COVID-19 pandemic brought unexpected changes that rapidly affected business, societies as well as the educational process. Many educational institutions were not prepared for the whole online schooling scenario. Students, teachers, and parents were faced with a lot of challenges and many primary schools lacked appropriate tools for online teaching.
The creation of the Sandbox Generation platform is an example of collaboration between students, education providers, and businesses which the DIHUB project aims to stimulate. The final result of these collaborations would be the development and implementation of cloud-based innovations.
In 2020, life has changed a lot for primary school students. Although many of them use digital technology to play, platforms for school collaboration and communication were pretty challenging for them. Students missed their friends and they had to focus on the online classes which they do not find very interesting. Sometimes, parents were the ones who helped students to master the functionalities of different applications and platforms and to work on the files that teachers uploaded on the platforms. This caused additional obligations for parents and often generated frustrations. Teachers were having a hard time engaging and motivating students in the online environment. Tools that would make the teaching process more fun and appropriate for children would be of great help to teachers during the pandemic.
Since the nature of education is rapidly changing, and the number of distance schooling systems is increasing, Algebra’s graduate students have decided to embark on an adventure: creating a solution that, as they say, could provide an adequate online education to the youngest generations. Seven members of the Right-Click team are skilled in different fields – software engineering, digital marketing, and data science. Anton Maurović, Luis Daniel Vasquez Pena, Suzana Antolin, Ema Dugonjić, Fabian Babić, Evgeniya Samsonova, and Marko Ivanović are working on the development of an interactive platform for primary schools – Sandbox Generation.
The platform is intended for primary school students aged 6 to 11 who are involved in distance learning. The main use of a game-like learning environment is to provide a fun, friendly, and simple way for children to learn online by combining a game and education. This virtual game allows students to interact with one another by moving around the virtual classroom environment and use predefined actions. It also allows sharing files between the teacher and students. The class environment would be controlled by the teachers who would have certain privileges to keep the desired learning atmosphere. Students would learn, solve quests and quizzes, collect points, and virtually socialize with friends.
This simple and fun learning environment aims to reduce the frustrations and decrease time spent for mastering the tool for both students and parents, as well as to help teachers motivate students by providing everyone with a comfortable learning environment. The platform could also be used by educational institutions such as language schools, extracurricular activity providers, and similar. By implementing the use of the platform in teaching, these educational institutions could benefit from the opportunity of reaching a much wider audience.
Authors tend to create a platform that could be easily adapted to the existing curriculum and needs of the individual institution. Using the platform should be fun and easy. Creators of the platform plan to provide teachers with an extensive training program, trial period, and support system.