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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Interview with David Scherrer, Arcademics Multi-player Edu-Gaming. Innovators in E-Learning Series

Game-based e-learning continues to boom as students respond with true engagement and high scores. Welcome to an interview with David Scherrer, founder of Arcademics, a leader in multiplayer edu-gaming.

1.  What is your name and your relation to e-learning?
I’m David Scherrer, owner of – the leader in multiplayer edu-gaming. I’m passionate about using e-learning games as a powerful tool engage and motivate students.
David Scherrer
2.  What is Arcademics?  
Arcademics is a powerful approach to learning basic math, language arts, vocabulary, and thinking skills using research-based and standards-aligned games. Arcademics motivates students in grades K-6 to improve their skills in a friendly competitive environment, and teachers gain access to a database of critical insights into performance trends and measurable improvement in skills.

3.  What is your vision for the event and how are you developing games to improve math performance?
The annual Arcademics Cup is an international multiplication competition for traditional and homeschool students in grades K-6. More than 10,000 students are expected to compete during the two-day competition Feb. 1-2, 2018. Students will race against each other to solve math equations in Grand Prix Multiplication. The game’s multiplayer function allows students to race in groups of four as they answer basic multiplication problems for numbers one through 12.

The 2017 Arcademics Cup saw students play more than 325,000 games and correctly solve more than 10 million multiplication problems. Last year, teachers saw a 5 percent increase in accuracy and 10 percent increase in answer rate, or the number of correct answers per minute. In addition, students that began the Arcademics Cup with an 80 percent or lower accuracy experienced an average 19 percent accuracy increase and 34 percent increase in answer rate.

While participants progress through the Arcademics Cup, they are rewarded with power-ups and cosmetic items for their racecars, as well as a chance to win prizes – such as pizza parties and Arcademics Plus subscriptions – for their class, grade, or school. Students typically solve 30 multiplication equations per race and have unlimited access to Grand Prix Multiplication during the two-day competition.

By tracking data points such as accuracy, answer rate, and the number of correct answers per minute, we’re able to provide measurable ROI to teachers, parents, and students.

4.  Please describe three or four of your games. What do they do?  Who are they for? How do they work?
We have a range of free, research-based math and language arts games that help students improve skills such as multiplication, money, fractions, spelling, geography and more. The games challenge students to respond quickly over a series of short, timed trials. The student’s goal, and the goal of the game, is to increase their rate of correct responses and decrease error rate. The games help improve student performance through increased time on task, increased motivation and engagement, and increased corrective feedback.

We offer free, multiplayer games for grades K-6. Some of our most popular games include:
Grand Prix Multiplication (Multiplication)
  In this game, students race against each other in groups of four to solve basic multiplication problems for numbers one through 12.
Spelling Bees (Spelling)
 Four students aim to spell four-to-eight-letter vocabulary words correctly and quickly to build beehives. The game functions as both a spelling and typing game.
Capital Penguins (Geography)
 In this timed game, solo students guide their penguin to state-shaped ice floes based on the state capital prompt.
Puppy Chase (Decimals and Fractions)
 In groups of 12, students race as puppies around a track by correctly converting fractions to decimals.

5.  Please describe some of the winners of Arcademics. 
Roosevelt Elementary School Fifth Grade Teacher Christopher Lombardi participates in the Arcademics Cup each year, and his entire school is heavily involved. Students frequently practice various games in order to prepare for the Cup, and they have had multiple winners over the years.

Lombardi’s focus is on his students achieving their personal best time, and he has seen steady improvement month-to-month and year-to-year. For example, last year a student was ranked 98th in the school’s Arcademics Cup competition, and this year has improved to a third-place ranking! Lombardi especially enjoys the tangible results the students can see from their hard work, all of which he can track in the teacher’s dashboard.

6.  What are your plans for the future? 
In the near future, we are excited to host the 2018 Arcademics Cup and hope to help students and teachers alike start their year strong. Looking forward, we plan to add more games across multiple categories and look forward to continuously increasing participation in the Arcademics Cup.

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