Helping kids learn via games: Microsoft donates $15 million to new education effort

Kids love computer games. But they don’t always love cracking text books in the classroom. A new effort, supported by Microsoft, is looking to bring those two worlds together. Today, Microsoft is announcing a $15 million contribution to an effort to support new ways to educate kids, drawing on the power of video games to enhance learning.

Microsoft’s Anthony Salcito writes in a blog post:

“Around the world, every day, students are engaged in playing games. These digital exercises provide us insight into their motivations and passions. And yet, our classrooms and content take little advantage of this information. With this new investment, Microsoft will support research and development in understanding and creating learning environments that integrate the characteristics of gaming that kids are passionate about. Just imagine…every day a child will fail at a game, and yet keep coming back to try again. But in our classrooms, for most, once a child experiences failure, they shut down. We need to bring the same passion they bring to their digital lives into our classrooms. This investment will help our partners and educators do just that.”

In addition to the money, Microsoft and other technology executives and industry leaders today are meeting with President Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and others for a discussion on education reform.

Microsoft recently announced that it would contribute $25 million over the next five years to help low- and middle-income students pay for college in Washington state.

As part of the $15 million effort, Microsoft said that it will help train more than 150,000 teachers in the U.S. in their use of new technologies in the classroom. It is also planning to use the funds to increase engagement and managing information among students.

  • Anonymous

    Educational games…

  • Andrea78006

    It’s time education served learning which research has shown occurs understandably in a progression over time. We have been treating children like little adults, just as was done hundreds of years ago.  Instead of forcing children to adapt to adult learning which is often staid by comparison we should all enjoy learning because even life is a game at some level.

  • Spedlady52

    How do I find out about applying for a grant or what the process is for getting some of this money? I’m a special ed Teacher – working with students with LD and who are on the ASD. Incorporating more technology into my classroom would be a fanatastic way to help my students access the general curriculum.

  • 4thboomer

    Ditttttto on that one about more information. Can you also include some games that include the Elements of Art and Principles of Design, please?