PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details
We create innovative educational tools which combine physical activity with learning through a game/play based approach. These educational tools, such as Aball1, are sold to schools, youth organisations and charities who use them to increase physical activity, improve numeracy, literacy, health education, teach about recycling and more, as well as improving social inclusion and social learning, Most importantly, and at the heart of it all is making it fun!
Our projects are currently running every week, visiting schools, 4-H youth camps and education centres to deliver Aball1 sessions tailored to the specific learning objectives of the group we are working with. These sessions can last from 1 hour to a full day.
The service is delivered by our core staff - Glenn Andersen, Tor Sandnes, Kieran Nokes and Shakeel Chaudhry while teacher, coaches and facilitators are brought in to support activities ad-hoc. Often, teachers or coaches at the venue will be trained and get involved with delivering the sessions. This also means they can continue deliver Aball1 sessions in our absence.
INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.
In the UK 1/5 children leave secondary school without achieving the basic levels in numeracy and literacy. That's a huge proportion of the population. A new approach is needed.
1/3 children leave primary school either overweight or clinically obese. Children are leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles and this inactivity carries the same risk of cardiovascular disease as smoking.
The UK is an increasingly culturally diverse place. Children need to live together, to learn respect, empathy, teamwork and communication.
We have used UK as an example but these trends are common worldwide.
LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?
Learning through play fosters a positive learning environment, building a love for learning which is essential for a happy and successful life.
Learning through play is fun. When something is fun we are more engaged. We have seen the difference between teaching a class maths from a workbook and playing Aball1 games. Children are challenged, and do not find it easy, but because it is fun, engagement is much higher.
If there is a way to engage an entire class, how can anyone say that's just 'nice to have'?
SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.
In the financial year 2013 to 2014 our funding came from 3 main sources:
Aball1 equipment and resource sales - 8%
Aksjon Fraksjon equipment and resource sales - 8%
Projects - 84%
For our projects we are the architects of the programme and use our own educational resources.
MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?
The more money we bring in, the more children we will reach, and the closer to our mission we will get. The more profitable we can be as a company, the more and better solutions we can bring to the marketplace.
Last year, we doubled turnover to £300k, breaking even for the first time. We are on target to match that this financial year.
FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?
Under our current model: 20% goes to salaries. 20% to pay bills. 10% to R&D. 10% to sales & marketing. 10% to travel. 10% to production costs. 10% to unexpected cost. 10% to Charity.
We would apply to the $20k across this with more focus on R&D to help children get the most out of our resources.
PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.
Many of our projects are built on partnerships. These can be for financial support or strategic. We currently have projects working with Sparebank1, 4-H, Elopak, Right to Play, The Department for Immigration (UDI), The Refugee Council, the Nukanti Foundation and the Red Cross.
COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
Prior to being named Challenge Pacesetters we had set up a partnership with the Nukanti Foundation organising Shoot4Peace - a football tournament to educate and empower war affected youth. Raising awareness and money for educational programmes, we aim to launch the first event in September 2015.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?
Gladiator Education will be working to improve health, education and social inclusion worldwide - part of a movement to make learning fun and accessible for all!
We will have a comprehensive compendium of Aball1 games supporting numeracy, literacy, health education and many other subjects with improved video, apps and online support. Aksjon Fraksjon will grow and we will introduce new educational games.
IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time
More children like physical activity!
More children like to read!
More children like mathematics!
More children are socially included!
A recent Vista Analyse impact report found that these effects are achieved when Aball1 is used regularly.
Across all of these, we want to make learning and physical activity fun, to help children develop a love for these which they can use to achieve life-long success.
APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.
Physical Play, Play with Objects, Games with Rules, Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts).
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.