Thursday, 28 April 2011

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Supports Games Based Learning

I have always been an admirer of Bill Gates. "Why? But isn’t he one of the ruling capitalist overlords (I hear the Class War brigade scream)?" Well, I like Bill for a number of reasons.

Firstly, he is a geek come good, and to us geeks, that alone is enough. Secondly, and most importantly, having amassed huge wealth, he is giving it away via The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

So what has this all got to do with a games based learning blog. Well, on April 27th 2011, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced a suite of investments, totalling more than $20 million, focused on identifying and expanding promising cutting-edge learning resources that support teachers and students and bring innovative new instructional approaches into America's classrooms. These investments support the development of game-based learning applications; math, English language, arts and science curricula built into digital formats; learning through social networking platforms; and embedded assessments through a real-time and engaging environment of experiences and journeys.

"Technology has advanced how we do so many things today," said Vicki L. Phillips, Director of Education, College Ready, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Yet, instead of transforming our schools, technology has generally been placed on top of antiquated models. These new cutting-edge applications have the potential to inspire students and engage them in the way they naturally learn.”

Bill is a visionary, well apart from the fact he didn’t initially see the importance of the web, so if games based learning is good for him then it is good for us mere mortals, I mean pawns, err  dumb terminal users, no willing consumers (that’s what we are). Oh go on send me a copy of “Anarcho-syndicalist Guide to Not Looking like an Hypocrite When Waging Class War with the Aid of Capitalist Technology”.

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