Markham, ON and Sydney, NS, March 23, 2011 — IBM (NYSE: IBM) and MediaSpark Inc. have won a national tender to provide 900 Ontario schools with educational games and simulation software designed to sharpen their business and financial skills as they prepare to meet the growing demands of the 21st Century.
“Games and simulations are revolutionizing education,” says Mathew Georghiou, CEO of MediaSpark Inc. “We are encouraged to see Ontario take a leadership role in adopting new methods of learning. Not only will these simulations help Ontario students, but we believe they have the potential to play an important role in enhancing the grassroots entrepreneurial culture in Ontario, resulting in future prosperity.”
Learners gain experience by being immersed in simulated worlds created with advanced experiential learning and gaming techniques. For example, in the Entrepreneurship module, students learn how to run a clothing or sporting goods store by testing their abilities with scenarios that map to real challenges faced by new entrepreneurs. They conduct business, get advice, attend training seminars or sell their companies. In the Personal Finance module, students live up to 50 years of their financial futures, virtually, making decisions about money and credit.
“Today’s students are demanding more digital applications and support for alternative learning methods,” said Ralph Chapman, Vice-President, Public Sector, IBM Canada. “Our ability to deliver this type of advanced learning to Ontario schools provides students with the modern tools they need to better prepare themselves for the new demands of the work world.”
Historically, simulation gaming has been used extensively in the military, by athletes and by scientists to discover effective new strategies and techniques and develop the skills needed to implement them. Businesses have realized the value of this technique and are deploying their own games to create life-like simulations of real markets, customers and business situations that they deal with every day.
Gaming technology is also increasingly being used in higher education institutions to complement and extend traditional teaching methods. Currently, more than 1,000 colleges and universities use IBM games in their curricula.
MediaSpark worked with IBM Canada to win the tender issued by the Ministry of Education through the Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee (OSAPAC).
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