Posted by: crudbasher | December 23, 2011

Bring The Learning To The Students

Often on this blog I try to come up with a week long story. This week I talked about how kids are playing games on cell phones as much as they can. I also had a post about how I define 21st century learning this way:

Learning what you want from anyone, anytime, anywhere. 

Finally I blogged about how voice control and telepresence will change the way we interact with computers. So what does all this have in common?

(cc) Josh Liba

The disruptive force that the Internet creates is the ability to connect people together regardless of location. A classroom is a way to connect people together too but it’s limited by location. Students are assigned a teacher based on where they live not based on who would be best for them. This is the reason I think the classroom based model of learning will become eventually obsolete? So how do you teach this new generation of students who don’t just live in the physical world? One way is with games. Much talk as been made of the gamification of education but they are talking about taking learning and turning it into an educational game. How about we take a regular game and turn it into learning?

What if we take the commercial video games industry and create an incentive for companies to embed learning tasks in their video games? Let say we create a fund for embedded learning. Learning tasks are defined and a way to demonstrate competency is benchmarked. Game companies can browse the library and embed these learning objects in their games. For example, in World of Warcraft you could have lessons about history, economics, psychology, group dynamics, grammar, spelling, music, and math. Now here’s the key to making this work. Every time a student completes one of these lessons the game company gets paid a small fee from the fund. Call it $1-5. A typical game costs $50-60 so this could be a significant source of revenue for game companies. The best part is, the kids wouldn’t even realize they were learning.

Learning will become embedded in the world around us. Augmented reality, virtual reality, gaming and the Internet itself will be filled with learning objects. Students would realize they have to complete these to progress through school but they could do them in a fun way.

It’s the start of an idea, not the full plan.  If you have any feedback about this, please leave it in the comments!!




  1. I like where you are going with this. I think the most exciting aspect is that it’s unclear where we are headed with all this. I really think we are headed into a time when ‘school’ becomes a verb rather than a noun. Like you, I’ll be searching for an answer.

    • Indeed. I think a lot of people believe something is about to radically change. We just don’t know what form this will take. Thanks for commenting!!

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