'Game-based learning makes the child explore'

'Game-based learning makes the child explore'

After 10 years of working as a techie, I took a conscious decision to move to the development sector, where I thought I could leverage my tech background into enabling education. I wanted to blend the two to make a more significant impact,” says Sabina Jain, the co-founder of Callystro, a game-based learning startup from Mangaluru.

At a time of constant debates spewing over and around poor standards of learning and how the teaching methodologies all across the world are too traditional if not ancient, game-based learning concepts like Callystro emerge as a knight in the shining armor.

Callystro, an award winning learning games company, believes that ‘playing is how we learn best.’ Playing does not mean wasting your time; but rather time spent building new knowledge from previous experience.

Their learning games products include CoBELS – India’s only game based learning solution that is mapped to the entire curriculum for grades I – VIII and Mapoosa (www.mapoosa.com) – a curriculum based online virtual world for children. Their education solutions utilise the latest in technology and run on tablets and PCs. They have currently come up with a game on financial literacy to help students understand the various financial concepts in a fun way. This gamified course was also selected by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) for installation in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

According to Jain, their games are a perfect amalgamation of learning elements which make the child explore and think, alongside teaching them how to handle failure. The journey from the conceptualisation to the inception of Callystro has not been an easy one. Jain says that creating the content was one of the biggest challenges, which itself took two and a half years.

She tells Metrolife, “A continual challenge is that of acceptance of game-based learning. The question of whether it can actually make a difference in learning, by blending it in formal learning systems and integrating it in classrooms.”

On talking about what makes Callystro different from all the other game-based learning concepts, she says that it is the ‘first mover’s advantage.’ They also have a repository of 400 games which are mapped to a particular curriculum as opposed to other game-based learning companies which focus more on the co-scholastic skills which undoubtedly have their own importance.

“Today and even when we had started there wasn’t enough game-based learning content catering to the low cost affordable schools segment. The available content was too Americanised or British in nature. We were the first to localise the game-based learning content to remove the language barriers. We also started collaborating with NGOs, CSRs and several foundations. Besides this, off late we have also started working towards developing game-based learning for the corporate sector-the induction trainees, employees and so on,” she adds.

Jain, who was recently in the capital for JUMPSTART; the annual congress of children’s content creators and a flagship project led by the German Book Office, says, “Game-based learning right now is at a very nascent stage. People have started warming up to it. So, I guess ten years down the line we as a company will have enough data to show that our concept works.”

She says, “As of now in the Indian space we are only a startup, but if you look out for game-based learning content we do feature pre-dominantly over there, which of course is a positive sign.”