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Wellington game makers launch new, future-focused app

26 Feb 2016

The NZ Council for Education Research (NZCER) has collaborated with Wellington-based game developers Gamelab on a new venture that's designed to get people thinking and learning about the biggest changes our world is undergoing.

The duo has created a game known as ‘Curriculum for the future’, which lets players pick a curriculum idea and try to persuade the community of its merits.

It plays with ideas such as:

  • Could an artificial intelligence design a curriculum better than a human?
  • Could kids and adults work together to design learning?
  • What about everyone learning through hands-on making and creating?

It’s based on a workshop resource that NZCER has run with students, teachers and the wider community to provoke open-ended conversations about the purposes of schooling, and what students might need to learn now and for the future.

The game features hand drawn artwork, an original soundtrack and education ideas 'from the sublime to the ridiculous'.

Rachel Bolstad, NZCER senior researcher and team leader for the development of this game, says though the game tackles serious questions, they’ve strived for a light touch.

“We want people to laugh while they think. The game tries to raise interesting questions and feed people's thinking about education and the future. We're encouraging players to tell us what ideas, thoughts, and feelings the game brings up for them, and what kinds of conversations it provokes.”

Dan Milward, Gamelab founder, says collaborating with educators to develop the game has been a highlight. “I think this kind of game has huge potential to stimulate debate and discussion about the future of education. It’s a great tool,” he says.

‘Curriculum for the future’ can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store and Google Play until the end of February. After that it will cost $5.99.

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