Friday, June 3, 2011

Martian Mission

I've been fascinated by the progression of computer technology over the past fifteen years. The internet's swift impact on our culture surprised even a geek like me. Social networks and games are incredibly popular and seem to be growing endlessly. The technology is constantly being pushed to deliver more and more complex content across a variety of platforms.

For some time, I have thought that this emerging technology could be used very effectively to teach. It is a powerful means to present interactive media that engages students and, if part of a curriculum, tracks their progress and even customizes itself according to their individual needs. If the content was compelling and easy to use, it would encourage participation and make learning fun!

Of course, I realize this is not exactly a new concept. I'm old enough to remember the whole "edutainment" craze of the early nineties. Nowadays, the market is pretty small but I believe this will change if the medium is exploited to its full potential. My mission is to make the assembly of sophisticated multimedia software as easy as surfing the internet.

I am currently in the process of creating a 3d graphics engine and tool set suitable for use in the making of educational programs, games, architectural walk-throughs, and any other type of interactive software in which a virtual space is useful. In the event that the educational market cannot sustain the business, the tool set will be flexible enough to be turned to other purposes and sources of revenue.

The educational software business is saturated with products aimed at children under the age of ten. There are few available for young adults and college students and those tend to be in typical textbook-style formats. In this age of instant gratification and short attention spans, I believe that there is a need for software that targets that mentality. Having more options in terms of presentation and interactivity will help diversify the available titles and open up great potential for more innovative and effective teaching techniques.

One last thing I'd like to communicate is that my mission is not to replace teachers with computer technology. My hope is that I can bring people of various disciplines together. Teachers, designers, artists, programmers, etc. will all need to be involved in creating the next generation of software for learning.

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