Over the past two years, the community-based game/development platform Roblox has exploded. While it might sound like a confusing concept, the platform is immensely popular, attracting 64 million monthly users according to Business Insider. The program acts as both development platform and game, allowing players to boot up millions of user-made projects or create their own games and immediately publish them. Developers are even able to sell items and upgrades in their games and in 2017 Roblox paid $30 million to their many user-developers.
Now, Roblox is taking a page out of Minecraft’s playbook, employing educational tools for their program. The new initiative, called “Roblox Education,” will include curriculum for teachers, coding camps, and a creator challenge. Teachers will even have access to free tutorials, handouts, setup guides, outlines, lesson guides, and more in order to use Roblox as a teaching tool in the classroom. The new education program is largely kid- and teen-centric, aimed at the largest population of Roblox users.
Additionally, Roblox Studio will be used in over 500 coding camps across the world, including the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Spain, Brazil, and Portugal. The tools provided help teach students the fundamentals of coding and can help them learn how to develop, publish, and even market their own games. On the other hand, for students without access to these camps, a Creator Challenge will take place from June 12 to September 12, offering a self-paced program for kids to code their own games inspired by Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Video games have long been used for educational purposes, but only recently have mainstream games like Minecraft and Roblox added educational components to their platforms. One Vice article even highlighted ways teachers integrate Fortnite into their classrooms. While some might find it untraditional, the marrying of video games and education makes sense in today’s world. Not only is it a fun and engaging learning tool, but it also allows students to learn basic coding skills and become comfortable with technology, both attributes that are increasingly important in our tech-focused world.