Almost 25 years ago, the Chairman of Classroom, Inc.’s board, then at Morgan Stanley, became involved in mentoring high school students and quickly recognized the need to build an engaging tool that would build students’ workplace skills, as well as their academic ones. He and two colleagues partnered with Columbia Teacher’s College to develop Parkside Hotel, a computer simulation in which students acted as hotel manager and, in the process, were called upon to make authentic workplace decisions that affected their colleagues and the guests they served. Classroom, Inc. was born.
Today, Education Week released the results of a survey showing just how vital it is that we provide our middle and high school students with the 21st century skills that will make the successful at college and in their careers. Critical thinking and problem solving, bedrock skills that drive informed decision-making and innovation, are cited in the Committee for Economic Development’s study as being the skills today’s employers seek above all others.
To keep current in today’s economy, professionals and workers are constantly learning new skills. Software engineers learn new coding languages, health-care providers learn how to use new medical devices, warehouse personnel learn new distribution systems. But how well members of the workforce will maximize their career potential depends on their ability to apply critical thinking skills—analyzing, discerning, inferring, asking questions, seeking the evidence behind claims—to their work goals.
Classroom, Inc.’s digital workplace learning games give students a head-start in applying critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the very settings of their future. Whether they end up pursuing a professional career or a trade, by playing our games students are applying the foundational skills that are more important to success today than ever.