Can video games teach kids math?

Serial founder Steven Woods on using video games as an educational tool, and avoiding venture capital.

This week, The BetaKit Podcast goes back to school.

Kinda. We spoke with Steven Woods, serial entrepreneur (ex-Eloqua, Oracle, and Benevity), about his new project: Mobius Math Club. Woods thinks video games can be a great educational tool, and has built a math learning tool for kids heavily reliant on something most parents hope their kids will avoid.

“I deeply want to solve the challenges in education. I think what we have is a current educational system is really not working.”

Steven Woods,
Mobius Math Club

As a child of the ’80s, one might say I grew up on video games (perhaps raised by them is too strong), but I often saw them as an escape from structured learning (which I also enjoyed). All those hours on the Oregon Trail only really taught me not to die from dysentery. So my focus in this episode is more on the elements of multiplayer gaming that either directly apply to or conflict with an academic environment. True to form, Rob is mostly focused on whether Woods plans to scale the service through venture (extra credit if you can guess the answers now).

But don’t listen to us old heads, Rob’s son is enrolled: acting as an educational guinea pig, avid gamer, and mathlete. It’s a great reminder that whatever our generational hangups, the focus should be on the kids.

So does a math-focused approach to gaming mean the kids will be alright? Let’s dig in.

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The BetaKit Podcast is presented by Mastercard Canada.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Produced & edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Mastercard Canada.

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