Checkpoint Learning is an innovative educational approach that acknowledges and leverages students' gaming experiences and culture to create inclusive and engaging learning environments. Inspired by the captivating world of videogames, its aim is to harness the transferable skills students acquire through gaming and apply them in the classroom setting. However, Checkpoint Learning does not endorse, require or encourage playing vidoegames in class. Using standard classroom materials and resources, Checkpoint employs a range of acknowledged teaching methods to deliver the assessment targets.
Students possess a wealth of knowledge, experiences, and skills derived from their cultural backgrounds and communities, referred to as their "cultural wealth." This includes their unique perspectives, beliefs, values, and practices shaped by family, community, and gaming experiences. Checkpoint Learning focuses on the value of gaming culture and utilises it to create culturally responsive learning experiences that honour and build upon students' unique strengths and assets.
By recognising the inherent learning principles in gaming and applying them in a traditional learning environment, Checkpoint Learning has proven it promotes engagement and motivation, leading to increased student achievement and success. This innovative approach challenges the conventional assumption that gaming is inherently negative, showcasing its potential as a powerful educational tool when used effectively.
Checkpoint Learning's mission is to revolutionise education by embracing and capitalising on the gaming culture that resonates with today's students. By bridging the gap between gaming and academics, Checkpoint Learning strives to create meaningful, relevant learning experiences that foster both academic and personal growth.
A bit more context...
Although we recognise the inherent educational merits of videogaming, we are not convinced that the universally acknowledged shortcomings can be overcome in a formalised educational environment. These shortcomings (funding - access to hardware and software; no agreed curriculum, standards, or values; media driven negative perception; time constraints etc) have been well-documented over the years in various publications* and as yet have not been satisfactorily addressed either by the ISFE funded Gaming in Schools project nor by Microsoft’s Minecraft Education Edition. However, we do believe that videogames hold a unique place in the world and can be utilised by the proponents of a traditional education system. In 2021 the gaming industry was projected to achieve over $180 billion USD in revenue. There were more than 2.5 billion gamers worldwide with an average age of 34.
The ubiquitous nature of videogaming means it has a cultural relevance across at least two generations and a loyal fanbase. It would be a rare occurrence that a child growing up in 2022 would not have played a videogame of some description - no matter where they are in the world and irrespective of their socio-economic standing.
It has long been recognised that children who grow up in a house where the adults engage with them in reading, discussing current affairs, and partaking in cultural experiences develop a lifelong interest in learning together with increased intellectual and academic skills. Today’s parents include playing videogames as one of the activities they share with their children. In fact, for a lot of families it is almost certain that gaming has replaced reading as the predominant shared activity.
*Felicia, P (Dr). (2020). Games in Schools. Using Educational Games in the Classroom. Pb. European Schoolnet
Groff, J. S., & Howells, C., & Cranmer, S. (2010). The impact of console games in the classroom: Evidence from schools in Scotland. Pb. ResearchGate.net
To support Checkpoint Learning, a new podcast (Designing Digital Literacy) outlining how to use our packs and how they're developed was released. This series focuses on our Learning Materials and is targeted at teachers.
Founder Tamer Asfahani speaks to TalkTV on how Checkpoint Learning works