Unity enables the creation of a huge range of games and experiences, including innovative tools for learning and training. These range from powerful medical simulations to games that help kids learn critical skills like reading and mathematics by making these subjects engaging and playful.
There are simply not enough teachers and not enough schools. Whole generations of children are missing out. When faced with such a daunting challenge, War Child Holland came up with an unorthodox answer: Imagine if gaming could provide a way to bring learning to these children, in a compelling and fun way.
From this idea came Can’t Wait to Learn’s vision:
“Closing the education gap for millions of children affected by conflict globally with effective curriculum-based learning opportunities using gaming technology.”
This was an extremely aspirational vision, and yet the most exciting part of this Unity game is the very real impact it is having on the youth that War Child Holland serves.
The game, developed using Unity software, is designed with and for children. All games are based on Ministry of Education curriculum and are designed knowing the specific learning opportunities and challenges and cultural context of Jordan, Lebanon, Uganda, and Sudan. The first proof of concept studies for Mathematics, Sudan (2012–2013) and Sudan (2014–2015) showed that:
Further research results for Jordan, Lebanon, and Sudan will be available from the end of 2018 through early 2019.
This program enables children to work towards acquiring Ministry of Education competency levels, in both formal and informal learning environments, thus supporting transition into formal education systems.
In the Can’t Wait to Learn (CWTL) program, children learn by playing educational games on tablet computers. The custom-made games include instruction, practice, and a learning management system. This means that CWTL can provide quality education to all children, no matter their location. It can be delivered in places where there are no (or not enough) classrooms or teachers, both in formal and informal learning settings.
The fresh, interactive learning materials are all based on official national curricula. The educational games are introduced to children in a manner fitting their lifestyle and circumstances. Many different partners, including local Ministries of Education, international and national NGOs and research institutes, along with technical experts in gaming, software design, education and psycho-social well-being, are working together to develop this fun and effective learning tool. CWTL has invested heavily in research to understand how and what children learn through the serious gaming approach in different context and learning modalities and uses nationally and internationally recognized measurement tools and methodologies to build a greater evidence-base to iterate and improve the program and future efforts.
During playful exercises, children learn what they would learn in a traditional school. Games are custom-built for each country and co-created together with local children, designers, and Ministries of Education.
Can’t Wait to Learn started in Sudan in 2012 with one subject, mathematics presented in Arabic. Now they have added reading in Arabic. The program is currently expanding and scaling up, to respond to the education needs of host communities and refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. For the first time, CWTL is developing games in English for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. CWTL is beginning in Uganda with maths in English and will expand to English reading in the second half of 2018.
War Child and its partners believe that gaming can bring learning to the most difficult to reach places and circumstances. Find out more about Can’t Wait to Learn.
Can’t Wait to Learn is supported the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, IKEA Foundation, Google.org, the Humanitarian Education Accelerator, UNICEF, UNHCR and CISCO Foundation.
For Educators: The Unity Education Edition License is free for qualifying not-for-profit academic institutions and educational programs in support of their in-class instruction. Learn how to apply.
For app developers: Explore other learning and training applications made with Unity.