It's great to see how many institutions are backing games and play as a social tool. What I particularly like about the MIND Research Institute's fourth annual K-12 Game-a-thon show is how they are encouraging creativity along with it. When I was a kid, I loved to create games - whether board games, card games, or level design on a computer - and to this day I still find it fascinating.
The MIND Research Institute was conceived on the basis that children learn visually and experientially, which forms the basis of their software driven approach. Innovative, visually-based games help ensure that all students are "mathematically equipped to solve the world's most challenging problems" (their mission statement).
Teaching children that learning is fun is a big win for all who believe the children are our future. With education often limited by budgets, time restraints and political agendas, it is reassuring that there is no shortage of channels to distribute it. Or people to pioneer it. Video games are instantly and easily accessible to any young mind - so I am keen to watch this space to see how it grows into an older, more mature audience's engagement space.
“The challenge is designed to help students engage in math outside of the traditional classroom environment, providing an avenue to promote creative thinking in mathematics,” notes Mike Limon, director of MathMINDs at the MIND Research Institute. The institute’s mission is to ensure that all students are mathematically equipped to solve the world’s most challenging problems.