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Reflections from Petros Tsopanakis

Being part of the Rebooting Greek Language Initiative felt more like a self-growth experience than internship. Not only did i have the chance to work with creative people but also felt part of the greater mission which is to preserve Greek Heritage. My contribution was the setting up of the gamification strategy for Level 2 apps. The age group (9-13) is indeed a difficult audience but the biggest challenge was to find the balance between game and gamified experience. We are talking about a language learning app and not a videogame. What worked in that case was to always keep in mind the educational goals set up beforehand and not let the fantasy element get out of hand. Every element that would be gamified had to follow one of the three main goals. Motivate the user to a) spend time in the app, b) complete the in-app activities, c) replay the activities. The level 2 gamification strategy takes into consideration the casual user, the achiever and the learner but also provides a gamified framework and a set of tools for the teacher to boost student engagement. Using an avatar system, challenges, badges, milestones and visual and non-visual rewards we create a charming game-like ecosystem that feels more like the mythological world of ancient greece than a series of language-learning tests and assesments. When done right gamification can have a significant boost to engagement, especially for younger kids and teens who rely heavily on playfulness to collect information about the world around them and understand its limits, and possibilities, while expanding their social and cognitive skills.