Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly Jun.16th, 2012

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


The University of Wisconsin-Madison holds the 8th annual Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference 8.0 on  June 13-15, 2012

Over two dozen sessions will be recorded for same-day viewing. Morning keynotes and Microsoft’s Thursday night special event will be live streamed to the world via Mediasite! The official press release can be found here. Follow Twitter hashtag #gls8.

Video recordings of conference talks are here.

Excellent collection of the resources shared via the backchannel of the GLS 8.0 Conference :  check here.

Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Conference 8.0

8th Annual Games for Health Conference

The Games for Health Conference brings together hundreds of researchers, health professionals, and game developers to discuss a wide range of topics involving health and videogames. The 2012 event adds new tracks on sensors and gamification to its traditional exercise, sensorimotor rehab, cognitive and emotional health, and nutrition games tracks.

Computer games ‘improving pupils’ GCSE results’ (Research by Yardleys School, a top state secondary in Birmingham)

Playing computer games can dramatically boost children’s exam results in basic subjects. Teachers said the use of the system – employed by some 900 primary and secondary schools – promoted “stealth learning”, with children unwittingly picking up key skills while being engrossed in computer games.

White House studying use of video games in education

A recent interview done by NPR with Constance Steinkuehler, a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reveals that the White House is looking into the benefits of using video games in education.

Finnish/Chinese Educational Games Studio BeiZ Secures $1 Million Funding

BeiZ game studio has secured $1 million (€800 000) from Inventure and Tekes to boost the quality and marketing of their games. The Tampere, Finland based company has produced a number of educational and multilingual titles for iOS, Android, and Kindle, with one release also available on Nintendo DSi and 3DS.

BECU’s Gaming App for Teens Is a Big Hit

BECU is stirring up competition among local high school students with a new pilot program: an educational app that contains three financial literacy games.

The 100 games everyone should play

At Games for Change, we use the power and fun of games for social good, but when it comes down to it, we’re just folks who love playing games. At our Festival each year, Newcomers to gaming ask us, “What should I play to get started?” Now, Games for Change and ESI Design invite you to answer that question by helping to create “The 100” – a crowdsourced list of the games everyone should play.

Grant funds game systems for schools

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – State officials have spent $90,000 on 286 new video game systems in the hope the machines can be used to motivate 21st century schoolchildren to exercise. The state Department of Health and Human Resources provided the grant to the state Department of Education to purchase new Xbox 360 Kinect systems, said Melanie Purkey, director of the education department’s Office for Healthy Schools.

June 20 – Designing Executive Education through Virtual Worlds

On June 20, NVWN would like to invite you to a presentation by Steve Mahaley of Duke Corporate Education.  Steve will present some design principles and lessons learned from using Second Life for executive education in a variety of countries in Africa and the Middle East for a large multinational corporation.

Online teacher camp in August! Quests on games, making apps, mobile, more! — from 3D GameLab

New players REGISTER now at

Online game design program for youth age 10-14 — from Gamestar Mechanic  (E-Line Media)

  • Learn game design!
  • Work with pros from the game industry!
  • Build a portfolio of games!
  • Have fun this summer!

June 22-24: SLAMDiabetes Game Jam

Through creative design activities led by the Learning Games Network, learn about cutting-edge T1D research being done at MIT and beyond. Students work together to create a new game concept, including a paper prototype to be play tested with the designers.

Serious Gaming Social Connect 2012 Conference

1st Serious Gaming & Social Connect 2012 Conference “Trends and Applications of Serious Gaming” will be held 4th – 6th October 2012, Singapore.  Serious Games Association (Singapore) is a not-for-profit professional association based in Singapore promoting the development of serious games and simulation technologies.

Bookmarks of Articles

Q&A: Games for Change Talks to Jessica Millstone About Teachers and Games

The 9th Annual Games for Change Festival is less than two weeks away! We are thrilled that our own Research Consultant Jessica Millstone and BrainPOP’s Senior Director, Educators Experience, Allisyn Levy, will present the findings of the first national survey on teacher attitudes towards games in the classroom.

Civilization – the video game that is as much a history simulator as it is entertainment

Put a child in charge of this, and he or she will get a sense of what forms the grand narrative of history that few novels, history text books or BBC documentaries can come close to. Instead of being just a list of technologies, long-dead kings and evaporated nations, history in Civilization is an interactive whole: a perfectly functional world.

Game-based sex education (from ScienceNordic)

New method that utilises how our brain processes memories forms the basis of a new game-based learning system.

Game-Based Learning Gains Ground in Higher Education

In my eyes, the promise of game-based learning in post-secondary education is twofold: it leverages 21st-century technology to support essential aspects of great teaching, and it also gives educators new ways to engage a wider range of students, not just those who are already in the metaphorical front row.

Let’s Play“Gamifying” Training

The Cheesecake Factory, a well-known national chain of high-value restaurants, set out to “gamify” its operational training over the last two years. The concept was to change training from a typical “operational training” process to a Disney-like gaming portal… from a Bersin & Associates Research Bulletin, titled “The Gamification of Corporate Human Resourcesthat explores how game mechanics are used in HR and training organizations, click here for the report.

The Evolution of Gamification in the Workplace (from Mashable)

Mashable spoke with several gamification specialists — including Richard Taylor, senior vice president for communications and industry affairs at the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) — to uncover the history and direction of gamification.

UPS began using video games to train newly recruited drivers after finding that 30% of candidates failed the company’s traditional training program, and the Hilton Garden Inn worked with Virtual Heroes to developUltimate Team Play, an interactive game that places employees in a virtual hotel,” Taylor says. “Even the U.S. Department of Justice‘s National Institute of Justice has developed a training game, called Incident Commander, in which emergency responders practice coordinating disaster relief efforts.”

Research Publications

Games Based Learning Research (from Victoria State Government, AU)

In 2011 the Victorian Dept of Education and Early Childhood Development invited 40 schools to participate in games based learning research trials to investigate the impact that serious games, virtual worlds and game development can have when incorporated into target areas of the curriculum. The research report can be downloaded here.


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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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