Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly May 26th, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn …


National STEM Video Game Challenge: Celebrating Success

More Than $100,000 Awarded to Students and Educators by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media. The winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by learning, playing and making video games, were announced today(May 22, 2012) at The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, DC.

The Atlantic‘s Second Annual Technologies in Education Forum 

The Atlantic’s second annual Technologies in Education Forum, a full day program, focused on the new policies, technologies, and tools available to those working on the front lines to bolster American student learning and achievement, especially in the critically important STEM curricula.  The program explored what public policies are necessary to bring new technologies into classrooms, how educational video games are changing the way students learn, and how new technologies can be used to improve vital intellectual skills and prepare the near future American workforce to compete in an increasingly advanced global economy. (videos of panel discussion are available)

Professor Jeanne Paratore, literacy, sat on a panel to discuss game-based learning and the role teachers play utilizing such technology. Below is an excerpt from The Atlantic article “Upgrading Education for the 21st Century” by Amy Southerland, published May 23, 2012.

VVHS video game designers win national contest

For its engaging storyline combined with educational value, the “Treasure Raiders” game took first place in the sixth annual Future Game Designer Challenge by I Support Learning, Inc., a national contest that drew “edutainment” entries from about 70 middle and high school students, according to Steve Waddell, contest creator and founder of the Kansas-based company.

The four boys who created the game were a part of VVHS teacher Denise Roderick’s video game design class, which tasks students with entering the competition as their second semester project.

Tokyo Game Market 2012 Report (Short Interviews, Pictures, Educational Games at the Market) (

Q:To make a lot of money, what means do or did you use ?(toward designers)
A:In Japan, there are few people who are interested in board game than the other countries,so,he made games in Japan ,translated them for foreign countries, produced them in large quantities at an overseas factory and sells them abroad.

On Campus: Researchers make compassion a game

With a $1.39 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UW-Madison researchers will develop and test two educational games to help eighth-graders develop empathy, cooperation, mental focus and self-regulation. Richard Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry who leads UW-Madison’s Center for Investigating Healthy Minds, and Kurt Squire, associate professor and director of the Games Learning Society Initiative, hope to capitalize on middle-schoolers’ interest in video games.

Video game helps students with fetal alcohol disorder

Jacqueline Pei, a registered psychologist who specializes in FASD, is looking into how a computer program called Caribbean Quest can improve the cognitive function of people with the condition. Pei and a team of doctors from the University of Alberta and University of Victoria – where Caribbean Quest was developed – are working on a study called Executive Functioning Training in Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Twenty-five kids, aged 6-14, are involved, with each spending 12 weeks playing the game… The results have been very positive so far…

Petra’s Planet, a New Virtual World for Children Aimed at Stimulating Curiosity

There are four countries to discover in Petra’s Planet, including Sami land, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Jordan. Children can explore the different cultures and lives of the people from each country, learning about their lifestyles, as well as discovering the different animals that live in each country, the landscape and climate.

Preparing Tomorrow’s Data Scientists Through Data Games

The Data Games project, an NSF-funded initiative of  KCP Technologies and the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, aims to help address this gap by supporting today’s students in becoming tomorrow’s data scientists. You and your students can play Shuffleboard and any of the other five Data Games that are in beta version right now here for free.

Kinetix Academy taps power of Kinect to help kids with autism

Comprised of pediatric physical therapist Mari Therrien; speech language pathologist Dan Stachelski; Xbox developer Justin Woo; and designer Shashi Shashidhar; Kinetix Academy came together to solve a complex and challenging problem: develop games and educational curriculum to help kids with autism.

Bunchball and Wall Street Survivor Gamify Financial Education to Help Millenials Master Online Investment Strategies

This partnership is geared toward millenials who consider themselves novice investors. Today, 30 percent of millenials turn to social media for information on the economy and investing strategies.

How gaming is helping students score more marks – News from India

Smithsonian Badges Program Begins, Extending Student Learning Beyond Interactive Webinars Series and Classroom Activities

“More than 4,500 students and teachers from 18 countries, representing a diverse range of grade levels and learning environments, connected with experts and peers during the live online conference series presented this spring by the Smithsonian SHOUT environmental education program to explore water from academic and real-world perspectives.…

smithsonian shout

Research: Kids on mobile use an average of 12 apps

The study found an average of 12 apps on mobile devices that kids use. It further noted that 88 percent of these apps were acquired for free. Whether paid for or not, slightly over half (54 percent) of the apps kids use are games. Listening to or downloading music is the next most popular app activity, followed by taking pictures. Paid-for apps are led by games as well, but by a smaller margin of 35 percent. Educational game and movie apps come in next….

2012 Games for Change Awards Nominees Announced

These juried awards recognize the best attributes of social impact games and are presented in four competitive categories: Most Significant Impact, Most Innovative Game, Best Gameplay and Knight News Game. Last year’s festival attracted 800 attendees, with more than 10,000 viewing it online. The ninth iteration of the festival, to be held in New York City June 18-20, 2012, will be featuring….

game for change

Bookmarks – Articles to Read

Quest to Learn as a Model for Higher Education

Here is a closer look at several of the key features of the Q2L model and the ways in which this design could be transferred to higher education.

  • Inquiry-based learning around real world challenges
  • Professional trajectories
  • Design/Systems thinking
  • Learning network
  • Identity formation
  • Embedded assessment

AT&T’s Largest Donation Ever Creates A National Hub For Learning Through Video Games 

Edward Solis, a 17-year-old who’s interned at GameDesk and worked on a game to teach physics, says he found coding a lot harder than he expected, but the cool factor of gaming goes a long way for him and his peers. “It’s interactive–they learn by playing, and they don’t find it boring like in normal school.”

How the Video Game Industry Needs to Grow Up

Why is it that so many topics that are dealt with in other media are off limits or taboo in video games? Why can’t we deal with the things that matter? I can think of so many examples of topics that could be interesting, issues that could be addressed in games or that could be integrated into existing big IP if we don’t want to make them the centre of the experience. It’s our responsibility; doubly so for people like me who can make a difference, or push for something getting funded.

Education is Gamified

….about the gamification of education. On the surface, it sounds like a great idea, however, It strikes me that the principles of gaming have been derived from education, not the other way around. I think that some of the fundamental problems with education can be attributed to the built in gamification.

Game Design Camp: Lessons Learned

Allison Mishkin teaches at a game design camp for middle school students. Here she shares some of the lessons that she’s learned — and tries to impart — to her students during this week-long sessions.

5 VCs: Top 10 tech trends

If you want to know what the next five years hold for technology, these are the guys to ask… “Zero marginal cost of education” “Massive sensors and data” “All vehicles go electric” “Gamification of everything” and more…

How Many Ways Can Games Challenge Us?

In short: Interactive System + Problem = Puzzle, Puzzle + Competition = Contest, and Contest + Decisions = Games.

Educational Apps Aren’t Fun

They need to start thinking from another part of the brain-the part that puts ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’ solidly first and ‘educational benefit’ second if they are to make a go of it in the App business.  Once more Apps are made to entertain children-whilst having an almost hidden educational side benefit, the market should take off.  As a parent, I’ll be reaching for my wallet.

4th and 5th graders at NTA are writing grants to improve their school


The State of Games in the Classroom (slides, audio, related resources)

Speaker: Scott Lachut (PSFK)

Presented by the Science Education Initiative

Reported by Nicole Cojuangco | Posted May 25, 2012
gaming classroom, game-based learning

Tagged as: , , ,

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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