The educational system has changed. Though for the most part, the concept remains the same – instill knowledge and applicable skills to the next generation so that they may reach higher education, find good jobs and so on. However, the system for doing so has shifted from a flat lecture based system to something more interactive. It is this interactivity that is breeding and propagating the word “gamification” in relation to education, something the creator of Superfunner, Jeff Schwarting, is counting on.
There are several reasons for this shift in the educational approach. The first reason is financial. Schools are more and more strapped for cash, forcing them to innovate in order to get the material across to the students. The second reason is the students themselves, entering into a loop of attention span and distraction issues. With the advent of mobile devices, students have even one more distraction to keep them from an education they might not understand they need.
So enter folks like Schwarting who created an app, a curriculum addendum, called Superfunner. Superfunner (not to be confused with Homestar Runner) layers on top of any existing curriculum, creating a gamification of the material, rewarding kids with badges and other non-material rewards. This system of gamification fits in line with how many of today’s children are learning outside of school. Competition breeds success.