The Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Montana Career Lab has launched a new “Learning Games” webpage to teach students about career options using interactive games.
Montana Career Lab, a section of the Montana Department of Labor & Industry, is known for providing free career education and planning resources to students, parents, educators, and job seekers. Our offerings have traditionally been in the form of informational websites and paper publications, but to reach the youngest students in the very first stages of career planning, we realized we needed to take a different approach.
With kids, we’re competing for their attention with a thousand other, flashier, shinier distractions,” explains Learning Games creator Rob Marvin. “We realized we needed to offer them something that they could interact with on their phones and tablets. We wanted to create a series of lessons that wouldn’t seem like schoolwork, but rather feel like a game.”
The first games available on Montana Career Lab’s Learning Games page are adapted from our workbook: Montana Career Peeks. Geared toward students from pre-Kindergarten to 2nd grade, the workbook explains what workers do in different jobs, and features a career-themed activity to go with each profession. Career Peeks Interactive uses the same framework, but adds updated graphics, fun animations, and interactivity to keep kids engaged. The new Career Peeks also awards players with virtual badges when they complete an activity.
“We’re releasing the Career Peeks activities as soon as we get them created,” says Marvin. “So at the moment we have the first two activities and a more limited reward system. Basically, the game tells you when you’ve earned a badge, but there’s not a way to collect and save them. Once we get more of the lessons released, we’ll be adding a hub where players can see which badges they’ve earned and how many are left to collect.”
Montana Career Lab has plans to expand our Learning Games offerings beyond early grade school. Also in development is “Jacob and Emily’s Countdown to Career Fair,” and interactive game for 5th through 8th graders that lets players interview professionals through a virtual town.
To play the Career Peeks interactive games, please visit lmi.mt.gov/Career/LearningGames.
A brief introductory video on the games is embedded below.