Rebooting Greece: Application that transforms Greek children’s teachings into play
“In the late 1950s and early 1960s a large wave of refugees left Greece and settled in the US, Canada and Australia. There they created communities, schools and churches, and since then the Greek language has flourished. Today, however, the Greek language is less and less used by the Greeks of the diaspora, which threatens it with extinction,” Costa Dedegikas, director of Simon Frazer University’s (SFU) New Media Lab in Canada, said.
For this reason, he explained, that he created an application that transforms teaching Greek to children into a game, “Rebooting Greece”. The application was created at SFU’s New Technologies Laboratory, at the university’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies (SNFCHS). The Greek professor spoke to ANA on the occasion of the presentation of the application to Education Minister Kostas Gavroglou on Wednesday.
Asked on how was the idea was born, he said, “The New Technologies Laboratory of the SNFCHS has a long experience in the field of educational technology, mainly through the development of the Odysseas learning platform. This platform has been used for more than 15 years to Greek language via distance learning to students at the Simon Freser University in Vancouver, Canada. Since the preservation and dissemination of the Greek language, especially among the Greek community, is a central pillar of the mission of the Hellenic Studies Center and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, there has always been a desire to capitalize on the know-how acquired over the years in order to revitalize the interest in the Greek language, particularly in younger ages.”
As to whether this application could help preserve Greek identity, he replied: “All of this, in combination with the evolution of technology and the concept of gamification within education, is an incentive to overcome the hurdles of globalized society. Through the educational game, children’s interest in learning is increased. This new approach to education has the potential to promote innovation and to guide them by combining the evolution and development of technology with the tradition and the culture of the Greek language.”