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Technology Natives, Videogames & Learning

Gamers When I wrote the post, "Videogames and Positive Reinforcement" about videogaming and what "digital natives" demand for iterative learning today, I received several emails from people I know, and interesting conversations ensued, about which companies are delivering on the sorts of learning gaming I'd discussed. 

As a consequence, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for innovative companies delivering educational learning games that take a different approach from traditional learning games and focus on successive and iterative failures and positive reinforcement of success.

Quantum Learning Technologies is a company whose approach to educational gaming is on target and their approach is articulated in their mission statement, "To provide online educational programs that teach strategies which enable students to become better readers and critical, creative thinkers" and that their organization, "[...] meets the needs of today's learners - "Technology Natives" - through scientifically developed and proven cognitive-based learning approaches."

As I initially poked around their site, I was struck by the pedestrian nature of the layout of it and thought, "Oh...they're just another educational gaming company." But after watching several of the video tours and trying the games out for myself, I quickly saw that they offered something quite different than what's come before. 

Quantum-gamesAll of their games are "cloud based" meaning they're web-based games only. With my background with LaserDisc and CD-ROM -- and much time spent with the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium (MECC), Encyclopedia Brittanica and others while at Pioneer New Media -- I've seen hundreds of educational games, approaches and delivery methods. 

My initial examination of their games was focused on game play and I was delighted to see that they're fast paced, quite participative, gentle with feedback and encouraging of achievement (view a matrix example of the aspects measured in their gaming). They're also collating State correlations as well.

Key in my observation about their games is what I'm increasingly viewing as "supportive failure" when it comes to encouraging achievement. Knowing that you have limited time to move through any given curriculum each term, having an easy way to enable each student to experience numerous failed attempts before anything close to mastery occurs means these sorts of games can ensure that happens. 

Along with that these are quite lightweight Flash-based games and it's clear the company has taken in to consideration computing platforms in schools, web browser types, bandwidth limitations and have optimized the delivery of these games to ensure you and your students will have the best experience possible. Of course, they have System Requirements and Performance tests on their game site so you can analyze the computer systems on which these games would be played.

While these games are not targeted at him, my 15 year old son is an avid gamer who has also attended three summer programs put on by IDTech for video game design and creation. His comment after my obvious caution that these were designed for elementary age kids? "They're actually pretty cool Dad," he mentioned in an offhand way, "I like how you really have to pay attention. Wish they would've had these when I was at Cedar Ridge (his elementary school in Eden Prairie, MN)."

When I mentioned that they're obviously web-based and that young students could play these at home too, he looked at me quizzically and said, "Doh! Isn't everything like this on the web?" which is a theme that runs through more and more of my discussions I have with students about the expectations they have that they can have instant access to everything they need, on demand.

Though they're still a relatively early stage company, I predict you'll hear a lot about Quantum Learning Technologies going forward.


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Steve has done a great job describing where digital learning can and will go in the future. The term "supportive failure" is one that I will be using in the future. Gaming is great because it provides the expectation of failure, resiliency, and trial and error thinking. That is a high level objective in education.

As a founder and Chief Creative Officer at the company, I am delighted to get this kind of feedback and insight.

We have some exciting changes in the near future. We look forward to more of these kinds of discussions.

I like this game dragon edge it has very nice graphics and action scene I liked this one.This game has amazing action scene it has very nice game flow.

I like this game dragon edge it has very nice graphics and action scene I liked this one.This game has amazing action scene it has very nice game flow.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Accelerating Change are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.