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Finland prize for exploration and innovation champions

Gamification is gaining traction among education professionals in the Gulf region as a way to make learning more interesting for students, and to encourage innovation in schools.

The UAE is aggressively pursuing gamification in schools, partnering with Finland’s seppo at the Ministry of Education’s National Innovation Exhibition last year to test the educational potential of games for teaching and learning.

Seppo is an innovative company that specialises in gamification and people engagement. It was founded in in 2012, when a group of teachers from Finland, a world leading country in education and gaming, discovered the power of gamification as a catalyst for motivation. Seppo started its journey by creating educational games. Soon after the team designed and developed a platform that allows anyone to create games for different purposes by themselves.

At the NIE, organisers and participants lauded the game for positively affecting the students’ learning process and raising their awareness related to the UAE innovation strategy, new high profile initiatives, STEM facts and others science projects exhibited by fellow students.

Seppo makes another return to GESS Dubai this year to challenge participants from different schools to explore various innovations showcased at the region’s premier education exhibition and conference. Dubbed Explore GESS, the smartphone- or tablet-based game aims to showcase firsthand how gamification works within an education setting and how it can be integrated in the classroom to engage students.

“Showcasing this technology at GESS Dubai allows us to share with education professionals the many benefits of gamification for enhancing the teaching and learning experience, while also encouraging participants to explore innovative ways of using modern technology to benefit education in general,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, F&E Education, organisers of GESS Dubai which will take place on March 14-16 2017, at the Dubai World Trade Centre (Halls 5-8).

Winners of the Explore GESS game will have a chance to visit Lapland in Finland ( and, where seppo was developed and has since become an exciting tool used by around 70,000 students and 7,000 teachers globally. It is currently being used in some schools in the UAE. Interested schools may register by visiting The game will open on the 9th of March.

“Games are excellent way to motivate students. Seppo is a revolutionary game based learning platform which transforms the way we teach and allows students to develop 21st century learning skills and dispositions.  Seppo creates memorable learning experiences due to its competitive nature as a game based learning platform, which intrinsically motivates students to learn,” said Riku Alkio, co-found and CEO,

Andrew Nolan Education Technology Manager, GEMS Innovation, Research and Development Unit, UAE, believes seppo enables students to gain mastery of their subjects in many ways than different traditional pedagogies. “Seppo changes the models of motivation. Students are moving from purely extrinsic factors to intrinsic motivation. The games are engaging learners to such extend that they want to push themselves and want to succeed and master. Seppo enables social and engaged learning which is rooted in educational research and theory,” he added.

Teachers and other education professionals who will be attending the 10th edition of GESS Dubai will also have a chance to learn from experts on how to better use gamification and mobile apps for their classrooms. The Coding Circle will lead a hands-on workshop on how to build an Android app using the famous MIT App Inventor, an easy-to-use tool that can help develop apps without having to learn any programming languages.

These and other sessions, discussions and workshops will be featured heavily in the Future Learning section of GESS Dubai which will highlight how modern technology is redefining the education landscape in many parts of the world, with a number of schools in the Gulf sharing best practices on how they have successfully integrated technology into the classroom experience.

For 10 years now, GESS Dubai has been the leading platform for leading suppliers of educational products and solutions to showcase their wares, including some of the most cutting-edge innovations that are critical to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning across schools in the Middle East.

The show is free to attend, and registration is now open to the public via the show’s website at

– GESS Dubai Media