Teaching With Toys

Educational games have been around, well, basically forever, so the headline over at the Huffington Post, What If Toys Are the New Textbooks?, is a bit of a "duh", but the piece actually has some pretty interesting ideas:

teaching with toysAside from potentially making learning fun (heaven forbid), it turns out toys can teach us a lot that we should be learning, but our antiquated systems of education are failing miserably to provide.

What If the "Three Rs" Are Wrong?

Both what we learn and how we learn needs to change from what we did in the past. Instead of believing things like reading, writing, and arithmetic are the top job skills we should teach our students, what if we shifted to educating learners skills like creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking in order to prepare them to be innovative workers and live satisfying lives?

What if, as our world has changed and progressed over the years, so have the skills we need to negotiate our way through it? And what if, our education system has failed to shift along with the rest of the World? What if, in order to fix a failed system and properly shift to where we should be, we replaced the "Three Rs" with the "Three Cs"? What if, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking were the basic skills educators focused on developing in their learners?

The article goes on to talk about a startup called 21 Toys, which is aiming to implement games with that new focus. Here's a video that explains what they're about.

They're running a Kickstarter campaign to fund their project, which you're welcome to check out if so inclined.

But I wonder how their proposed games compare to traditional Educational Board Games?

Hope their startup succeeds; it'll be fascinating to see where this leads.

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