Learning by Teaching: An old paradigm and a new computer game
Discussion/demo of MathCraft: an RPG whose user must advise/tutor an avatar facing survival challenges after a spaceship crash, thereby better appreciating and understanding the underlying STEM.
We've all had the experience of not REALLY understanding something until we've had to teach/explain it to someone else. That source of power (Learning by Teaching) is almost untapped in K-12 education today. We'll discuss this historically, then focus on MathCraft, a new computer game we're finally ready to reveal. It's a post-spaceship-crash adventure RPG where the user -- typically a middle school student -- must help mentor and advise an on-screen avatar who faces in-game challenges which naturally lend themselves to be modeled using grade-appropriate math and science. Our AI selects the problems for that user, based on a growing model of the concepts and skills they do/don't yet understand, the sorts of bugs and traps they are/aren't prone to, etc. The seminar will include a demonstration of the program, and interested attendees will be able to try it out themselves.