Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly June 2nd, 2012

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


Playfish co-founders take on more VC to fund learning games (PaidContent)

More details from BetaKit

An interactive education and books crossover started by some of the founders of Zynga’s main social gaming rival is taking on $4 million in venture funding. So far, Mindshapes has developed Magic Town, a virtual world that launched on web on May 16 and includes 70 stories from 15 children’s book publishers including Hachette, Simon & Schuster and Penguin.

magic town, game-based learning, educational game

After Magic Town, which is aimed at kids aged 2-6 and features licensed stories, art and characters from popular children’s series like Elmer and Winnie the Witch, the company intends to bring its next product, Language City, online this summer. Language City London, the first in the series, is designed to help its target audience of 16-30 year olds around the world pick up additional skills in conversational English.

Launching in 24 June 2012, Skoolbo Core Skills is the world’s largest educational game ever. Skoolbo is a literacy and numeracy program with more than 50,000 questions designed to assist 4 to 10 year olds in their journey to mastery of essential reading and mathematics skills. Teachers and parents receive comprehensive reports detailing not only strengths and weaknesses, but also suggested individually customized activities for student improvement.

SKOOLBO, educational game

Warrior Gaming Lair: Motivation and Achievement Via Gaming (from KickStarter)

We would like to create space at West Pender Middle School specifically for gaming.  This would be a safe haven where students can hang out, interact with each other, and support learning through gaming.  This space would be equipped with current gaming systems and games related to what they are learning in the classroom.

Immersive Learning Simulation Engine

Digitec developed the Immersive Learning Simulation Engine to enable organizations to rapidly create experiential learning that younger learners, especially, find engaging. Create a game-based simulation without programmers or graphic designers!

The video games you play with your mind

Companies like NeuroSky Inc., and Emotiv Systems are developing consumer-grade headsets that read the brain’s electrical signals to control onscreen action. The NeuroSky controller comes with an interactive movie called MyndPlay, an immersive experience that’s like the popular line of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, says Edwin Kee at Ubergizmo, because it allows users to make choices that steer the movie’s plot in different directions. Another company called Emotiv Systems, which offers a similar multi-sensor device, packages a variety of popular titles like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, retinkered to work with their brainwave-sensing headset.

Bookmarks of Articles

Game-Based Learning: What it is, Why it Works, and Where it’s Going (whitepaper from New Media Institute)

The implications of delivering game experiences for education and training are enormous. In the US, nearly 170 million people played computer and videogames in 2008 , spending a record $11.7 billion. The emerging truth: the same factors that make well-designed games highly motivating also make them ideal learning environments.

Author : Jessica Trybus is the New Media Institute’s resident Game-based Learning and Communications Guru and Director of Edutainment for Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center. Jessica is also founder and CEO of Etcetera Edutainment, a Carnegie Mellon spinoff that delivers to corporations game-based training technology that increase productivity and reduce costs associated with safety.

Education – anything but a game? (another review about game-based learning)

According to the small survey conducted during the video conference last week only 50% who participated on the survey think that digital learning-games are an appropriate didactic mean, 43% are not sure about it, and about 7% decline games. However, only 24% of the participants deployed games in their teaching (see blog entry).

US Forum Educators Make STEM Engaging – Part 2 of 2

Penn High School students use gamification to solve real-world STEM challenges. Rodrigo Anadon is a teacher at Penn High School (Mishawaka, IN). Mr. Anadon teaches Computer Science in the Management and Business Academy of Penn High School. Anadon teaches his students about STEM through gaming. The difference in Anadon’s approach is that the students develop the games to solve STEM challenges.

Making the Leap from Keyboard to Real World

All around the world, charitable, humanitarian, and educational organizations are using gamification to bring together entertainment and engagement for the benefit of social good. Games for Change is an industry leader, bringing together organizations who actively pursue gaming technology to further their causes.  The site offers existing games in a variety of fields, including ecology, human rights, education, arts, and health.

Calling All Girls (Part Two): Their Future, Our Responsibility  

This week’s post is about HOW to get girls and young women the supports they need to be leaders in the computing-related fields. And, computing is NOT an easy game for anyone to master, especially young girls and women in our culture.

Authentic Librarianship and the Importance of Eating One’s Peas | Peer to Peer Review

One concern one might reasonably raise concerning game-based curricula (and those do exist) is that there are important skills kids learn at school that go beyond the subject matter of their classes. They learn how to pay attention to things that may not be immediately or intrinsically interesting to them; they learn how to sit still for extended periods; they learn how to control their impulses; they learn to wait for playtime until worktime is over.


iCivics in Action

This video shows how iCivics is being deployed across Waco Independent School District and was produced in partnership with Baylor University. iCivics prepares students for active and intelligent citizenship.


The Study of Digital Game-Based Learning

Digital Game-Based Learning can change the way of learning and makes learning interesting, attractive and effective.According to this context, this article introduces, concludes and analyzes the actuality of the research, subsistent problem and the future development of digital game based learning. This article also tries to provide meaningful revelation to the research and practice of Digital Game-Based Learning in China.


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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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