T.H.E. Journal, December 1998, p. 53


As part of the “Companies in the Classroom” (CIC) program, the Wake Forest University business school developed a project in which graduate students and faculty helped integrate a business simulation computer game into the curriculum of a fifth-grade class at Speas Elementary in North Carolina.

Technical staff from the business school installed the Dino Park Tycoon software package on the school’s computers. Students then played the game three times a week for six weeks. In the game, the fifth graders would have to manage the operations and finances of a simulated amusement park.

The project successfully used this simple set of goals and guidelines:

  1. Make the technology and curriculum work together. Classroom instruction should reinforce the experiences students had on the computer. Similarly, the software program supplemented lessons from teachers and university faculty.

  2. Find committed partners. An outreach program from an outside university or business won’t work unless strong support is available from all levels of the outside institution.<

  3. Keep your school committed. Administrative support from the principal, teachers, staff, and stakeholders is critical to a successful program.

  4. Demonstrate your successes to stakeholders. Share the success of your program with those who care about it most, such as students, their families, other teachers, the school board, the state office, and community members.