|Scooped by MECKids|
MECKids—Using Gamification and Incentives to Keep Kids Engaged
Kids are glued to games on their tablets and smart phones. Too much time sitting on the couch can result in not enough physical exercise, and in extreme cases, can lead to obesity. Getting kids to disengage in their games and become interested in their own health and fitness is no easy task.
This was the challenge that Fran Bishop faced when she decided to take up this worthwhile cause. The inspiration for her next organization, MECKids, came from a single phone call. Lisa Perez, an overweight 16-year-old, called about one of Fran’s corporate fitness programs. She had mistakenly thought that the corporate $499 program was under $5.00.
Fran started to think about how difficult it must have been for a 16-year-old to make that call. That intention was the first step to getting healthy. Wouldn’t it be great to offer an online platform where kids could track their own health and fitness goals? It would be a community where they could communicate safely about their new health habits. That’s how MECKids was born. The M stands for Motivating, the E for Educating, and the C for Connecting.
Rewards for New and Better Habits
Through focus groups and suggestions from the MECKids advisory board, it soon became apparent that the same gamification and incentive techniques used in kids’ must-have games could be used to make MECKids engaging. As kids fill out their electronic journals and track their health and fitness goals, they can get points that earn gift certificates, online certificates of merit, badges, and gifts. There are also incentives for teachers who inspire their students.
The program assists by allowing shy, introverted students to share quietly with everyone how they are doing and be proud of their progress. I use the social network to keep track, encourage, and support all students. The nutritional information supports what I teach in health and gives a snapshot of each student’s wellness level.
Do you know someone who needs MECKids? Visit us at www.meckids.com to start your pathway to a bright future today!