Norrell Edwards, CEI Intern.
Computer and video games are just one of many tools that can make learning both a fun and memorable experience. I personally sift through my childhood memories and can easily recognize the importance of games in fostering my passion for learning and education. Thankfully, my mother ensured that learning—even just simple math or reading skills—were reinforced as entertaining activities. At the start of every summer, we would choose computer games from Costco, searching for educational games that would serve as my tutors for my summer vacation from elementary school.
We’d choose a game labeled with the grade level I would be entering that fall, as well as games that would increasingly challenge me by being 1 or 2 school years ahead of me. Because of these experiences, I always entered school with early exposure to learning concepts that my peers may not have seen yet. Long division? No problem…I had already practiced that a thousand times trying to master that ice fishing level in the leapfrog game.
It has been quite some time since the heyday of my educational computer game playing, but perhaps it’s time for a return to acknowledging and appreciating their continued importance. Simply put, the new “generation” of computer games still provide amazing and engaging activities for students.
The team at Kuato Studios define their approach as “learnification,” focusing on mapping 21st century skills to design gaming systems, as opposed to specific curriculum content. “We believe that games, and the principles that underpin them, play a key role in engaging 21st century learners. We focus first on skills—critical, innovation, problem solving and collaboration—and then we create a compelling game that fosters the development of these skills. We call it learnification: skills that drive learning, with play at its core.”
But don’t just take my words, nor Kuato’s, for it…go play and find out yourself! Maybe you’ll hack your way into some new knowledge too.