A review of the use of cultural heritage and gamification in education in Greece

Cultural heritage comes in many shapes and forms (tangible, intangible, natural and digital) and has a universal value for us as individuals, communities and societies. As our heritage has a big role to play in building the future of Europe, it is important to preserve and pass on to future generations (UNESCO, 2003).

heritage matters today for several reasons (Secular Europe Backs Religious Heritage, 2014).  First of all, there is the social value. The ancient and religious buildings bind communities together through the worship and non-worship activities that take place within them. They are often the only public buildings remaining.

Secondly, there is the economic value. Places of monuments and worship attract visitors from afar and from nearby. The digital revolution has altered substantially the traditional economic relations at both sectoral and macro level. In today’s economic environment, they occur with high frequency and intensity unprecedented, phenomena that were rare by the standards of traditional economy. Religious buildings represent five out of ten of Europe’s most visited sites and make a major contribution to tourism.

The environmental value is also very important. Their physical presence in the cityscape or rural environment enlivens all who pass by. Finally, the cultural value. Sacred buildings, their contents and their history represent, and by far, the biggest single portfolio of Europe’s historic patrimony. Historical and religious sites can be an attractive tool for tourism.

The pedagogical value. With the increasing diversity within what we call formal education, it is no longer clear what to include and exclude under formal education. In such a multicultural environment  young people are facing problems with the choice of partner due to culture or to religion and needed actions respond to the need for all European people to sometimes co-manage a future determined by the geography of the region. Students could cultivate “empathy”, ability to see through the eyes of another person. This ability according to Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences is also feature of the interpersonal intelligence. According to Essinger «empathy» leads students to understand the position of other people through their own perspective, to feel solidarity and avoid prejudice and stereotypes.

Gamification was introduced in the last decade and has focused on many different fields, including education. The primary gaming elements used currently in science education. Creating a competitive environment is controversial; it is commonly used in science education to combat students’ negative emotions and experiences and increase learning outcomes.

The combination of cultural heritage and gamification:

Promoting local, regional and European cultural heritage. Preservation of material and non-material cultural heritage.

The official science curriculum for secondary education makes reference to ICT (Information and Communication Technologies), stating, for example, that the science objectives can be facilitated by the use of ICT; the new tools (educational software, internet, visualization tools etc.) multiply the possibilities for students to collect, analyze, visualize and model data, in order for the students to be active participants in the learning process and understand basic principles in science. However, there is no reference to mobile learning or mobile technology/devices (neither for science nor for any other school subject).

A key component of the New Curricula in all courses of education in Greece 2021 is their flexibility in terms of planning by the teacher of the respective teaching unit. In the context this is the structure and philosophy of the New Curricula of the course is largely in line with design principles educational materials in which New Technologies play an important role in learning process

 Mobile learning in secondary science education (ages 12 – 18 years old) contexts is still in its infancy in many countries, including Greece.   The integration of mobile phones in Greek schools is negatively affected by the current legislative framework. Greece’s Education Ministry (June 2018) has banned mobile phones in primary and secondary schools and will also prohibit the operation of security cameras during school hours and teachers will be allowed to carry mobile phones only for teaching purposes. Teachers, apart from the available—school owned—electronic devices (computers, laptops, tablets, interactive boards, etc.) can also use their own personal electronic equipment during the lesson, in the context of the educational process in general, in accordance with the safety rules (protection of personal data of pupils and teachers). In Greece, most training programmes and methodologies belong to specific European project frameworks, such as Erasmus+, EEA Grants, etc.

The benefits of mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, has led a number of schools to define Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in order to allow teachers and students to bring their own devices to school for teaching and learning. 

Successful examples of gamification

–  QR codes in the Classroom

–  Videogames in Education

–  Escape rooms and GBL Techniques

–  Outdoor GBL

–  Sample Lessons and Projects, Presentations and Assessment

– Electronic platforms Kahoot! and ClassDojo