The intersection of educational and entertaining was struck perfectly with the interactive Stencyl videogame program Wednesday in Washington D.C., said Geek Squad Agent Tavis Sellers.
The hundreds of teachers and policymakers at the expo couldn’t help but gravitate toward the Best Buy and Geek Squad booth at Digital Learning Day at the Library of Congress. The event focuses on giving every child the opportunity to learn in a digital environment every day, with the goal of collegiate and career success.
Sellers and Best Buy associate Kelsi Facsina showcased exactly what the free online game — revolving around teaching programming — can do for educators when they return to their respective classrooms all over the country.
“It was a big hit — we had it on the TV screen and everyone wants ahold of this program,” Sellers said. “I love the technology and I love sharing it even more. When I can help show them how it helps them in their everyday life, I am so game.”
Stencyl is a program with a background scene mirroring Mario where students can take the pilot seat and easily create their unique gaming experience with the simple click of the mouse.
“You are a gopher in the game, and as a user you’re creating everything from scratch as far as programming,” Sellers said. “You create the background, the landscape, you add in characters, put the dog where you want, and space the jumps the way you want. It’s a software program, but it’s user friendly.”
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Wednesday that his goal is to connect 99 percent of U.S. students to digital learning through high-speed Internet at every school and library.
And with increased online capabilities, that’s where Best Buy and Geek Squad came in as Sellers and Facsina also shared innovative Geek Squad Academy online coursework and ideas on the Digital Learning Day Teen ToolKit.
“We’re offering educators free curriculum that uses free software on the Internet,” said Best Buy Senior Manager of Community Relations Andrea Wood. “It’s exciting to be part of a moment that recognizes how important digital learning is for kids to be prepared for 21st century careers. We are so pleased with how today went.”
For tangible example of what the Teen ToolKit can do, check out the video below.