Friday, May 2, 2014

What's in a Game, You Ask? RE@L Learning for Life!

Ever wonder why kids love to learn new games, but don't care so much about learning new things in school? We at RE@L wonder about it all the time. We are constantly looking for new ways to include gaming and simulations in our teaching/learning products. 

It's all part of a new way to learn called "gamification", finding new ways to make learning more game like, fun and productive. Our educator-designers invented Oregon Trail almost 40 years ago, arguably the greatest learning game ever. More on how much further we've come down the simulation trail below.

Here's why today's learners love interactive simulation/learning games:
   •  If at first you don't succeed, you can try, try again.
   • You can compete and learn with others.
   • You can win badges of achievement to display your skills.
   • You can "buy" cool stuff with your skill points.
   • You can learn from your losses. 

You can learn from losing!?! Failure is something few want to happen in a classroom. But losing in a game can teach you a lot more than failure. It can improve your strategies to make you a winner.

Dr. Jane McGonigal is a recognized gaming expert. In a short video below, she addresses many concerns raised by educators: violence in games; competition vs collaboration; so-called "time wasting".  She cites valid research affirming the effectiveness of gaming and interactive simulation.  

Click on the red link to see the video:  Truths and Myths in Gaming

RE@L’s “gamification” experts agree with Dr. McMonigal. We are working diligently to ensure that very high level standards of gaming techniques are tested and incorporated in RE@L products.

At RE@L we understand the power of gaming here. We learned that when our team built the greatest K12 computer simulation game of all-time: "Oregon Trail". Millions of people around the world have used the game in school and at home for four decades. They still do.

RE@L has new and better learning games on our planning boards. Students will not only be able to go back in history to learn in our games, they will also be able to go forward in time and learn, too. 

We have ambitious plans to build more gaming into more of our learning products. RE@L knows gaming and we know learning.

Want to learn more about the power of gaming? Follow our RE@L Blog. Follow us on Facebook, on our RE@L website, on Twitter, on Pinterest and other new social media worlds.

Stay tuned! More RE@L Learning soon to come!

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