A Finnish education gaming company is on a thrilling mission to build the world’s first “mainstream” learning game. How will it mold the future of education, in this tiny Nordic country and elsewhere?

See my latest Atlantic article here!

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After this story was published, I received an email from Lauri Järvilehto, the CEO of Lightneer, the Finnish education gaming company which is set to launch its first app, “Big Bang Legends,” next month. He addressed my concern that Lightneer’s learning app could exacerbate the problem of internet and videogame addictions among today’s children and, ultimately, diminish their education. I’m reprinting an excerpt from his email (with his permission):

“I think this is a big issue to figure out not only for learning games, but edtech in general.

I do feel that if our games can redirect some of the time kids spend playing anyway to something useful, it will be a very good thing. However, if learning games add on top of existing screentime, that is problematic.

One elegant way to limit screentime [by the way] is sessioning, which we are implementing anyway. That, of course, applies only to the apps that implement it, and not gaming/internet addiction as an overall phenomenon. This is definitely a topic worth spending some more thought on.”

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Timothy D. Walker is a contributing writer for The Atlantic and an American teacher based in Finland. He writes regularly about education and culture at Taught by Finland, and is the author of the forthcoming books Teach Like Finland: 33 Simple Strategies for Joyful Classrooms and Lost in Finland.
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