So why has Pearson’s partnered with one of the most interesting new education entrepreneurship initiatives Startup Week EDU? simple really. product placement. Pearson has unveiled its new startup called Alleyoop, a career planning program for students. It is touted to be a game (remember, everyone knows how to gamify education, training, etc…., right?) . Unfortunately, the product is not free (not expected. This is not billed as a support tool to other products, and it is a for-profit company pitching this) nor is there a free trial period (I like to get a feel of what I am getting and everyone offers free trials right?). On top of that, the promotional video is a (cute) stop-motion video with absolutely no information nor indication that the program is built on gaming strategies.
As I remarked to Kalimah Priforce, co-founder of Qeyno Labs, “too bad the video nor the About (http://www.alleyoop.com/about-alleyoop) does not explain how the career planning program was gamified (a short video on a student going through missions maybe?). Since this has become such a buzz word lately, it would be wise to have it explained so that most of us don’t assume that lazy gamey strategies were used such as slapping a fun music on it. I’ve seen educational games that included the math activities, without really integrating them in the story of the game…which resulted in chasing monkeys with occasional math quizzes sprinkled between missions. Looking forward to learn more about Alleyoop.”