Games are better than textbooks
NEWCASTLE, England, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —
An NHS mechanical hoist is one of the first pieces of medical machinery to have its traditional training manual converted into an immersive 3D smartphone training App. The change is part of an effort to improve the performance levels of staff by creating more engaging, mobile training games instead of textbooks.
A mechanical hoist widely used throughout the NHS to help lift disabled children onto their beds is the latest piece of medical machinery to undergo a major training operation. Great Ormond Street Hospital Online Learning & Development (GOLD) commissioned award-winning serious game developer, Caspian Learning, to help with the innovative project.
GOLD’s aim was to create a more engaging type of hoist operation training that could potentially replace existing textbook training. The new project has seen Caspian Learning successfully convert the contents of a Mechanical Hoist Operation Manual into an interactive 3D computer simulation.
The simulation in its new form can be played anywhere in the world via the internet or downloaded as an app for smartphones. A free demo of the mechanical hoist safety simulation is available to download from the Google Play Marketplace.
Major benefits of the conversion include cost-saving without reduction in output, wider distribution possibilities and improved learner engagement.
Lee Rushworth, a Caspian Learning spokesperson said that “converting a textbook into an interactive, immersive 3D simulation that could be an app for an iPhone or Android device like GOLD have done here opens up so many new possibilities for us. For example, with this app, GOLD could potentially train an entire course remotely, saving an enormous amount of money on logistics in the process.”
“If this could be achieved with a mechanical safety hoist, imagine what else could benefit from this kind of ‘immersion conversion?'”
Caspian Learning developed the entire simulation in their Thinking Worlds software, which is available to download for free here.
About Caspian Learning
Caspian Learning are a multi award-winning serious games technology and design company. Formed in 2002, they are the developer of the acclaimed Thinking Worlds, whose globally unique technology allows instructional designers to create fully immersive 3D sims & games at costs previously restricted to 2D development. They are the global leader in the use of 3D games and simulations technology for performance improvement, having developed over 100 sims or games for clients all over the world including IBM, BBC, QinetiQ, Accenture, Volvo, the Ministry of Defence and the European Union among others.
SOURCE Caspian Learning
Standards based science game platform offered to schools and students for free
“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