How can gamification be used to connect young learners with nature? In what ways do the virtual world and real world overlap? Why is competition such an impactful tool in education? What does this all have to do with managing eco-anxiety? Jane Ji of Springbay discusses the conceptual underpinnings of her iBiome and League for Green Leaders before teacher Grace Sadler shares her and her students’ experiences with Springbay’s apps. They key is using virtual games as a bridge to the natural world, not a replacement for direct contact with it. There’s lots to unpack and we do our best in the two discussions featured in this episode.
Jane Ji is an educational game designer, naturalist, and facilitator for learning-by-doing through play. As a co-founder of Springbay Studio, she works with her team, focusing exclusively on climate education. She has created the award-winning educational game series iBiome and League for Green Leaders, the latter a one-of-its-kind online climate action platform for children around the world to compete to reduce their carbon footprints. Jane invites children to build virtual habitats, learn about how humans impact the environment, and empowers them to reduce their eco-footprint by making sustainable real-life choices. She delivers state-wide PD for teachers in Washington State and supports teachers from Toronto District School Board and various parts of the US with workshops on adding engagement and empowerment to inquiry-based learning.
Graziella (Grace) Sadler has been teaching for 15 years, and this has included seven years in a primary/junior science and technology position. She is the Vice President of The Science Teachers’ Association of Ontario (STAO) and Judging Coordinator for the York Region Science and Technology Fair. She currently teaches Grade 10 Science with the Toronto Catholic District School Board at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School.