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Friday, October 03, 2014

Video Game Thinking Can Help Us Build Hands-On Math Toys For The Classroom

"Here’s a great example of how gamification, or video game inspired thinking, can be integrated into non-digital learning." continues Forbes.

SumBlox is one of those ideas that seems so simple it is hard to believe nobody’s thought of it before. These wooden blocks, shaped like digits with heights that correspond to number value, create a playful way for young children to explore basic arithmetic.

I rarely write about Kickstarter projects, but in this case I couldn’t resist. I would like to see SumBlox become a regular fixture in classrooms everywhere. Like all great games, they offer a systematic world of patterns and rules. In order to navigate that particular world, players must become intimately acquainted with the game’s components. In this case, the components are basic arithmetic.

Dave Skaggs was studying video game design and tutoring a young student named Elijah when he suddenly came up with the idea for SumBlox. Now he’s a start-up entrepreneur. Whether or not it was his intention, these tangible real world blocks have more in common with the world of video games than they do with our habitual ways of thinking about math education. Rather than transmitting academic content from teacher to student, SumBlox encourages playful game-like exploration.

Source: Forbes

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