Monthly Archives: June 2012
“The game industry and nonprofits are teaming up to create a video game design lab that will do research on engaging students and measuring learning … The new Games, Learning and Assessment (GLASS) Lab will be managed by the Institute of Play, a nonprofit video game institute with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Electronic Arts, and the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). It will be supported by $10.3 million in grants.”- Dean Takahashi
“In response to the declining state of science education in America, MdBio Foundation, Inc. today announced it will provide science teachers and students nationwide with an innovative and immersive educational video game platform free of charge beginning in 2013. The online platform, called MdBioSphere(TM), seeks to advance student comprehension in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and revitalize student interest in science-related careers through the use of innovative gaming technology. The serious game is being developed by Hunt Valley, Md.-based BreakAway, Ltd., and will be previewed at the BIO International Convention (June 18-21, 2012, Booth 0753 in the Maryland Pavilion) in Boston.
“The Foundation believes that creating a globally-competitive U.S. workforce begins in the classroom,” said J.J. Finkelstein, chairman of the MdBio Foundation. “The MdBioSphere platform, which will be the first serious game platform to be mapped to the new U.S. science education standards, can be a breakthrough application that helps inspire the next generation of scientists that America needs if we are to compete in the 21st century. The MdBioSphere platform merges the captivating elements of online gaming with educationally-driven STEM curricula to deliver an exciting classroom experience that enriches both students and teachers.”
The first MdBioSphere game will be “Survival!,” which will let students explore the building blocks of life science, including heredity, DNA structure and genetic code. Students create their own living creature by selecting different mates and genetic traits that must survive a virtual world by finding food, building shelter and defending against predators. Game play challenges and reinforces student knowledge to ensure retention of critical life science curricula.
“Serious games and simulations are some of the most innovative tools available to educators today,” said Douglas Whatley, CEO and founder of BreakAway. “As a pioneer in the serious games market, BreakAway harnesses the power of game technology to transform the way people work, learn and live their lives. By creating powerful learning tools, like MdBioSphere, students are exposed to content in an engaging format and become empowered learners. BreakAway is excited to work with the MdBio Foundation in support of its vision for enhancing middle and high school bioscience education and awareness.”
“Troubling signs” in Science Education There is growing consensus that science education in the United States has failed to keep pace with other developing countries. The President’s Council of Advisors on Science & Technology warned of “troubling signs” in a 2010 report, stating that “despite our historical record of achievement, the United States now lags behind other nations in STEM education at the elementary and secondary levels. International comparisons of our students’ performance in science and mathematics consistently place the United States in the middle of the pack or lower. On the National Assessment of Educational Progress, less than one-third of U.S. eighth graders show proficiency in mathematics and science.” In the Foundation’s home state of Maryland, nearly two-thirds of eighth graders are not proficient in science, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
How Serious Gaming Can Help In its 2012 report on higher education technology trends, the New Media Consortium believes it is just two-three years before there will be widespread adoption of game-based learning. Studies show serious games can improve student performance in the classroom. Serious game-play can deliver a 40 percent increase in learning improvements when compared to traditional lecture programs, according to a 2009 study published in Science Magazine by the Kaufman Foundation. Serious games allow the student to engage in inductive learning — or learning by example — so that the student uses modern technology to think differently and solve real world problems. The expectation will be to improve science learning outcomes and assessment scores while stimulating student interest in science topics and careers. Serious games are increasingly used by top U.S. employers, including IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton and Cisco, for product development and public awareness.
About MdBio Foundation: The MdBio Foundation is a private 501(c)3 charitable organization that provides and supports bioscience awareness, education and workforce development in Maryland. It has been instrumental in providing companies with business development and information services in addition to education and workforce development programs. Its signature program, the MdBioLab, is a state-of-the-art mobile laboratory that travels to Maryland high schools each year providing students with a unique bioscience laboratory experience. The Foundation is an affiliate of the Tech Council of Maryland.
Source – MdBio Foundation
“Valve recently began collaborating with educators to develop game-related teaching tools that revolve around STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. We’ve created Teach With Portals as a destination for this partnership, providing free content and game design tools, as well as an interactive community for exchanging lessons and experiences…‘Somewhere out there an innovative, dynamic high school physics teacher will use Portal 2 as the linchpin of an entire series of lessons and will immediately become the most important science teacher those lucky students have ever had. For those of us who have left school behind, Portal 2 is one of the finest brain games around.’ The New York Times, May 10, 2011.”
Chinese company creates educational games to develop independent thinkers: Is the government ready for independent thinkers?
Neologic Animation Inc. Set to Capture Market Share of China’s Booming 7.4 Billion Dollar Online Gaming Industry
Neologic Animation Inc. has build an educational gaming website for primary students called “Naniya World.”
“The site provides potentially over 100 million primary school students in China the opportunity to cultivate independent learning and creative thinking by using EduCards on the Company’s website, “Naniya World”. This is a tool to educate children through online games…”the website encourages children to think freely and independently, in stark contrast to China’s traditional primary school education, which promotes group think and discourages independent thought.”