Social Games in Education as a Stimulus for Student Creativity and Engagement

School days are usually remembered for heavy backpacks and traditional ex cathedra lectures. While learning should be a lifelong game that enables dynamic societal development, formal education rarely incorporates an entertaining segment that would further encourage student engagement and creativity.


This challenge and the entrepreneurial idea addressing it were highlighted by Ivan Cerovac and Ena Dunatov as part of the “Startup Opatija 2023” program organized by the entrepreneurial incubator HUBBAZIA – Center for Innovations in Tourism.


Social Games in Education

Ivan and Ena realized that an increasing number of teachers are enthusiastically trying to enhance their work with students by incorporating new and different materials into the teaching process. State agencies responsible for education increasingly recommend social games or gamification of educational content.

Through collaboration with numerous teachers in primary and secondary schools, the team observed how educators use existing social games to improve their work. However, these games were not originally created for use in the educational process, limiting their effectiveness.


“Motivated by these insights, we confirmed them through additional research into the materials offered by publishing houses dealing with textbooks and teaching materials, or publishers of board games. We also conducted targeted interviews with potential users who confirmed our initial assumptions,” emphasized Ivan.


The entrepreneurial idea of Ivan Cerovac and Ena Dunatov would introduce educational social games into schools, created in collaboration with teachers, educators, or mentors, playing a significant role in the educational process.


Educational social games in schools would be adapted for use in the formal education system, in high schools, and would be thematically focused on promoting awareness and the importance, methods, advantages, and disadvantages of informal political participation. In creating the games, modern digital technology based on artificial intelligence algorithms would be used, combined with more traditional methods of market research.


Development of the Entrepreneurial Idea in the Incubation Program


The incubation program “Startup Opatija 2023” provided Ivan and his team with a better insight into the processes of developing an entrepreneurial idea, from its inception to realization. Through consultations with experts, they were able to formulate, elaborate, and present their entrepreneurial idea more effectively.

“Nevertheless, the key realization was the importance of focusing the idea on market needs. For an entrepreneurial idea to transition from the world of ideas to the world of practice, it is necessary to adapt it and enable it to solve existing (significant) problems that future users have, and ensure that future users recognize that the product resulting from this idea genuinely solves their problems,” added Ivan.


Although it is still the development stage of the entrepreneurial idea, and the startup is not yet established, the program provided the necessary knowledge and competencies for its development and future startup launch.


“There is a clear picture of what the process of creating and elaborating an entrepreneurial idea looks like. Through visually presented stages of this process, we could gain an impression of how earlier stages of shaping an entrepreneurial idea affect later stages, the importance of monitoring the continuity of idea development, and how some elements of an entrepreneurial idea, even when they seem excellent, innovative, and inspiring, need to be appropriately integrated into the whole and justified by addressing the problems and shortcomings of the market to be worthwhile for further development.”


Ivan also emphasized the importance of a small team consisting of only two people but highlighted that roles within the team are very clearly divided into content-creative and production-marketing parts, ensuring smooth operation without significant issues.


We continue to follow this innovative entrepreneurial idea, believing that it will provide younger generations with a different, more interesting, and enjoyable education.


The “Startup Opatija 2023” program, organized by the entrepreneurial incubator HUBBAZIA – Center for Innovations in Tourism, concluded with six innovative teams, focusing on practical experience and providing participants with insights into key aspects of starting and managing a startup. Participants had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with market analysis, user development, idea validation, minimum viable product (MVP) development, business model development, and presentation techniques. This approach enabled practical experience in idea development in a real environment, which was of great benefit to the participants.


Smion was proudly part of this project, where, through a series of educational sessions and mentor support, we provided participants with valuable knowledge and skills necessary for the development and growth of their business ideas.


Read about the experience of the “Startup Opatija 2023” team that presented Igraona, a platform for psychological assistance to children and parents.