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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bill Gates does it again; this time computer games to meet Common Core Standards; kids lose again

Gee, I have a really good idea. Let’s make school look like a lot of fun, have it all be on a computer. We will let kids play games all the time, while in reality what we will do is make sure students are doing constant test prep and test scores will go up. 

Isn’t that a great idea?

It sounds positively nauseating to me but what do I know? That is what is happening. Here are a few companies that have come to my attention lately

Amazingly every one of these companies primary mission is to help students meet Common Core standards. (For my non-US readers, Common Core is something bad that is coming to your country soon I am sure.)

Let’s put this another way. Bill Gates pushed through common core and now is funding combines to make school into an exercise to meet common core. In the process he encourages companies to build software that looks like fun and games but is, in fact, drill and practice on math and reading all leading to testing to meet common core standards. 

Here are three such “games;”

Tr swer when mistakes are made.
Treefrog Treasure is a platformer game that teaches whole numbers and fractions as players hop around a variety of worlds.

Refraction focuses on teaching fractions and discovering optimal learning pathways for math education.

Creature Capture is a strategy game that teaches relationships between whole and fractional numbers.

Those sure do sound like fun.

Take a look at the sites I listed above. See if you come away with a different conclusion than I did. 

Big business has set its sights on making money on education by insisting on standards and then funding companies that will insure that children meet those standards.

There is lots of money to be made and states will be able able to announce that test scores are up. School will appear to be less miserable experience because kids will be playing games on a computer all day. But, of course, what will really be happening is that we will produce a generation  of children who can pass tests, but who cannot think clearly and who have never been taught to think for themselves, plan, diagnose, determine causality, make good judgements, understand the value of something, communicate clearly, or know how to experiment with ideas. But they will be good consumers of more junk being produced by these very same companies.  

Congratulations Bill Gates. You have done it again.

But why exactly do you hate children?

1 comment:

Dan Meyer said...

It's hard to go wrong in my book by doubting a) the motives of our technocracy or b) the quality of educational video games.

But Refraction is something great. Addictive, interesting, and mathematically exacting. I hope you'll revise and resubmit that one.

I don't have any affiliation with it.