What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn …
Wellington game developer launches world’s first cloud-based game creator
Gamefroot enables users to create any kind of 2D interactive game they can imagine. Characters, backgrounds, soundtracks can be uploaded, manipulated and created on hand-held devices as well as home computers.
The software also offers benefits for corporates, educational organisation as well as interested gamers. “Gamification” isn’t just about playing around from your phone or living room – companies and enterprise have seized the technology to help customers and employees,” explains Milward. “Tech-industry research firm Gartner estimates that by 2014 70% of large companies will use the technique and 50% of all innovation will involve gamification. IBM, Siemens, SAP, Nissan and Mattel already play a role in the $100 million industry.”
BancVue’s MoneyIsland Wins Eifle Award for Instructional Game of the Year
BancVue launched MoneyIsland in March 2011 as a customized, online financial literacy solution ( http://www.bancvue.com/financial-literacy/moneyisland.html ) for community financial institutions. A one-of-a-kind educational tool geared to ‘tweens’ age 8 to 14, MoneyIsland’s built-in curriculum addresses three key financial categories: Saving and Spending, Earning and Investing, and Using Credit Wisely.
AMD Foundation Named a 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate
AMD Changing the Game, the foundation’s signature initiative, has reached more than 75,000 youth in six countries with video game design opportunities. The program teaches kids how to design their own video games and, in doing so, enhances their STEM skills as well as problem solving techniques, critical thinking abilities, language skills and teamwork.
National Endowment for Arts Makes First Grants for Video Games; PBS Funding Down
- Let’s Breakthrough, Inc. in New York City received $75,000 to support the creation of an interactive video game that will engage children “in a creative exploration of democracy, diversity, and social change.”- Spelman College in Atlanta received $100,000 to develop “HERadventure,” which will be targeted to college-aged women and tell the story of a young female superhero who wants to save the Earth from global warming.- The University of Southern California was awarded $40,000 to support production costs for a video game based on the writings of Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond.- Games for Change, based in New York City, received $75,000 to support a new game for Facebook based on the book Half the Sky, which tells true stories about women overcoming obstacles.
Lure of the Labyrinth Challenge (a free online math challenge for grades 6–8)
Articles to Read
Social media and video games in classrooms can yield valuable data for teachers (from Hechinger Report)
The idea is that the data collected by video games and social media sites can be provided, sometimes in real time, to teachers who can then use it to better understand their students and tailor instruction to meet individual needs. Janet Kolodner of the National Science Foundation said that data collection will come to be about more than that. She mentioned that NSF just launched a project on “big data”—a term that encompasses the gathering of extremely large amounts of data to which analytics are applied to reach new insights—and said that big data will play a much bigger role in education in the future.
How Blogs, Social Media, and Video Games Improve Education (Darrell M. West, Vice President and Director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution)
In the education area, teachers are incorporating video games to teach basic skills and concepts. Among popular products are Electronmagnetism Supercharged, Betty’s Brain, Quest Atlantis, Whyville, BioLogica, Grey Anatomy, and River City.
Many of these software products deal with science. For example, Filament Games has developed products that are Internet based and feature different kinds of scientific inquiry. Its games prompt students to explore various scientific challenges and give them exercises that test key theories and hypotheses. This can involve data analysis, three-dimensional animations, video clips, or scientific simulations.
Some also focus on mathematics. For example, the game Zombie Division teaches math skills using a three-dimensional adventure game based on fighting zombies.
iCivics offers online games for civics education such as Do I Have A Right?, Supreme Decisions, and Branches of Power.