Latin School of Chicago

Latin Magazine Fall 2014: Wellness Matters

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35 L AT I N S C H O O L O F C H I C A G O Daniel Streicher '06 Daniel Streicher '06 also works alongside teachers in schools. And while developing curriculum software may not seem unconventional, Streicher never anticipated that one day he would invent a tech tool to help teachers inspire learning through simulations. He did come to the realization early in high school, however, that role-playing and classroom simulations were among the educational experiences that most engaged him. In tenth grade he took David Fript's Middle East elective. As the class' final examination, Fript asks students to resolve an imaginary crisis in the region as they took on the role of a contemporary leader. Streicher was captivated. "I learned to identify problems, figure out the tools I had to solve those problems and the constraints I had to operate within, and I began to develop the skills to create compelling solutions," he said. By junior year, he was assisting Fript with his classroom simulations. After graduating from Kenyon College and learning coding for a previous job, he built a platform in a modular, customizable way that drastically reduces simulation preparation time (a key issue for busy teachers). What started as a side project has morphed into a career as an entrepreneur and software developer. "I offer tools teachers can use to create compelling and adaptive role-playing games in the classroom," he explained. Last August, Streicher and Fript merged their respective knowledge of technology and simulation curriculum to form React Learning, a company whose name describes the process that takes place when students react to crises or events. React Learning has pilot programs at Latin in classes that already utilize simulations: Latin 3, Global Cities, Micro Economics, Middle East, Russian Revolution and the Global Perspectives class in the middle school. Streicher intends to grow the company to make this kind of curriculum more widely accessible for public and charter schools that may not have the resources that a school like Latin has. "When I got to Kenyon, I had a head start because of Latin," said Streicher. "But it wasn't just that I was confident in writing a paper. It was that while everyone else was learning to write a paper, I had time to think about the bigger picture."

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