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No One Left Behind

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - No One Left Behind (No One Left Behind)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-03-31

The No One Left Behind project aims at creating the new generation of Pocket Code to attract, motivate and engage students with gaming concepts. Pocket Code is an application for mobile devices that allows children to create their own games, animations, music, videos, and many types of apps, directly on their phones or tablets.

In No One Left Behind we are building the new generation of Pocket Code and taking it to the academic curriculum of 17 classes, in 8 pilot schools from 3 European countries (Austria, Spain and UK). By providing this tool for game-making to be used in formal learning environments, we envisage:
• To empower more than 500 children between 8 to 17 years’ old, by granting them with the opportunity of developing and adapting their learning material in academic disciplines such as art, humanities, science, technology or math.
• To support more than 20 teachers to include new teaching practices that encourage students to use real-world problem solving, construct their own understanding of the subjects and incentivise inclusion, and collaboration, by developing games

To accomplish our mission, we are working on the following specific objectives:

Scaling Pocket Code from a technological research-based initiative to the education market
The new generation of Pocket Code is the market ready version of Pocket Code for education, which addresses cognitive and social empowerment for assessing learning through fun and progressive game-making. To scale to the education market, we are:
• Integrating into the Pocket Code media-rich programming environment, game mechanics, dynamics and data measurement and modelling methodologies used by gaming companies from the leisure and entertainment industry.
• Optimizing Pocket Code’s effectiveness and usability in education to support students’ empowerment.
• Incorporating the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) inclusive technology to overcome accessibility barriers, such as disabilities or digital literacy.
Transference of gaming technologies to new generation of Pocket Code

The transference of game design elements (mechanics, dynamics, aesthetics and analytics), models and methodologies from gaming companies playing in the leisure and entertainment industry is being done at two levels:
• Technical level: we are creating Pocket Code leisure oriented “game templates”. The game templates allow to select a pre-coded shaped games (puzzles, adventure games, quizzes, races, shooting etc.) that can be edited and adapted to integrate knowledge and content from academic disciplines, personalize the background, themes or images (that respond to the students’ likes, cultural background and/or academic context), integrate preferred rewards schemas (lives, time, etc.), as well as incorporate any game strategy or fantasy. This makes possible for students to create their own games in an easy and fast manner.
Also, in No One Left Behind we are linking the Pocket Code infrastructure with a game analytic platform, for assessing the students’ behaviours and performance, so teachers can improve academic, social and participatory aspects.
• Organisational level: Basic concepts of game mechanics, gaming metrics and analytics are transferred to teachers through the “teaching framework”. So the teachers can better adapt class projects, academic content and strategies. Further, tapping into gamification`s intrinsic motivation, increase engagement and student retention while generating empathy, creativity, inclusion and collaborative approaches.

Matching game mechanics and dynamics transference to the academic and didactic curricula/syllabus objectives
The alignment of the lesson plans with the game-making process supports teachers to better manage and adapt lessons with gaming components. In No One Left Behind we have structured the lesson plans in templates. The templates have been developed to help teachers to build on the students` prior performance, cr
The work performed during the first period of the project focused on the following activities:

1. Project set up and functional definition: the performed activities aimed at securing the operational details of the project as well as to gather the requirements to define the functional specifications and requirements for defining and developing the new generation of Pocket Code. In this regard, we assessed and characterized the educational environment in Europe and pilot countries (Austria, Spain and UK) as well as evaluated and gathered the requirements for transferring the gaming and analytic technologies, the pedagogical delivery as well as the needs for inclusion and integration of GPII.
The main achievements for this work area are:
• The functional conceptual framework, gathering the technical requirements for taking Pocket Code to the new generation of Pocket Code has been fully defined, including the characterization of the data model and templates for Pocket Code.
• Definition of academic and behavioural requirements, which includes: support collaboration in class, engagement through demos and showcases, generation of examples of games for specific themes in mathematics, science, art and other subjects, and the generation of assets such as backgrounds and images for academic subjects or for inclusiveness, e.g. for girls.
• Main disabilities have been defined, which include: Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ADS), Dyslexia, Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties, Dyspraxia, profound and multiple learning disabilities; and moderate learning disabilities.

2. Pedagogical and didactical environment: the performed activities comprised the evaluation of academic programs and objectives, the assessment of didactical and behavioural needs, generation of illustrative scenarios that link the pedagogical needs supported by different types of games, as well as the generation of the teachers’ guidelines and framework to support the integration of gaming mechanism and elements in the class content, routines and planning.
Main achievements comprise:
• Alignment of the lesson plans (adapted to use Pocket Code) for all classes participating in the pilot (17 academic subjects).
• Definition of metrics to be included in the game analytics, which have been gathered in 7 groups: 4 measures for didactical/academic requirements (learning achievement, engagement: social, self and action engagement, teacher assistance, critical thinking), and 3 for behavioural requirements (collaboration, support, interdependence and social interaction, persistence, game player).
• 4 use cases based on four type of games (Adventure, Action, Puzzle and Quiz), have been defined; 12 scenarios have been devoted from the use cases to illustrate how the four templates are used in different academic subjects in the three pilot sites.
• Training guide for teachers integrating Pocket Code has been delivered.

3. Integration of game methodologies, elements and analytics: the performed activities focused on the integration of game mechanism from leisure oriented industry into Pocket Code.
Main achievements comprise:
• Transferring game elements: Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics (MDA) framework was used to transfer attributes or elements from the leisure oriented gaming industry. The gaming elements transferred comprise:
o 6 elements for supporting mechanics: points, levels, challenges, virtual goods, leader boards and gifting/charity
o 6 elements for dynamics: rewards, status, achievements, self-expression, competition and altruism.
o 8 elements for supporting aesthetics: sensation, fantasy, narrative, challenge, fellowship, discovery, expression and submission.
• Developing 4 “game templates” based on the following types of games: Adventure, Action, Puzzle and Quiz; and the use cases.
• Providing the game-making framework, so teachers and students can adopt needed processes that enable the efficient use of the new generation of Pocket
Progress beyond state of the art in No One Left Behind envisions to generate impacts that contribute towards social innovation. The No One Left Behind project supports the development of new pedagogies that relate to the development of games in the classroom. The project supports teachers to use new game-based tools and methodologies with engage and disengaged learners to reinforce their progression, meaningful learning, as well as social and participatory aspects; but also empower students by allowing them to produce their own learning materials through fun games.

No One Left Behind views learning not only associated with education and academic programs, but also as a broad concept including social and participatory aspects. Thus, the new generation of Pocket addresses cognitive and social empowerment for assessing learning through fun and progressive game-making. In this regard in our pilot settings we also can observe positive feedback from teachers regarding the progress on:
• Fostering creativity and empathy by using non-leisure gaming technologies in Pocket Code and as part of the class strategies.
• Stimulating computational thinking skills, such as thinking abstractly and the deconstruction of a problem into smaller pieces when training students and teachers to code games.
• Increasing participation and creativity through other activities such as game jams.
• Supporting computational proficiency.
• Using digital games in education and formal learning environments.
• Supporting teachers to move towards a more constructivist pedagogy.

Impact on social inclusion
From pilot sites we also can observe progress on:
• Participation of girls in Austria, both in classes and jams; through integration of game assets and aesthetics that allow customisation for all genders.
• Progress in the integration of GPII as a multimodal tool for inclusion of students with special needs.
• Slow but progressive adoption of Pocket Code and gaming methodologies by students with special needs in UK schools.
• High collaboration by managing groups in Spain. This has allowed to work in groups that integrate different skills when coding games (generating images or game assets, programming, testing, etc.) where students depend on each other for submitting projects.

Impact on educational market
The preliminary market assessment has been performed, and the landscape from market assessment shows that there is a positive balance from external and internal factors, providing a positive outlook. Thus No One Left Behind, has good capabilities and resources to provide value added in the educational market domain. Further, the challenge to launch the No One Left Behind platform and integrate the standalone products and services to market is addressable.
Overall, we can say that external context for the education domain environment is favourable for the adoption of new ICT solutions such as the new generation of Pocket Code and defined frameworks.
Teachers participating in the pilot in Spain
Creating games on the mobile
Pocket Code Game jam
The No One Left Behind team receiving the ICT 2015 Awards
Girls playing Pocket Code
Students using Pocket code at school