations, which took place online via a video call. The presentation began with a presentation of his company and its successes. The aim of his presentation was to provide business tools that can help students create their business plan in the game. These tools include: Ko.ZA - to anyone since tomorrow - He talked about ideas that are not so innovative, and it is important to think about the fact that potential customers should be the whole world and the first revenue would be within a few weeks.
It is important to motivate students to have an idea, because if they do not, the ideas are doomed to less success and show more business risk. Other tools are: "Customer ping pong" - inviting customers to a class for students to conduct a customer survey; Prototyping - He says he is trying to make it important for customers to be able to order/pre-order a product and see if there is a demand for the product/service.
Finally, he added that the first phase of business is non-business, it is important to test the idea and try to get people to switch from building mode to test mode - within 100 hours to 100eur. It is important for students to understand that the idea will not work first, but it is important to improve it.
Gamification in practice
Mária Frankova is the founder of Hipstersaurus Rex Apps and explained at the beginning what the term gamification means. She mentioned how she herself completed gamification elements as part of her studies at the Faculty of Economics of the Technical University in Košice, and the most interesting thing for her was the simulation of her own production and trade with a PC. She talked about various experiences from her university life that related to gamification and that started her startup. She presented the content of games in which she collaborated as Socialpoly - a game she prepared together with students on Erasmus and games like L€arn - a leisure activity for students that can be freely downloaded. Finally, brochures were offered, which were brought closer by one of the mentioned L€arn games, for the participants.