Fri | Oct 20, 2017

Gamification for Education

Published:Friday | August 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Island ride to discover Jamaica.
Jamaica's traditional juice man makes delicious natural blends from fruits and vegetables.
The team (from left): Jonathan Kelly, founder and managing director, Shauna Vassel and Aisha Davis.
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Miramorai, Jamaica's Interactive Learning Solutions, creates culturally relevant books, games and educational mobile applications that serve as critical tools in social and academic development of children throughout the Caribbean.

According to Jonathan Kelly, founder and managing director, the company merges customised content with physical technologies for individual and group learning environments that utilise tablets, computers, interactive displays and other hardware.

"Initially, we started developing our own brands for resale under the name 'The JuiceMan'. It was released with a hard copy of the book and the digital application. Now, we offer our service for clients as well," Kelly said.

Storytelling vendor

The JuiceMan was built around a fictional character (a juice vendor) who provides a wealth of insight into Jamaican history and culture to those who interact with him. His community of Little Patch and its residents come alive through the use of animation, puppetry, digital storytelling and games.

"The name, The JuiceMan, was chosen because the juice vendor is a relevant Jamaican community member and the natural juices he sells represents what is wholesome, nutritious and good for you - things the brand represents," Kelly said.

The JuiceMan is anchored by an interactive website with Jamaican facts and figures, puzzles and trivia, with an online store that sells apparel, posters, postcards and other items that feature the JuiceMan's image.

Their latest project, 'Island Ride Discover Jamaica', will be launched in September and will encompass two versions for persons overseas who want to learn about Jamaica. It will also cover content based on the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

"We create culturally relevant mobile games that can be deployed to various platforms. We believe in customising the experience for the player so that it is easily relatable to users anywhere in the Caribbean region," Kelly said.

First-world quality

Kelly told The Gleaner that they are trying to create products that are of first world quality for a Caribbean audience. "The application is similar to the Monopoly board game, but instead, persons answer trivia questions about Jamaica. What started as a physical board game wasn't a viable option. Then we decided on an exclusive digital concept where players feel closer to and experience the island through play," he said.

This game allows players to navigate through each parish and learn about different aspects of the island, challenging different skill levels and engaging in a list of trivia questions.

"We transform classrooms, boardrooms and training rooms into engaging learning environments with vivid interactivity through the use of innovative technology that motivates learning and encourages participation," Kelly said.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com