The birds are singing, rain is pitter-pattering against the window, and the Filabee is buzzing around, waiting for flowers to bloom! 🌷🐝 While we wait, how about another installment of What’s New in Game-based Learning? That’s right, your friendly neighborhood educational game developer is here to start April off right, delivering our dear readers the latest and greatest in educational gaming, serious games, and AR/VR for learning news at the top of every month.
Settle in, get cozy with a mug of coffee or tea, and once you’re done reading, let us know on Facebook or Twitter if we missed any noteworthy articles or announcements! Now, here’s what’s new in game-based learning this month.
The crossover between educational games and medicine is currently one of our favorite topics here at Filament – the possibilities are endless, and the current tech is fascinating. The limitations facing doctors and their telehealth patients are being reduced, thanks to robotics, AI, and especially virtual reality! Whether it’s Motus technology helping stroke patients to recover from home, or doctors learning how to conduct laparoscopic surgery through virtual reality, multiple studies have highlighted the potential of VR for patients and medical professionals alike. This article from TIME reporter Sascha Brodsky covers how VR works to improve telemedicine, surgery, and medical training. Check out the article to learn more about how VR is helping to train first responders through crisis simulations, how stroke patients are regaining movement through VR games, and how doctors are preparing for surgery alongside innovations from startups such as Vicarious Surgical with a combination of robotics and VR technology. Want to know even more? See the video below for an inside look at Vicarious Surgical!
This article by Alina Tugend for The New York Times covers all sorts of applications for robotics and AI to assist students with disabilities in and out of the classroom. Social robots can perform tasks such as noting their user’s body language to adjusting the level of a game while a student plays, serving as an additional learning tool for a variety of social and academic skills. But AI can be helpful for students when combined with games, too. For example, the article notes a game currently in production called “Film Detective.” The game, designed for autistic children, is being created by assistant professor Maithilee Kunda and her colleagues at Vanderbilt University, and they hope to release it this spring. “Film Detective” is set in a far future, where the player must “help a scientist and her robot sidekick catch a villain who is stealing items from the Museum of Human History. Their detective work involves using a series of film clips to decode how people in today’s world behave.” The idea of the game is to tap “into theory of mind by using movie clips, asking players to interpret why characters acted the way they did and what they might have been thinking.” Professor Kunda notes that this game uses AI to simulate social reasoning. To learn more about this game and how AI works alongside games, be sure to check out the full article!
Speaking of the winning combination of AI and games, this article from VentureBeat breaks down why game-based learning with AI is the DEI and talent development tool of the future. This article’s author is Lauren Fitzpatrick Shanks, founder and CEO of KeepWOL, an organization that uses multiplayer games to improve DEI outcomes and foster cultural intelligence in the workplace. Shanks notes that the combination of AI and games is especially useful in cultural awareness training for several reasons. She writes that games encourage people to let down their guards, that games give players equal opportunities to win, and help players to pinpoint areas that need improvement and growth. AI can help employees in other unique ways, such as curating educational content based on an employee’s goals, or reading and interpreting human language. Shanks concludes her article with the following: “Impact is important, and a desire to learn and grow is needed to create impact. We must invoke joy, play, and humanity into our technical workplace solutions to see the positive impact and behavioral changes we desire to see. The combination of games and AI provide both.” Learn more about AI and what it can do for DEI training and talent development by checking out the full article! Additionally, meet Lauren Fitzpatrick Shanks and discover more about her organization KeepWOL in this episode of the Leadership with Heart podcast below (or listen here):
When Steven Ayer, now an associate professor of construction engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, was introduced to AR and VR in his undergraduate classroom, he started by looking for problems for the technology to solve. Later, in grad school, Ayer realized he should “‘… start with the human and the problem that the human has, and how that technology is supporting them.’” He applies this person-first approach and his love for AR and VR to his own engineering classrooms, providing students with unique learning experiences focused on construction safety, identifying design flaws, and more. While using AR and VR, students have consequence-free yet impactful psychological experiences that reinforce the importance of safety in real construction sites. Learn more about Ayer’s passion for AR, VR, and teaching and how he hopes the technology will advance society in and out of education by reading the full article.
This article spotlights 23-year-old Gemma Busoni, co-founder of coding non-profit, the Hack Club, and VR start-up Discovr Labs. The Thiel Fellowship recipient was inspired to found both of these organizations due to the lack of advising and innovation she noticed during her own high school experience. Through Discovr Labs, Busoni not only builds curriculums, training programs, and educational content but also visits the schools her company has partnered with. Busoni also focuses on finding ways for schools without the budgets for VR headsets to access them. Just like us at Filament, Busoni believes that VR games are not just for kids – they are useful for all sorts of training applications: “‘When people hear education, they think about schools, but there’s a lot of adult training where it makes sense to do it immersively’’. Busoni hopes that her future holds more opportunities to uplift all ages with educational VR experiences and through her company – especially Latines in tech. Check out the full article to discover more about Gemma Busoni’s career in tech so far. Meet Busoni and hear more about her vision to change education for the better by watching her TedTalk below!
That wraps up April’s installment of What’s New in Game-based Learning! Feeling inspired? So are we! Reach out today for a free consultation on how we can work together on your next serious game or AR/VR project.
More game-based learning news that will have you singing in the rain: