Day 157: Learn to Win

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June 5, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

It seems like the world is starting to pay attention to education.  That, to me, is great because it means more eyes, ears, minds and hands at attention, focused on the way we teach, study and learn, and really in how we can do better a better job of all of those.  New ideas coming from unexpected directions reflect the different ways in which education can be approached.  Some are more radical than others, but the fact that they’re coming in abundance is something I find to be a promising sign.  Now all we need are people bold and brave and well-funded enough to actually put some of these new school solutions to work.  Today’s project is hoping to do just that with a gamified learning system that goes beyond any single subject.

ClassRealm is a game that turns students, teachers and parents into team players in the all-inclusive quest for learning.  Developed by Ben Bertoli, a 6th grade teacher and long-time gamer, the system integrates the roles of various players to track student progress while keeping them interested in learning.

ClassRealm’s focus is showing students a path to content mastery as well as proving that learning can be an exciting journey for everyone involved. We encourage and reward students to do work they may normally find unrewarding or pointless. ClassRealm is also a way to tap into children’s creativity and harness their desire to have fun and learn at their own pace. We leverage this to encourage them to master their classroom content.

It’s a leveled-up lesson plan that’s a far cry from the sort of lectures kids get so lost in.  A lot of the new ideas I’ve seen and heard of that are rethinking education all center around engagement, but ClassRealm is the first I’ve seen yet that really integrates engagement from more than just the student.  There’s a lot to be said for that notion;  having teachers, parents and students play together just makes sense if your goal is comprehensive, effective and lasting education.  I’ve got big hopes for systems like ClassRealm, and I hope you’ll join me in helping to put this one into action by backing it on Kickstarter before June 7.


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