Kids playing business games, Are you kidding?


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Presented at EUCUNET 2013 Conference in Lodz, Poland

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Kids playing business games, Are you kidding?

  1. 1. Kids Playing Business Game, Teaching abstract concepts to and influencing mindset of Children Gabriella Dodero and Xiaofeng Wang Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy
  2. 2. Background What do children know about work organization?
  3. 3. The Junior Uni initiative @ FUB Since 2011 FUB staff has started a volunteer programme for local children Workshops, collecting 10-15 children each, have been arranged on University premises and at schools Topics span all subject areas taught at the University, from Design to Robotics, from Entomology to Music, from Law to Theatre, etc, etc…
  4. 4. Our Motivation Many concepts and principles regarding business, management or engineering are abstract, therefore difficult, to teach to students. Business game can help Paradigm-shifting concepts and principles, e.g. Lean, especially require change of existing mindsets, which proves a painful and demanding process. "plant the right seeds from the beginning" R. Blunt, “Does Game-Based Learning Work? Results from Three Recent Studies,” The Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation & Education Conference (I/ITSEC), NTSA, Orlando, Florida, USA, pp. 945-954, 2007.
  5. 5. Theoretical Grounding • Kids of 7-11 years old are able to undertake concrete operations, and reflect on them. • Therefore it is possible to teach them business concepts, even if they are abstract • However, kids are easily bored by traditional lecturing. They would very much enjoy and grasp new concepts through learning-by-doing and smart games. Piaget, J. (1953) The Origin of Intelligence in the Child, Selected works, (Vol.3) Routledge, xi,425p. Ginsburg, H. and S. Opper (1979). Piaget's Theory of Intellectual Development, Prentice Hall. Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants, MCB University Press, vol. 9, no. 5.
  6. 6. Main Research Focus How to adapt business games to teach young kids fundamental business and organizational concepts, e.g., Lean?
  7. 7. Lean Lego Game: Original Simulating a product line to build Process 3 rounds: 1. Push 2. Pull 3. Workstation
  8. 8. Game Adaptation for Kids adding fun!! Simulating a product line to build The game facilitator impersonates. Still 3 rounds: adding fun!! But shorter iterations per round 1. Push 2. Pull 3. Workstation
  9. 9. A Grown-up Session | Round 1 (Push) (9 students, aged 23-31) Youtube link:
  10. 10. A Grown-up Session | Round 2 (Pull) (9 students, aged 23-31) Youtube link:
  11. 11. A Grown-up Session | Round 3 (Workstation) (9 students, aged 23-31) Youtube link:
  12. 12. A Kids Session | Round 1 (Push) (8 kids, aged 8-12) Youtube link:
  13. 13. A Kids Session | Round 2 (Pull) (8 kids, aged 8-12) Youtube link:
  14. 14. A Kids Session | Round 3 (Workstation) (8 kids, aged 8-12) Youtube link:
  15. 15. Lessons Learnt • “Men or machines, who will win?” • Kids get some (tough) concepts intuitively – But older ones complain that “nothing good will come out of chaos”!! • Business games can be adapted for youngsters
  16. 16. “We must be very careful when we give advice to younger people: sometimes they follow it!” E. W. Dijkstra, 1972 Thank You!!! Questions? Gabriella Dodero Xiaofeng Wang