Looking for ways to use video games for more personalized instruction? Video games in the classroom can help teachers personalize instruction and quickly access data that can be used to inform instruction, writes Vicki Phillips, director of College-Ready Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
"A great educational game is not the technology equivalent of broccoli drenched in ranch dressing. It doesn't try to mask the benefits of learning behind a veneer of entertainment," she writes. "Like the best video games, educational games engage players and work with them to create a rich, integrated experience."
Today, game designers, working with education experts, have the technology, experience, and understanding to engineer simulations and games that incorporate assessments for learning (formative assessments), assessments of learning (summative assessments), and potentially even assessments as learning tools. Game-based assessment helps teachers:
- Personalize learning;
- Instill conceptual understanding and knowledge transfer; and,
- Motivate students to develop the persistence they need to achieve mastery.
At GlassLab, game designers are working with educational experts on innovative technology to engage students and help them learn invaluable skills for the 21st century workplace.
GlassLab has an incredible partner in Electronic Arts Games. EA has created some of the most successful games in the business, capturing the imaginations of over 220 million players who play on computers, mobile devices, and social networks in 75 countries. For many of the game designers at GlassLab, it's a dream to work with such rock stars in the game industry! But what we're finding is that it's even more of a dream for them to work on improving education for young people.
Glass Lab's latest project with EA, SimCityEdu, captures the potential of one of the most beloved games in the market. SimCityEdu will provide an online community where educators can share their best practices, lesson plans, projects and tools, all based on a computer game already found in many homes and classrooms. These kinds of games aren't just thinking outside the box - they're thinking outside the classroom, too. And that's exciting for game designers, who are able to use their knowledge as parents and players to create games that simultaneously engage and educate their kids.
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