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Teaching meets games

Its fun to learn, its fun to be a teacher and it's possible to make teaching fun using good learning materials and tools. With these thoughts Didactor was started in 2010.

Didactor was born in the Finnish town of Vaasa where the teacher education at Åbo Akademi's faculty of teacher education is entwined with the city's lively media cluster.

The production company Sveng.com had a long reaching background in producing game shows and interactive programs for children and young adults. Space Trainees, Ursäkta Birgitta and Enigma were all groundbreaking in their own way, both in Finland and internationally. Along the years the owner and producer of Sveng.com, Jan-Olof Svarvar, had built up a great competence in producing entertainment with a pedagogical undertone. He himself had largely not enjoyed the school years and wondered much about how interaction and new pedagogical methods could improve both teaching and school enjoyment.

Annica Svarvar played a central role in many of Sveng.com's productions. She works as a primary school teacher in the nearby municipality of Korsholm and has also an experience in special education from her time as a special education teacher in Stockholm, Sweden. Annica has many times contributed her knowledge to the productions of the family firm. This resulted among others in 2002 in the production of the internationally award winning PC-game Rölli ja metsänhenki, a pedagogical game for children. When Didactor took its first steps Annica was the one who strongly anchored the company and the teaching tool into the daily life of a teacher.

Now John Henriksson works in developing and marketing the product. He is a newly graduated teacher from Åbo Akademi and is a part of the new generation of teachers who get frustrated in the lack of digital and interactive teaching methods in a school where the copying machine still runs hot.

Didactor builds its own technical platform. Johnny Härtell and Benjamin Horn are responsible for the technical work. In 2005 Johnny Härtell was partly responsible in starting the web community Berusad.org that under many years gathered almost all of the teen agers in Finnish Ostrobothnia. Benjamin Horn has a prior experience in creating games for different publishers of teaching materials. When Facebook changed the operating conditions for every small web community Johnny and Benjamin joined Jan-Olof and Annica in using their combined knowledge in developing a web based pedagogical teaching tool.

Didactor stands out from its multinational counterparts in that it's firmly based in the teachers working reality. The continuos development is done together with teachers and schools.

Didactor is not tied to any specific publisher of teaching materials, whose goals are often to develop digital games in order to sell more paper books to the schools. Didactor instead works as an independent actor and together with publishers and writers of teaching material.