Concept development / Strategy
Integrating social media as a
educational tool in schools,
to bring kids closer across the world.
The challenge of the 2017 creative application task for Hyper Island was a broad one; make a digital solution that can in a small or large scale solve a problem, making the world a better place in a way that is meaningful to you.
A concept presentation which clearly presents the problem and an idea on how to solve it. It should be understandable within a 5 minutes review.
I decided to narrow in the field by formulating this focus question; how might I create a social and educational platform, which contributes to making globalisation more relatable and tangible for kids across the world? I wanted to create a concept that would challenge the problem of people being afraid of each other’s differences. I decided to focus on school kids to strive to make an impact at a early stage of life, as a way to develop an openness and curiosity towards people from other cultures.
My role: Strategy and concept design
Individual work on concept development, strategy and visuals.
Duration and year
2 weeks / 2017
Hyper Island creative application task.
This is PALS!
Bringing kids closer across the world
Let’s say a school class has a project about Fiji – PALS is a social media tool for schools that facilitates the possibility for the kids to obtain knowledge by talking directly to kids on Fiji or anywhere else in the world. Learning from real people. Not only from books, not only from videos but from real conversations. School kids are empowered and actively engaged, as they become their own educational content creators – with the help from various social media features like video, photo and instant messaging. PALS let’s the world come closer and enables kids to have positive and educating encounters with one another – widening horizons and making the world an easier place to relate to. It encourages kids to go beyond their usual social sphere, making the unknown known.
The context is essential
PALS facilities a possibility for working with an interdisciplinary teaching approach, including subjects like language education, social sciences, geography and multi media in one go. For this to happen in a way that has a positive impact on the kids’ development, the context of its use is essential and that’s why PALS is a social media tool for schools; to combine the platform features with the expertise of teachers, securing a context of learning, guidance and encouragement.
The primary target users are school kids in the age around 9-14 years old and the secondary target group is their teachers. At this age the target users have in most contries started learning English and will therefore more easily be able to communicate with each other. During my research phase, I looked into the digital communication habits of Generation Z, the generation of the target group, to secure the concept embraced the users and their relationship to social media.
Engaging the users
Incorporating social media in teaching is a way to constructively and purposefully embrace kids’ social media habits by utilising it with a educational and socially developing intention. It is a way to acknowledge what digital communication is to kids today and not treating it as a negative, but seeing the potential for integrating it as a teaching approach and engaging the kids on their terms.
If I were to take the concept further today I would, now after having developed a deep understanding of human centered design processes at Hyper Island, move away from desktop research and start talking to users – to kids around the world and to their teachers. I would prototype and co-create together with the users to create a solution that truly made sense for them and which was visually compelling to them. I would also bring a developer on board, to consider technical limitations and work with them, instead of against them.
Designing with a business understanding
During my early research, I fell upon Strategyzer’s book “Business model generation” and decided to use their Business Canvas as a loose framework for elements to consider in the concept development. The model inspired me to consider the concept more holistically – e.g. considering funding and value proposition. During my time at Hyper Island I developed my business understanding further and if I were to dig deeper into the Business Canvas of PALS today, I would consider elements as revenue streams and key partners to be much more important, to create a concept that is both profitable and brings value to the users.