Roblox is a global gaming platform that just announced their work on a benchmark project with Mrs Wordsmith, an Entertainment-Education company that focuses on literacy; together the companies are aiming to unify gaming and literacy into one exciting package. Featuring character designs from the award-winning mind of Craig Kellman (whose credits include work on “The PowerPuff Girls,” “Samurai Jack,” “Madagascar”), the partnership was announced at the 2022 EdTEchX Summit in London, England.
The staff at Mrs Wordsmith is pleased to be bringing their expertise in creative and gamified learning into the world of Roblox. Mrs. Wordsmith products have been praised across the UK, helping parents and educators improve children’s literacy outcomes by 50%, according to a 2018 study. The brand’s leadership in educational products and programming has resulted in partnerships with companies such as global book publisher DK, sponsorship of Scripps National Spelling Bee and now the Roblox project.
According to Rebecca Kantar, head of education at Roblox, stated that the game will include details such as unique 3D experiences aimed at improving the reading and writing outcomes of kids aged 4-13. A mix of gameplay-centric fun and literary challenges will be combined with a fun lineup of beloved characters and a gameshow quiz format.
Recently, Mrs Wordsmith Executive Chairman, Pierre Lagrange discussed the partnership and the game via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you get interested in this field and how was Mrs Wordsmith founded?
Pierre Lagrange (PL): We wanted to develop the concept of applying gaming psychology of failure management and learning to academics. Mrs Wordsmith pioneered this approach in literacy, following on cracking performance in print products kids enjoyed and educators valued. Mrs Wordsmith was founded to break the rules of traditional literacy education and to get better learning – 50% more as seen in national literacy trust study on narrative journey product- by engaging the kids in a laugh and play to learn approach.
MM: How much of a focus is literature in the overall content offerings provided by Mrs Wordsmith?
PL: The focus is on literacy, specifically on the 2 big issues kids are facing, learning to read, and acquiring vocabulary to boost reading abilities, the biggest determinant to academic and life achievements.
MM: How did you come to partner with Roblox?
PL: Mrs Wordsmith is already on version 2.0 of gamification of education whereas others typically put a game veneer on education, which inevitably gets found out by the kids who see it for what it is. Instead, Mrs Wordsmith created games where the gaming is the education. Start with a game kids have fun playing and build the pedagogy in the gameplay. This way the player is engaged and will learn as he/she plays. Roblox was looking for a similar approach, and we are already at that level. We also have authority in literacy, as our games are in total sync with our books, used by many teachers as they engage the kids to learn.
MM: What literary skills can players learn through the project?
PL: We are providing them with the power of words, learn words to become powerful. Kids will acquire vocabulary and storytelling skills.
MM: What’s your favorite aspect of this project and why?
PL: Mrs Wordsmith’s mission is to bridge the learning gap in literacy but as a small company our reach is limited. With Roblox, we’ll be able to bring our successful approach to a large audience
MM: How does characterization influence the game play?
PL: Important, can’t tell you everything, but just look at our illustrations of words, and you’ll see how the characters emotions are already providing in print with a strong emotional bond to the characters. If kids like them in print, they’ll love them in the video game on Roblox
MM: How do you hope the Mrs Wordsmith company will evolve over the next five years?
PL: Be available for millions of kids to raise their literacy skills, be present on most kids tech kits to leverage the play to learn successful approach at home and in school.
MM: How do you envision working with Roblox further into the future?
PL: Let’s execute on this one first, although we already have other projects in discussion!
MM: Where can people go to learn more?
PL: Join our Mrs Community on Facebook, where we regularly have discussions with all stakeholders interested in kids becoming happy learners!
MM: Is there anything else you’d like our reader to know about Mrs Wordsmith?
PL: The reality of modern life is that both parents often work too much to have time to teach kids at home. Teachers are under extreme pressure to focus on the curriculum, and as important as it is to have good reading and comprehension, vocabulary is not in the curriculum and often falls by the wayside of a crowded academic agenda. With our video games, we can help both parents at home, and teachers in school, to get children engaged in video games where they will learn as they play and laugh. Kids also need to learn at their pace, a difficulty for teachers with often too many kids in a class. Our personalization algorithms enables a full personalization, so teachers will not be limited by the pure logistics of every child learning at his/her own level. Mrs Wordsmith is the ultimate solution to today’s children literacy issues.