How to prepare for the challenge?
We come from the Education sector of the City of Kauniainen in Southern Finland. Please note that we are willing to pilot and develop the possible solution with end-users and even support it financially.
Background and trends as well as data sources you'll find in the Downloads section.
We have developed our ideas on this challenge with end-users (students) from 2nd and 8th grade through participatory design workshops. You can find their ideas in a downloaded pdf file.
Why is it important to find a solution to this challenge?
Kids are not reading enough! And that is a national and world wide problem. While Finland still ranks number one in the world of literacy, the motivation and enthusiasm expressed by children and adolescents towards reading is extremely low. The amount of time the Finnish adolescents spend on reading has almost halved during the last 20 years. Finnish children seem to have very low interest towards reading, writing and literary arts. Another concerning message is that the gap between girls and boys has drastically widened in Finland, reaching the point where the difference is now larger than in any other OECD country.
What is the possible impact of a good solution?
There will be an increased motivation for reading. We hope that especially boys will benefit from this application if we can include gamification into it. The main target group for the solution are students starting from grade 1 or 2 and all the way up to grade 9. Specially those students who are not reading enough and don't have the motivation to read would star to enjoy reading and gain needed skills for future studies and life. Recognizing feelings and increasing emotional competence affects well being and personal success in many levels.
The teachers of languages and litterature would certainly appreciate the application and we hope the students could show their progress as part of their assessment.
What is the expected outcome of this challenge?
Outcome could be an application that really inspires and motivates children and youngsters to read. It contains gamification and there is also a social aspect to it. It gives you recommendations of books based on your reading habits. There are audiobooks to choose from but it also follows the Helmet database of books in the library. It collects data about reading habits but can also recommend books from different genres.
By increasing emotional competence the users can identify different emotions and learn how to express feelings. The app has a toolbar where the reader can choose different emojis or smileys to describe the emotions the book made them feel.
Technical solution could be an application which can be downloaded from Google Play or AppStore. Web based solution is also possible. Language Finnish or English and later Swedish as well.
The solution to this challenge should be easily taken into use not only in Finland but other counties as well and thus it has a excellent market potential.