Bill Gates and We Want To Know Pushing the Frontiers of Game Based Learning for Schools and Kids

Posted: July 23, 2012 in Kids´ Maths Education through Game Based Learning and Fun!

Microsoft´s visionary Bill Gates and pioneering Norwegian Game Based Learning developer, “We Want To Know”, are working in close collaboration with the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington to test and develop Maths Games that enable kids to learn complex equations and fractions while they are having fun.

The Gates Foundation pledged $20 million in a variety of teacher tools, including Game Based Learning and other technologies geared toward changing the way teachers teach and kids learn.

We Want To Know´s revolutionary new game, DragonBox, replaces the numbers, letters and signs in Algebra with more child-friendly symbols such as funky dragons, cool animals and other engaging characters.  Using the medium of a fun game, contemporary designed animation and the touchscreen technology of a smartphone or tablet computer, Kids quickly learn how symbols can be moved and combined on both sides of a split screen divide that represents the equal sign in an equation.

We Want To Know´s Founder, Jean-Baptiste Huyhn, himself a Maths Teacher, explained, “By hiding x, y and other algebraic symbols under a layer of animated gameplay, the software is capable of introducing Kids from as young as 8 years of age to the world of Algebra, gradually revealing its underlying mathematical logic to them. I like to think DragonBox puts the “Fun” into the Fundamental Mathematics.”

Last week at the Education Commission of the States’ national forum in Atlanta, Bill Gates said, “Imagine if kids poured their time and passion into a video game that taught them math concepts while they barely noticed, because it was so enjoyable.”   This is exactly what DragonBox does so quickly and effectively.  Mr Gates, aware of would be detractors, added, “We’re not saying the whole curriculum turns into this big game. We’re saying it’s an adjunct to a serious curriculum.”

Independent research already published in Norway showed that, after one hour of playing DragonBox, 30% of the tested 12 year olds were able to tackle equations that hitherto they were unable to understand. Following two hours of playing, an astonishing 80% were then able to solve complex equations that even their parents might have struggled with.

The Gates Foundation will play a role in researching this new technology, with the Centre of Game Science announcing that DragonBox will be tested across 100 schools in the US with a view to testing and developing We Want To Know´s future Maths Games.

Dragonbox was launched last week in the US and the UK and is available to download at the Apple Mac Store and Google Games.

For further information contact: Ian McMonagle, Head of Media Relations – Ianmac@wewanttoknow.com – Tel: 004791009703 – www.wewanttoknow.com

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