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Nightzookeeper and Stealth Education

Happy New Year, #LEGup crew!

Our first offering for 2012 (which will soon be the Chinese Year of the Black Dragon, excitingly) is focused on the concept of stealth education. Inspired by Dawn Hallybone's talk last year, we'll be looking at whether or not we need to hide the educational element in our games to make them appealing to kids. There are two speakers this month.

First up, fresh from their victory at Startup Weekend Education London, we have Paul Hutson from Nightzookeeper. Nightzookeeper is a growing online social environment for children where they can display their creativity and collaborate with students from around the world. There is a central narrative running throughout the website, which focuses on the adventures of a Night Zookeeper who takes care of amazing animals that one will not find anywhere else in the world. Children are invited to imagine their own magical animals and collaborate with others to shape this ever-evolving story.  

Paul is a primary school teacher currently teaching in a variety of schools across London. He has recently returned from Abu Dhabi where he took part in the process of setting up an international school. His experiences in education to date have encouraged him to develop an online space which facilitates creativity. He is working with Joshua Davidson and Simon Burman on the Night Zookeeper.

Paul says "The Night Zookeeper encourages traditional play in a digital age. It creates a highly social and self-expressive experience. Recognising that these physical, offline forms of play are of vital importance to a child's development. We do this by setting a variety of games or 'Missions' for children to complete as they simultaneously interact with the online and offline world. Our developing platform, is driven by user generated content: as children develop their own games, artwork and narratives."

Paul would really appreciate it if you could have a look at www.nightzookeeper.com before the meetup. He'll be presenting future plans for the website and hopes to take on board any creative suggestions the group may have.

Next, we have Henry Playfoot, CEO of Stealth Education. Stealth Education create apps, games and experiences that "delight and entertain; the learning bit happens without you realizing..." - making Henry the perfect person to discuss just how to make the learning happen without making a game overtly "educational". Stealth Education have just launched an app called ABC Spy and Henry will be talking a little about this before opening up discussion with the group.

Due to government cutbacks and hurricanes we (sadly) do not have a beer sponsor this month, so please BYOB if you wish to drink. There are plenty of places nearby where you can buy wine and beer. Coffee and tea are available free at the Centre.

Looking forward to seeing you all again.

Kirsten x

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  • Paul H.

    Breaking Night Zoo News: Their are new Edugames animals in the night zoo. Simply register using the following code and you will be able to see your animal in its very own ZOOK!
    Reg code: LEGUP
    URL: http://www.nightzookeeper.com/user/register

    January 19, 2012

  • Ian W.

    Another interesting if rather balmy session, thanks to the presenters and Kirsten for putting it together! For those who would like to vote for Appatta's 'My Note Games!' in the #LWF12 Innovation Awards, please find details here:
    http://mynotegames.com/my-note-games-shortlisted-for-learning-withou

    January 19, 2012

  • Lola G.

    Paul and the other Nightzookeepers, thanks for a great session. looking forward to seeing the animals. My daughter's (age 8) response to me this morning as i told her of NZK was cool! she is keen to try it as well. keep up the good work.

    January 19, 2012

  • Ben B.

    A fantastic #LEGup. Really brilliant (and very interactive) presentations from @nightzookeeper and @stealth_ed. I especially enjoyed the upcoming tracing feature on nightzookeeper and the discussion that came out of Henry's video and presentation.

    January 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I had some knowledge of NZK so it was a great chance to find out more...thank you for that opportunity.
    As to SE, I was genuinely wowed by their work and ideas. Passionate and driven, visionary and articulate.
    My only concern is that we are in danger of widening the gap between the haves and have nots. My experiences in education have mostly been with hard to reach children and families...we need to explore learning for all, not just those with access to smart phone technology et al.

    January 19, 2012

  • Paul H.

    Thanks all for attending this evening. It was really great to hear your thoughts on nightzookeeper. If you would like to see your animals on the website you will need to register (completely free) and enter a group with the registration code: LEGUP (case sensitive). They should all be live on there in a few days. See you all again next time!

    January 19, 2012

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