Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – May.5th, 2013 (#GBL)

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn? (Game-Based Learning)


Zynga To Launch Learning Games Accelerator will spend $1 Million and partner with NewSchools Venture Fund to create an accelerator that focuses on edtech and learning games.

Together, and NewSchools Venture Fund have launched an “edtech” accelerator “focused on enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes.”

The accelerator’s first cohort will include, Kidpative, LocoMotiveLabs, and Motion Math–three established developers in the learning game space.

Also included is Edmodo, a social networking platform for education that I plan to test in my classes at Temple University this fall.

Google Looks Serious About Games, Hires Chief Game Designer

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has appointed Noah Falstein as its Chief Game Designer, unofficially confirming the rumors that the company plans to move ahead to expand a native gaming presence on Android.

The internet giant entered the gaming world last year with Ingress, a near-real-time online game developed by NianticLabs@Google. For long, there have been rumors of a gaming portal for Android, which have been further fueled by several sessions of Google I/O specifically for developing Android based mobile gaming.

The Irish Symposium on Game Based Learning (iGBL2013)

The Irish Symposium on Game Based Learning (iGBL2013) will be held in the Dublin Institute of Technology from Thursday 6th to Friday 7th June. View the conference website at or follow Twitter: @igbl2013. Registration for iGBL2013 is now open with registration closing on Friday 10th May.

2013 Games For Change Festival Details Released

The special 10th anniversary event will take place over three days from June 17-19th at New World Stages in New York City. The Games for Change Festival is dedicated to giving “serious games” creators a venue to discuss using game technology to make the world a better place. This year’s festival features new programming partners including:, Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center, and Tribeca Film Institute.

With a different online game, agencies can be the winners

Eric Hackathorn, the program manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fragile Earth Studios, has touted the idea of enlisting gamers to help solve some of government’s problems, and hosted a webinar on the topic in July 2012. Some agencies have already put the idea to the test. The Office of Naval Research launched a multiplayer online war game in 2011 to see if it could get ideas on how to battle Somali pirates, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has enlisted gamers to help develop medical training software.

Now Lockheed Martin is getting into the emerging field of gamification, with a focus on how agencies can use the games to their advantage….

Re-inventing English Language Arts through a video game-based curriculum (KickStarter)

from Jeff Clark, a sixth grade English teacher out of Cheektowaga-Sloan, a school district in Buffalo, NY : My game-based curriculum is built around the national Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy. Throughout our curriculum, we will use video games to:

Analyze genre, character, plot, and setting. 

Write argument essays based on game-themed topics

Write expository walkthroughs, personal reflections, game reviews, and creative writing pieces.

Practice grammar usage by examining character dialogue found in the video game’s transcripts

Build visual representations of literary story settings

Examine character and plot development

game-based learning curriculum around video games


Gamification of Education

Adam Mokelke, Principal, Gamer

We are in the midst of a revolution in education, but you know that. Learning is growing and moving rapidly online, with or without public schools. Khan Academy has every math lesson you will ever need on Youtube, in video, accessible by anyone, anywhere. TED’s 2013 million dollar prize winner is Sugata Mitra, for his TED talk “build a school in the cloud.”   According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, in 2009-10 53% of public school districts had high school students in distance courses, and that number is only increasing. Forward-thinking teachers and leaders are transforming traditional schools into blended learning models and adding online content, resources and courses as fast as they can to keep up.


The Second Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Serious Games – Call for Paper

The 2nd Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Serious Games (AISG-2) is a one-day experience held in conjunction with the Ninth Annual AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Interactive Digital Entertainment (AIIDE 2013) at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Bonding with your virtual self may alter your actual perceptions

When people create and modify their virtual reality avatars, the hardships faced by their alter egos can influence how they perceive virtual environments, according to researchers.

“You exert more of your agency through an avatar when you design it yourself,” said S. Shyam Sundar, Distinguished Professor of Communications and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory, Penn State, who worked with You. “Your identity mixes in with the identity of that avatar and, as a result, your  of the virtual environment is colored by the physical resources of your avatar.”


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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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