Speed To Learn
Nolan Bushnell

Mr. Atari Wants To Bring The Video Arcade Into The Classroom (TCTV)

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Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and Chuck E Cheese, wants to bring the video arcade into the classroom. His latest startup is called Speed To Learn, and very little is known about it. But he was just on a panel I moderated at the Venture Capital in Education Summit in New York City, where he revealed a little more of his game plan. I caught him on video after the panel (watch above).

Essentially, Speed To Learn, which doesn’t even have a website yet, is a new education startup which wants to bring video games into the classroom. Like, real, arcade-style video games. “Think Dance Dance Revolution meets step aerobics” meets education software. On the panel he talked about treadmills with screens attached where kids learn in a very active way. I joked that he was trying to make up for creating a generation of kids who sat in front of the TV playing video games.

But Speed To Learn is about making learning fun by bringing game mechanics to the classroom. Kids learn better when they are active and have better retention. “You have to get the heart rate up,” says Bushnell. The game system will include adaptive learning algorithms so that it helps students learn better over time. Bushnell’s goal is to help students learn three times faster, an arbitrary number that he pulled out of the air, but it’s good to have stretch goals.