Through the Education Lens

Building Digital Games - The New Summer Camp. The Next Big Idea?

SMW, December 8, 2009 3:50 PM


Could This Be the Next Big Idea? 
Geometry, Physics and Algebra Enrichment By Creating Games
WATCH: Video

By S.W.

Why Not?  We have camps for every other imaginable activity, interest or enrichment intent.

Kids love games.  Virtual worlds are second nature to them.  Best of all, since these don't feel like school, kids won't feel like their summer was totally gypped if their summer camp revolves around building video games and virtual worlds, instead of sitting somewhere consuming them.

What's really key in all of this is that in order to build, you have to understand and apply aspects of geometry, algebra and physics.  Sounding more interesting?  Let us also not forget that learning computer code is like learning another foreign language, too. The third winning element in this trifecta is that by building and creating, these often daunting subjects can be connected to a real "real world" context.

Too good to be true?  

Listen up, tech world.  Start collaborating with academe on a program and it also may be highly scalable.  You already have the tools and programs.  Maybe your best breakthroughs down the road will come from the students, which would be no great surprise.

Another avenue could be for board members and administrators to explore partnerships with local government, universities, tech colleges, businesses and tech talent.  It always seems surprising what you can find in your own backyard.  And parents, start asking!

We started thinking how a program may be able to be realized for more communities, without getting bogged down (read: going down that endless edu-black-hole again!), in issues like curriculum and training.

Two specific inspirations for this story, in no definite order:  1)  The following video from Edutopia :  George Lucas is a master visionary.   2)  Hacking Education, a day-long conversation about ideas of possible far reaching implications in education and tech from a small but diverse group of entrepreneurs, innovators and thinkers hosted by Union Square Ventures.

Back to our Summer Camp, imagine this virtual world learning combined with other summer activities (leave it up to you)  for a well-rounded enriching program (11 minutes, skip first 30 sec.):

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