ISTE 2017: Bloxels Teaches Kids To Build, Collaborate and Tell Stories Through Video Game Creation
In 2014 our now 9 year old EdTech reporter, Tatum, was the youngest credentialed journalist in the history of the ISTE conference. Since then, at most edtech conferences she rushes to a robotics company with a three letter name that rhymes with the back half of her favorite dinosaur. But as we were preparing a preview piece for Bloxels, we couldn’t get her off the computer.
Bloxels is one of those educational games/activities that has an actual physical play/design space along with an app to go along with it. It’s a product of St. Louis based edtech startup Pixel Press. The company was founded on the idea of creating game experiences for both sides of the brain the analytical left side and the creative right side. Robin Rath, Daniel Wiseman, Josh Stevens, and Rob Bennet are the founders of the company.
Similar to the way Osmo is on and off line. Kids take the Bloxels board and create a game world. Then they take a picture with the app. Next they create their hero, take another picture and get going. Really it’s amazing just watch the video below.
While most people can already see the value in Bloxels, it’s an amazing way to instill STEAM initiatives. Kids are learning critical thinking, coding, programming, app design, game design, and a little math as they work out the kinks of their game.
“Bloxels uniquely unlocks students’ innate creativity by leveraging something they love: video games. Students can play fun games and channel their creative potential as they gain greater understanding of important topics like design logic, and computer science and demonstrate their knowledge of history, science and mathematics and more through the games they create.” the company says on their website.
On the startup side of the universe Pixel Press has raised nearly $1 million dollars in 3 rounds from 5 investors, since 2015.
While Bloxels is going to be easy for the kids to grasp, teachers can find out more and become part of the story as New Jersey based Computer Tech Teacher, Robert Kalman presents “Digital Story Telling Through Video Game Design” on Monday June 26th from 8:00am-10:00am at ISTE 2017. Find out more about his talk here.
You can go hands on with Bloxels at ISTE 2017 in San Antonio from June 25th-28th, booth #2346 and online at bloxelsbuilder.com