GamesBeat

Education game invokes Civilization and others to teach math

Math education STEM gamification

As difficult as it is for some people to learn math, it is even harder to teach. Math has multiple disciplines and dozens of concepts in each of those areas. If one student out of 30 fails to grasp a single important idea, and the class moves on, it may cripple that student for the rest of the year.

That’s where educational technology company KnowRe comes in with its software of the same name. KnowRe is a teaching tool that adapts to students on a personal level. It learns how well each person is understanding the concepts and adapts the curriculum based on that information — and it does all that in a game world where students win by expanding their math empire.

“We believe that the best education is one that is personalized to the needs of the student and is engaging and fun for the student,” KnowRe director of marketing Gloria Lee told GamesBeat. “One cannot do without the other. With all its gamified features and RPG-like environment, KnowRe first of all helps to engage the student without causing them to check out or feel bored, and then offers our adaptive technology to help identify the student’s areas of need and provide a curriculum that is tailor-made to that specific student.”

Once the software targets a trouble area for an individual, it works on it with the student until they have a strong foundation to start building additional knowledge.

KnowRe is available in beta with an Algebra I course. For any student at that point in their education — be they advanced or remedial — the software will design itself around their needs. It won’t scale down enough to teach the average 5-year old how to solve for X, but it will help a high-school freshman who struggles with that subject.

“Considering that most children and teenagers nowadays are so familiar with online gaming platforms, we believe that students will find KnowRe to be a refreshing and engaging learning environment,” said Lee. “World of Warcraft is probably our biggest inspiration across the board, but there are other influences such as board game The Settlers of Catan as well as Side Meier’s Civilization.”

KnowRe uses an overworld map that is very reminiscent of the Civilization games, but Lee says that the inspiration goes deeper than that.

“In the way that players not only builds an empire, but builds it to stand the test of time in Sid Meier’s Civilization, is very much parallel to the way we think about the matrix of interconnected math concepts that students need to build — like a tech tree — in order to grow one’s knowledge to stand the test of time,” she said.

Up next, KnowRe wants to expand into pre-algebra courses, but it is also considering other science, technology, education, and math-related subjects.

“Our technology was designed with the understanding that knowledge is a compounding activity, which can be applied to other STEM subject areas.”


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