When we think about education or learning, images of pencils, paper and books comes to mind. Some lessons were always more exciting than others. Science was always better when you were able to carry out an experiment, maths was always better when the teacher turned it into a game and art lessons were a fantastic excuse to peel PVA glue from your fingers. Engaging with educational material is much more effective than passively listening. Now imagine being able to explore different worlds, each filled with exciting adventure ridden quests, games and puzzles: all in the name of education. With Pora Ora, this is a reality (well virtual reality).
Pora Ora is packed with exciting and engaging games, puzzles and quests, all geared to a global curriculum for 5-12 year olds. Children learn through their avatar whilst exploring the worlds of Pora Ora alongside their Pora Pal (virtual pet) who needs wisdom, creativity and exploration points to keep them healthy and happy. With strong security settings embedded within the game, children have to complete an eSafety quest and gain parental permission to access the interactive features. With many schools now utilizing this free educational resource, teachers can set a school mode making Pora Ora classroom friendly. Teachers and parents are able to control the safety features, track the child's progress and offer in-game rewards through the parent portal.
Neil Gallagher, creator of Pora Ora, believes that that site has the potential to revolutionize education. Coming from Arranmore Island, Ireland, Neil grew up in a Gaeltacht. Aside from making sure he returns to Arranmore as much as he possibly can, Neil is committed in keeping Gaelic alive. Whilst he admits that his Gaelic is getting rather rusty, he is in the process of translating the whole game into Gaelic with the help of Foras na Gaeilge who are translating some 20,000 lines. "There are so many languages being swallowed up by the Internet, by offering Pora Ora in Gaelic, the next generation are being given the opportunity to use their language. Irish Gaelic has been identified as one of over 3000 languages in Google's Endangered Languages Project, so we really do need to safeguard it's future."Neil Gallagher.
It seems that Neil's passion for Pora Ora doesn't fall far from the tree. His 9 year old daughter Niamh steals the show in a video created to help raise money for Pora Ora via Kickstarter, a crowd funding site. The creators want to raise $100,000 with which they hope to create an Egyptian themed world, introduce new Pora Pals, and create apps. With lots of pledge rewards up for grabs, including workbooks, t-shirts, and the chance to become a Pora Ora hero or villain with your very own quest, Pora Ora are hoping to reach their goal or they face going home empty handed."We really hope that people support our campaign, we want to make sure that Pora Ora remains accessible to all children as a fun and effective aid to learning"
Check out the website poraora.com/kickstarter
It's a fantastic site with loads to do and I really recommend it!
I want to say a huge THANKS to Neil for sending in this to me :) Best of luck with it!