Analysis of Trends for the SmartLab Education Group in Singapore

Analysisof Trends for the SmartLab Education Group in Singapore

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Analysisof Trends for the SmartLab Education Group in Singapore

ExecutiveSummary

Inthe current world, technology has taken root in almost every sector.In Singapore, the move to incorporate technology in the schoolcurricular is slow. One major problem is the notion that the teachersand the students hold. Most of the students perceive the iPad as agadget for entertainment and networking, and the teachers share thesame notion. By erasing the notion, SmartLab Education Group willhave an upper hand in the provision of the services to the students.The company has been in the education field for an extended period,therefore, creating a large pile of experience and trust. It shouldalso educate the tutors on how games and other forms of electronicfun are incorporated in tuition learning processes and by doing sothe company will reduce the chances of attracting the competitorsinto the business. The incorporation of games into the learningprocess is a critical move in ensuring participation of students and,therefore, improvement of grades as emphasized by Chen et al. (2012).Free platforms such as Kahoot and Socrative should be used as theyare cheap and reliable.

Theworld is changing at a quicker speed, especially regardingtechnology. Today, technology is being incorporated into the learningcurricula of most schools in the developed nations. SmartLab, atuition center which specializes in the integration of informationand communications technology (ICT) in the learning processes ofstudents enrolled in their tuition programs, cannot ignore thisfactor. The company has to move with the changing trends intechnology where today this is mostly applied in schools inpractices, such as gamification. It has to seize the opportunity andmeet the demand for incorporation of ICT in education. The rate atwhich ICT is being embraced in education is high, and the number ofservice providers in the local market is low (Chen, 2012). SmartLab’sstrength includes its ability to offer quality tuition services tothe students, making its services affordable, and having a total ofsix strategically located tuition centers in Singapore. The weaknessincludes the presence of older educators who may struggle with theuse of ICT. Opportunity includes the high number of parents willingto enroll their children in tuition centers. Threats include a largenumber of competitors in the business. The company’s success can,therefore, be met by giving attention to the weaknesses and theopportunities through the integration of fun in the learning process.

Integrationof Free Online Educational Games as a Learning Tool at SmartLab

Fromthe conducted research in most parts of the world, it has beenrevealed that the use of games in education processes is much needed(Chen et al. 2012). Gamification of education is the incorporation ofgames in the learning process. According to Chen et al. (2012), 72%of American youths play computer and video games. Thus, theapplication of learning in such a way can act in a satisfactorymanner in any nation that comprises of youths, and young peopleincluding Singapore. Gamification has also been shown to boostachievement, and it encourages students to be achievers. It alsoencourages perseverance as opposed to the usual learning environmentwhere poor performance leads to demotivation (Rotina, 2015).

Unlikemost of the western nations, Singapore has not fully advocated forthe association of fun in learning (Chen et al., 2012). The resultsfor the incorporation of such technology have shown positive outcomesin most nations of the Western world such as the United States ofAmerica. The outcome is, however, different in Singapore. Someteachers are missing the opportunity to use games in the classroom aspart of the integration of fun in ICT learning program as indicatedby a study done by Chen et al. (2012). From studies on theintegration of online games in learning conducted on nineteenteachers, only 37% were reported to use iPads effectively foreducation purposes despite the device being loaded with other mediasuch as the social media (Chen et al., 2012).A similar study conducted by Goodwin et al. (2015) on 147 studentsindicated that about 53.9% perceived the mobile gadgets such as theiPads to be better instruments for entertainment and networkingrather than for education purposes. The inclusion of gamification inlearning processes is a better technique for learning especially inthe current world where students own smartphones, laptops, and iPadsat a very tender age (Asha, 2015).

Figure 1: A gamification model showing full benefits of introducing fun into learning as demonstrated by Swark (2012).

This kindof educationprocessin which games have been integrated has been beneficial in somenations where the students become attentive and motivated towards thebetter achievement as demonstrated in Figure 1 below.

Furthermore,competition in the market is high given a large number of establishedtuition centers and private tutors in the nation. Use of game-basedlearning to enhance learning processes will help counter thecompetition as suggested by Goodwin et al. (2015) since mostcompetitors have not applied the same. One critical considerationwould be to offer quality services that will assist in establishing astrong brand name.

Theinclusion of games in learning is the new way to go. This method willgreatly be welcomed by the students and will be of benefit to them(Chen, 2013). Imagine the number of young people who indulge in videoand computer gaming for fun, leisure and hobby. Imagine then if suchgames were made educational or if learning was done in such a manneras these games. What comes to the mind is the gain that the studentswill have following the implementation of the gamification processes.With the success of the students in their standard classes due to theapplication of educational gaming, more parents will be attractedinto enrolling their students to the SmartLab tuition centers. Figure2 below on learningmodel indicatesthe levelof gain that an individual can get with gamification as proposed byAsha(2015).

Figure 2: Top 6 Benefits of Gamification in e-learning as proposed by Asha (2015)

Thereis also an augmented awareness of the advantages of fun incorporationin the school learning programs. Several benefits have beenassociated with the integration of fun in learning. Inresearch conducted by Sitzmann &amp Ely and Wisher (2011),gamificationof learning increased self-efficacy by 20%, declarative knowledge by11%, procedural knowledge by 14%, and retention experience by 9%.Such statistics indicate the benefits that gamification have in thelearning processes and therefore the need for SmartLab to incorporatein its tuition services.

Recommendationson the Integration of Games in the Learning Process

Figure 3: The impact of ICT in the classroom, showing the effect brought about by gamification of learning as oulined by Rotina (2015)

Figure 3: The impact of ICT in the classroom

Theinformation on the benefits of gamification to learners should becollected from nations where such has been employed and shared withthe parents. Such information should include the positive effects onperformance, behavior, sociology, and the student-teacher perspectiveon the same (Chen, 2013). With such information, it would be easy forthe company to convince the parents on the implementation of themethods in the learning processes of their students, and also erasethe false notion by proving on its positive effects on generalperformance and generation of better grades. From research conductedin India by Ronita (2015), success has been associated withgamification of learning as indicated in Figure 3 below

SmartLabshould implement game-based learning using free online platforms suchas Kahoot and Socrative. This will have the double advantage to thecompany. One advantage is the impact that gamification will have onthe students who enroll for the tuition services. Gamification hasvarious advantages to the learning processes as it enables studentsto be more engaged and get motivated in the learning processes (Chen,2013). It makes the learning process smooth and allows one toremember what they had learned during previous sessions as describedby Chen (2013). This, of course, is what the company aims atachieving. Gamification will aid in creating a more enjoyablelearning environment that will improve the students’ performanceand, therefore, convince more parents to enroll their children inSmartLab. The second advantage is the use of free onlinegamification. Such Free, cheaper and readily available onlinegamification services include Kahoot and Socrative. The availabilityof such platforms will not only be beneficial to the company but thestudents and parents.

Somearguments support the adoption of the gamification strategy. Such anapproach fits well in the SmartLab Education Group whose mission isto develop quality learning programs. The Education Group’s aim andfocus on student’s attainment and applications of knowledge,confidence building and development of the student’s character willbe substantially supported and boosted by the incorporation ofgamification in their learning processes. Integration of game-basedlearning has been demonstrated to be beneficial in increasing thegeneration of revenue. In research conducted by Ambient Insight asreported by Christopher (2015), game-based global revenue in 2012 wasreported to sum to $1,548 million, and such is expected to increaseto $2,309 million by 2017. Thebenefits on revenue increment and improvement of student’sperformance due to motivation that results from gamification shouldnot be ignored by SmartLab. Such values, though based on the globalplatform, show the success that SmartLab is likely to encounter withthe incorporation of games in the learning process.

Gamificationwill be of overall importance to all the parties involved. Goodwin(2015) suggests that the inclusion of such a program enhance thestudents’ self-esteem and motivation. Goodwin’s suggestion wassupported by Rosenberg (2011) who added that it also improves thestudents’ competitive skills as they will all aspire to be thebest. Such a method has also demonstrated the ability to engage thestudents in the learning processes and making the process be muchfun. The online gamification process will make monitoring ofperformance and progress easy for the teachers as outlined byRosenberg (2011). Performance reports can easily be sent to theparents and students in an automated manner. The expected improvementin performance will be beneficial to the parents and students andalso in boosting SmartLab’s reputation.

Theincorporation of game-based learning using free online platforms caneasily be implemented as a supplement to the normal learningprocesses. The greatest challenge, however, would be theimplementation processes. It will be necessary for the educator tolearn ICT processes to ensure that they use the program efficientlyfor their benefit and the good of the students and SmartLab.Therefore, sufficient training on educators is essential tofacilitate a smooth process of integrating gamification of learninginto SmartLab.

Conclusion

Theinclusion of educational gaming, technology, and ICT in school hasbeen a popular move in the current world. Many nations such as theUnited States have welcomed the integration of games in the learningprocess. In Singapore, there is the small inclusion of fun andtechnology in learning, and the country is moving towards ICTincorporation in education systems of the schools. Such a move isadvantageous to the SmartLab Company due to its long establishment inthe education sector. Educators and the stakeholders in the educationsector have different notions of the integration of fun in thelearning processes. For SmartLab to be more successful, it shouldincorporate the use of games and other forms of fun in the learningprocesses during the tuition services. By doing that, the company hasa better chance of outdoing its competitors and ensuring thatwhatever is offered is of superior quality, is beneficial and that itwill contribute to the growth of the company through brand marketing.

References

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Pullen,D. L., &amp Cole, D. R. (2012). Multiliteracyand technology enhanced education: Social practice and the globalclassroom.Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.

Rosenberg,M. J. (2011). E-learning:The Strategies for the delivering the knowledge in the currentdigital age.New York: McGraw-Hill.

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Ronita,K. (2015). E-learning in India: Benefits, Prospects, and Challenges.Blog – My Private Tutor India. Retrieved March 09, 2016, fromhttps://www.myprivatetutor.com/blog/e-learning-in-india/

Sitzmann,T., Ely, K., &amp Wisher, R. (2011). Designing Web-Based TrainingCourses to Maximize Learning. TheBestPractices plus Principles for Instructors Computer-SupportedCollaborative Learning,1-19. Retrieved March 8, 2016.

Swark,C. (2012). First the Classroom, Then the World. Retrieved March 08,2016, fromhttp://gamifymyclass.blogspot.co.ke/2012/06/gamification-results-how-learning-games.html

Asha,P. (2015, June 17). Top6 Benefits of Gamification in e-learning – e-learning Industry.Retrieved March 13, 2016, fromhttp://elearningindustry.com/top-6-benefits-of-gamification-in-elearning

Christopher,P. (2015). The Top Gamification Statistics and Facts for 2015 youneed to know – eLearning Industry. Retrieved March 20, 2016, fromhttp://elearningindustry.com/top-gamification-statistics-and-facts-for-2015