Brian Shulman, Founder and CEOToday, video games are more than just for leisure and entertainment. They are a part of the mainstream media; an everyday method of storytelling and representation. Games have become a common form of rhetoric for the 21st century, and therefore, not surprisingly, educators, policy makers, investors, and developers are trying to build games suited to school curriculums. “If you cannot engage students in their own learning, you will not improve academic outcomes,” says Brian Shulman, Founder and CEO of LTS Education Systems. “We offer a unique way to engage students through gaming, competing with their peers for high scores and beating their own personal record.” LTS has spent more than 15 years developing and delivering the most effective and engaging online educational programs on the market.
According to Shulman, the K12 arena is trending with tools for aggregating a teacher’s instructional resources for digital delivery to students. “We have developed the StrideXchange platform to allow educators to curate their favorite classroom resources into an online library, and take it a step further by instantly sharing resources with fellow educators across their school or district.” StrideXchange works seamlessly with LTS’s Stride™ program, allowing teachers to insert their own materials into the Stride online experience. Stride is a multimedia toolkit of instructional resources directly aligned to critical learning standards and engineered in HTML5, making it compatible with any device. The platform can adapt to integrate with modern curriculum formats, media, third-party assessments, and gaming technology. The Stride learning platform delivers online assessments, progress monitoring, guided practice, and direct instructions. The platform also provides diagnostic and formative assessment offerings, as well as a custom quiz builder allowing educators to create their own unit quizzes or interim assessments.
LTS’s OpenStride architecture has a design philosophy that emphasizes open formats and protocols, focusing on Stride as a browser-based application rather than a closed native app.It allows educators and technology teams to deploy the product instantly on different operating systems and device form factors. OpenStride is also a collection of connectivity resources APIs for connectivity with automated login systems, a format to connect HTML5 games, and third party assessment integrations with Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and Renaissance Learning.
We offer a unique way to engage students through gaming, competing with their peers for high scores and beating their own personal record
Quoting some success stories, Shulman explains, “A 2014 statewide study in Alabama found that for schools using Stride, 12.7 percent more students passed the end-of-year Alabama Reading & Mathematics Test than non-users in two major subgroups analyzed (White and African American).” Well over 100,000 Alabama students utilize Stride each year, and the state is now in its 9th year of partnering with LTS.
He adds, “In Washington County Public Schools, Maryland, the adoption of Stride in 2014 demonstrated the impact of a personalized and rewards driven learning model on student engagement and motivation both during and after school hours.” LTS has a partnership with Scirra builder of the HTML5-based 2D game editor Construct 2, to integrate student-created games into Stride Arcade a growing student community game sharing platform. Both the firms are bringing game design into the 21st century classroom as a vehicle for building computer literacy, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and restoring emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education.
LTS has been integrating video games with learning for over a decade, and is now equipping students to build their own games as a natural extension of the surge of learning excitement. LTS understands the intense focus and magnitude of learning that takes place when students are engaged in a virtual space. “In games, students are motivated and empowered to discover everything they are capable of achieving, and we are finding innovative ways to involve gaming with education to make learning platforms interesting,” concludes Shulman.