When it comes to learning through video games, there is a lot of criticism and naysaying. Many people call them “mind-rotting” or “a waste of time,” but when games are made for teaching, people call them “boring.” However, many popular games on Steam, a personal gaming library, can teach children surprisingly well, and they’ll have tons of fun doing it!
We have compiled a short list of these games that cover a broad array of subjects.
In my short time with Immersed, I have already seen a number of kids be blown away by the fact that people who are not much older than themselves can make video games, a career option which children only dream of. If I’ve seen it plenty of times in person, I’m sure that there are a lot of other kids (and even some adults) that are curious in how they can turn their love of gaming into a living. There are a ton of different tools out there for beginners to get started with, so we compiled a small list of helpful websites that could help your gamer become a creator.
This past Saturday, April 19th, was a great event called “She’s a Scientist, AND an Inventor too!” at the Cade Museum’s Creativity Lab for the local Girl Scouts in Gainesville. Immersed Games had the opportunity to attend and we were so excited to be able to participate in the exposure of STEAM fields to this group of young ladies!
Our return to One Spark this year was nostalgic and rewarding, especially since we were part of the EdSpark Venue this year: the first curated educational innovation venue. This meant we had over 1,000 kids go through the venue as part of field trips, and a perfect place for anyone to stop that was interested in education especially.
We finished up a game prototype with 3 quests that our founders and interns have been working on for months just in time for the show! It felt great to show the people at One Spark our progress since last year when we were first going public about our idea.
We were, once again, featured in TechFaster! Here I gave a brief pitch of the project and sneak peak of our developing prototype. You can find more pitches from some of the other fabulous teams here as well!
What was even more satisfying than sharing our idea with the public was being able to garner feedback from the kids and parents as they played the game. One kid sat down and exclaimed, “this is better than Minecraft!” I assured him we aren’t there quite yet, but are on the way and appreciated the reaction.
We are a Creator at One Spark again this year. Come see us April 9-13th, this Wednesday through Sunday, at the Walls Fargo Building, in Jacksonville. The Schultz Center is hosting #EdSpark there: a venue just for education projects, and projects made by students, and we are so excited to be part of it!
This year we are showing off our game prototype for the first time ever! And we have an awesome activity to go along with the in-game quests. It is going to be awesome. If there is any way you can get there, do so! But don’t worry, we will be putting up plenty of photos and video as the week progresses, and then soon adding a section about the game to the website now that we are ready to share. :)
Check our profile page here! We are #20099 if you attend and can vote for us!
We had an amazing experience in Austin, TX with Dell and Verb, and the Dell Education Challenge.
The Dell Education Challenge awards student social entrepreneurs creating innovation in the field of education. There were originally over 800 projects; we posted about being selected as one of three finalists, and then the prizes were awarded during Dell World. Verb is an organization that runs the competition for them, and provides supports.
We are happy to announce we were awarded Second Place and $5000 from Dell. For information on the other finalists, read the Dell Challenge blog post – they were also amazing projects, working on educational technologies for students with autism out of Mexico, and providing education with solar panels funding them in rural Bangladesh.Read More
STEMxCon, or the Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference, was the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more.
STEMxCon was an awesome event. It was my first online conference, and it was an incredible way to reach a broader learning community.
I presented two presentations, and below you can find links to the recordings and slideshare presentations. Please feel free to email me lindsey at immersedgames.com with any questions.
STEMxCon, or the Global 2013 STEMx Education Conference, is the world’s first massively open online conference for educators focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and more. The conference is being held 24 hours a day over the course of three days, September 19-21, 2013, and is free to attend.
STEMxCon is a highly inclusive event designed to engage students and educators around the globe and encourages primary, secondary, and tertiary (K-16) educators around the world to share and learn about innovative approaches to STEMx learning and teaching.
The “X” in STEM is included because the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics acronym is missing well over 20 letters that represent key skills & disciplines. As such, x = Computer Science (CS), Computational Thinking (CT), Inquiry (I), Creativity & Innovation (CI), Global Fluency (GF), Collaboration ( C ), …and other emerging disciplines & 21st century skills.
I will be presenting two presentations at the conference, and encourage anyone interested to register to attend online.
Part VIII of Dissertation Research Series
Research by Steinkuehler focuses on the development of literacy around using video games, including the use of forums and online spaces, and how their use can help boys become more involved in literacy practices (Steinkuehler & King, 2009). Steinkuehler and King (2009) developed an after school program for at-risk adolescent boys based on the popular video game World of Warcraft with the intent of examining how their interests in video games could strengthen their engagement and literacy. Initial results showed that they used literacy for problem solving, researched and created multi-modal game resources online, and synthesized information over multiple resources (Steinkuehler & King, 2009). Similarly, Thomas (2005) studied a group of children engaging in online role-playing and fan fiction activities around Tolkien’s Middle Earth and found that literate behavior was the most highly valued form of participation and ability in the community; students would spend hours improving their literacy in order to improve their abilities in the online space (Thomas, 2005).
Part VII of Dissertation Research Series
Technological changes are impacting the way people to learn and their purposes for learning, with children now learning frequently in informal settings outside of school (Gee, 2004). Researchers such as Gee (2004) argue that the learning process is more efficient when the learner is becoming part of a culture (like a games culture, or a culture of physicists) than through direct instruction because the learner becomes more involved with the cultural learning, participating in experiences, discussion, and adopting the identity of the learning group (Gee, 2004).Read More