Other posts about Roblox Studio:
What is Roblox Studio?
Getting started with Roblox Studio in the classroom or library.
What about child safety?
If you told your class or some kids you know that you will be using Roblox together, they would pass out with excitement. And that is even before many of them know about what they can do inside Roblox Studio. Show them the creative features available to them and stand aside.
Chief business officer, Craig Donato, puts it like this, “I’d say one of the things that distinguishes Roblox is our mission of bringing the world together through play. And we believe that play, like sleep, is an essential human need. There’s lots of research that shows that play is how we learn to take control of our lives, how to adapt to new challenges, how to collaborate with our peers. And most of all play is also fun, right? It makes them happy. A world at play is better for everyone, not just children. A traditional game has very specific rules, where you have to follow a narrow path, you have to win… That’s not really the experience that you have in Roblox with these wide open worlds that you can just participate in.” – chief business officer, Craig Donato, MCV, 2019.
The kids are already there
If you poll a group of children in your class or outside of school asking how many of them know about Roblox or have played games in Roblox, you will be astounded at the breadth of reach of this platform. Most of them will not know about Roblox Studio but this is where the power is to open up a world of possibilities. A very brief introduction to Roblox Studio is enough to spark instant curiosity that will drive their learning. The Connected Learning Alliance places a strong emphasis on combining personal interests, supportive relationships, and opportunities to power learning. In Roblox, student interest is high … very high. Relationships probably already exist between students who play on the Roblox platform, and opportunities to connect this interest into deep, extended, connected, and sustained learning is huge. Even for those students who have not had experience in Roblox, their previous experiences in video games is often enough to launch an enthusiastic interest in Roblox Studio. Roblox Studio offers us the opportunity to tap into where student interests already are rather than trying to capture their interests.
Roblox is Authentic
Roblox provides an authentic learning experience on many different levels. As previously highlighted, Roblox is a place kids already are. It is a platform that millions of users participate in everyday both as players and developers. More broadly, video gaming is a creative art form that in terms of revenue far outstrips television, film and digital music. Video game development therefore represents viable and expanding source of future employment and recreation opportunities for students. Publishing their own games on the Roblox platform allows students to present their design and creativity to a wide public audience who are then able to give feedback and collaborate on projects. Roblox is also a platform that is not mediated by an educational institution which means that students take ownership of their own accounts and are able to take this with them regardless of the educational institution they are in at the time. If their interest takes them further, they can continue to develop their skills and games outside of school hours and build a learning community that is not dependent on their school. Roblox is not artificially contrived for education purposes or designed to facilitate assessment standards or monitoring by education experts. It is in a multitude of ways, a genuine learning experience.
Skills acquired in Roblox Studio are transferable
The user interface and design workflow of Roblox Studio is also very similar to major video game development platforms such as Unity 3D and Unreal Engine that are used worldwide to create multi-million dollar games. The design principles, workflow, technical challenges and skills used in Roblox Studio therefore provide an ideal platform for students to learn concepts and skills that will transfer to other platforms. Core game design principles are universal and draw on many disciplines to create a well crafted experience for gamers. Coding within Roblox Studio uses the language of Roblox Lua – a dialect of Lua – providing a perfect opportunity to develop scripting and coding skills. The way that this coding is embedded within the Roblox Studio workflow closely resembles that of Unity and Unreal Engine therefore providing students with a accessible and authentic coding experiences they can take beyond Roblox.
In contrast to shipped (published) games such as Fortnite, Roblox Studio offers gamers endless opportunities to build their own identities as participants and creators. Minecraft is similar in many ways however Roblox Studio distinguishes itself in the range of design options available to kids. Because Roblox Studio is not education focussed, it offers the opportunity for students to take charge of their own experience and take their learning where they want it to go. Whether it be in model building, coding, game design, publishing or world building, kids have the opportunity to craft their own pathway. This creates an ideal opportunity for nonlinear, individualised, differentiated, self-directed, self-motivated and connected learning.
Because it is so much fun
To finish, it is worth mentioning again that Roblox Studio is a lot of fun, leading to kids who are highly engaged with design, coding, collaborating and creating. Motivation to learn and take on new and demanding challenges is high. Students take on these challenges and find the rewards in achieving even the smallest gains in skills as they see the consequences of the learning in action. This makes implementing Roblox Studio at school less about trying to capture their interest and more about the logistics of access to the necessary technology. Student motivation, the community they build and the online learning resources available to them seem to be enough to drive their learning forward.
There are many reasons why Roblox Studio is such an inspiring learning environment for kids. These are just a few of the most apparent ones and hopefully provide some idea of the learning opportunities Roblox Studio offers students.