13 Sep

Games industry legend and major educational game supporter Nolan Bushnell believes a stronger implementation of digital technologies in the classroom could reduce high school from four years to one. Calling the current education system “a disaster”, Bushnell’s accelerated learning program Speed to Learn has reportedly been teaching subjects ten times faster to “hundreds of classrooms” through the pervasive use of games and gamification. The next step for the program is to try and prove Bushnell’s 4 years-to-one theory in a real-life setting.

“I’ve been working on an education project for about ten years now, and it turns out that educating children and computers go together,” Bushnell reported to GamesIndustry.biz (registration required). “We’ve been in hundreds of classrooms with 40,000 kids. We are currently teaching subjects ten times faster.”

He continued, “We believe that when we roll this up to full curriculum we’ll be able to teach a full career of high school in less than a year. And we think we’ll be able to do that by the end of the next year.”

In terms of what’s specifically wrong with the current education system, Bushnell offered, “It’s creating an underclass that will erode the foundation of our society,” says Bushnell.  “If you go into a class of fifth graders – let’s say there’s 30 of them – and they all have computers, I guarantee you that ten to 15 percent of these computers do not work. They’re virus-infected nightmares…In cloud gaming you disconnect the system’s administration from the computer to the cloud…it’s going to be an important step for allowing technology into the classroom.”

(via IndustryGamers)

Can high school be taught in one year, EGs? Can it be done through the use of games, as Bushnell suggests? Offer your thoughts on the matter in our comments section!

One thought on “Nolan Bushnell Takes On U.S. Education System”

  1. A very bold proposal, but for a man that openly regrets not holding on to Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak while they were at Atari, you can bet that he is always considering the future in terms of what the present can offer it.

    I’d say that the potential for gaming technology in the classroom, especially using them in context for lessons, is great indeed.

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