LearningWorks for Kids — a growing web start-up based in Wakefield, Rhode Island– has been home to a number of University of Rhode Island students and graduates. LearningWorks, which educates parents, teachers, and children about the educational benefits of games, apps, and other new technologies, has put students from a variety of disciplines at URI into critical roles within its organization. Amongst these disciplines the English department at URI has been strongly represented. Students and graduates of the English department have reveled in the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a rapidly growing market and LearningWorks has provided a unique opportunity to accomplish just that.
On the LearningWorks for Kids homepage the company writes, “LearningWorks for Kids was founded on the principle that popular video games and other digital media, when used mindfully and responsibly, can be powerful tools for sharpening and improving children’s academic performance and cognitive Thinking Skills.” Using rigorously developed standards, students from URI’s English department have been tasked with communicating these benefits to educators, parents, and children. Whether writing daily blog content and interest pieces, learning the intricacies of advertising through social media and search engine optimization, or reading the latest research on game-based learning, the skills that are cultivated by an English education at URI are critical to the company’s mission. Applying these skills to a growing web business can also help URI students and graduates begin developing their resumes for a career in writing.
The demand for writers with the skills to succeed in the 21st century is rising as an increasing number of businesses and artists expand their presence on the web. Performing in-depth and independent research, analyzing and synthesizing complex information from a range of resources and disciplines, and utilizing new technologies and software are invaluable skills for meeting this demand. Combining an English education with real-world experience puts students on a path to success in this highly competitive marketplace. Over the last three years, LearningWorks for Kids has helped URI English students and graduates translate their formal training to firsthand experience while developing a professional portfolio and publishing original content to the web.