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Bernardo started as a web designer back in 1998. He worked in JWT (marketing agency) for a year and afterward started his journey in the training world working at EduMac as an Adobe Certified Instructor. In 2008 he started working at the American School Foundation.
Bernardo has been working as a freelancer forever and founded his company in 2011. In 2010 he was introduced by a student to the concept of gamification. Since then all his classes were gamified. He developed BLUErabbit as a platform to gamify education and increase the engagement in any teaching environment. He has also just won the Gamification Software of the year by Gamification Europe!
He has three types of days:
- Creative day, which means waking up really early on BlueRabbit or other projects on the creative side.
- Development day, the same as creative day but for development and waking up a bit later because he needs more rest.
- Administrative day is the hardest because it means answering a bunch of emails and having a lot of meetings.
However, every day starts with either Diablo III or two games of chess (20-30 minutes). He also has three dogs which might say hello during the interview.
The worst application of gamification for him was when working with a certain pharmaceutical company, with a large budget, that wanted to work on a gamified solution for diabetic patients to stick to their treatment for 20 years. Bernardo spent a lot of time designing a solution and met with the client, who told him they were actually expecting around 10 games! This company ended up wasting a bunch of money to do this without, surprise, no visible result. This also caused other companies, who heard of the project, to have setbacks when thinking of gamified solutions. The main learning is to use the simple language when presenting to your clients or supporters (like the leadership team of the school for instance) to be able to understand it quickly.
Bernardo’s biggest challenge has been to keep himself motivated, with energy, during his years as an entrepreneur. He realized he could turn his life into an RPG (role-playing game), and does things like observing his challenges to gauge whether he has more than one chance to try (like having many lives in a game) or if he only has one shot (when you run out of lives). This allowed BlueRabbit, among others, to become the gamification software of the year! This definitely applies to education, where you can attempt an exercise many times, this actually supports learning.
The process that Bernardo follows starts with defining the goal of the system, then deploys a narrative around it. Then he looks at the place in learning where the students should be at the end and reverse engineers the process from there to where the students are now. That’s how he figures out what and how to teach whatever needs to be taught.
Bernardo loves Gabe Zichermann’s new project, where he’s trying to use gamification to fight back on companies that have been using gamification to create an addiction to their products and services.
Bernardo’s superpower is his ability to balance systems. This is fundamental especially to keep the players in a flow state, where they are not bored or too challenged to be unable to overcome.
His final piece of advice is to not be afraid, even though it might be a challenge, but the satisfaction of having learners thriving is completely worth it every time.
We can connect with Bernardo through bluerabbit.io, Blue Rabbit Class in Twitter or Facebook, and you can try out the app for free! You can also connect with his personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn as Bernardo Letayf.