Stephen Kraushaar

Lead Developer, Nova Initia
Irving, TX, United States

About Stephen

An idea worth spreading

Education is the art of teaching. Just like any other art, it means different things to each consumer. An artist shouldn't blame the audience for not understanding their work, that's their job.

I'm passionate about

At my core I'm about helping others live a better life, and I do that with my talents. Software development is my gift, I've written code since I was in 4th grade. It's in my blood.

Talk to me about

Reaching people in new ways, but be specific. Saying "we need new ways" is obvious. Trying them out is the only way we learn.

People don't know I'm good at

music, especially singing. I'm a classically trained singer.

Comments & conversations

102451
Stephen Kraushaar
Posted over 3 years ago
Can we make public elementary schools more boy friendly? Does gaming offer a creative way to do that?
These mechanics can be broken down into their elements for use in science and social studies. In science, once a thing is understood that thing can be used as a game element, and not before. In science, social studies and geography we can use the referential essay type story elements as a means of "testing', but also as a means of teaching fellow students. One quickly begins to see how an entire ecosystem for education can be created around these methods. In this environment we are teaching students not only the curriculum, but how others learn. When one understands how others learn, they not only become a better teacher, they become a better student. Games give boys a structure of meaning around learning often useless skills like rapidly tapping a button. Current educational systems teach very important skills, but often lack an overarching structure which motivates the student other than "their future". Using a game like I've proposed here, we could provide that structure in a way that allows the student to project their own importance into the structure, while at the same time giving the educator the control they need to focus the development into distinct areas. I'd really like to speak more with you about this when you have time. I have written a proposal in our game's wiki for use in educational environments which would link students and teachers from the K to University level which I'd like your opinion on.
102451
Stephen Kraushaar
Posted over 3 years ago
Can we make public elementary schools more boy friendly? Does gaming offer a creative way to do that?
Your talk gets at the core of a project I am currently working on, Nova Initia. While this game in no way advertises itself as educational, the core mechanic turns the web into the playing field, and uses the what we call "Tours" to allow users to create their own story lines and playing guides. The idea that the depth of games is what draws boys is very true. Every great game that holds our attention has intricate plot lines, much of which are not completely apparent from the content which the casually observing parent or teacher might ever see. The reason for this is that a core mechanic in most games is to make the player earn it. Your average boy needs to feel challenged in order to feel like they've gained anything of value. You see this play out in mathematics grades because not only is grading quick, producing scores which rank students, but the underlying mechanic of how it works is exposed to the student. The idea of "figuring out how the game works" is very prevalent among most gamers, it's simply stripping away the visual mechanics out of the game in your mind. This currently usually breaks down to math. I believe the path to educating boys in things like language and writing is the complete opposite of the way we are taught. Boys want to read and write exciting stories, but grammar and sentence structure typically bores them to death. I propose we allow students to develop story lines for games, with subsequent assignments creating branches in the story in which different writing patterns are developed. Think about it, even instructional and referential essays could fit into this scenario. These could then be played or read through by other students, at which point the need for proper grammar becomes obvious to the student. In games and the internet typos become very apparent, and poor wording and structure will lose the grabbing attention gamers expect out of stories. We can expose the students to these reactions either first hand, or through ratings.