Welcome to What’s New in Game-Based Learning – our monthly roundup of what’s 🔥hot🔥 in the world of game-based learning, serious games, and AR/VR for education! It’s time to sit back, cool off, and check out the most noteworthy news stories of August 2019:
First Book, a growing nonprofit that aims to provide low cost learning materials to students in need, is making big moves in the K-12 EdTech space – namely, partnering with Games and Learning to build a new online marketplace for digital educational materials (specifically, educational games). Armed with a near-$250k grant from the NSF SBIR program, the organization aims to pilot the new initiative using its existing online storefront, allowing educators in First Book’s community to test and provide feedback on learning games from leading creators like codeSpark, Schell Games, and – of course – Filament Games. [READ MORE]
Have you heard about Girls Make Games? Founded by educational gaming experts Laila Shabir and Ish Syed, the organization seeks to inspire the next generation of women in games through summer camps, workshops, game jams, and other programs offered throughout the United States. In this piece from Teen Vogue, co-founder Laila Shabir offers a compelling case as to why the idea that “girls don’t like playing video games” is total rubbish, and how helping more girls learn how to make games today help lead to a brighter future for the games industry at large. [READ MORE]
Here’s an awesome piece highlighting the work of our friends at Triseum – specifically, their ARTé series of art history learning games. Both ARTé: Mecenas and ARTé: Lumière have been integrated into an introductory online art history course at Arizona State University, with students required to immerse themselves in the games each week in addition to traditional textbook-based instruction. ASU says that this course marks the very first time an educational video game has been integrated directly into a class’ curriculum, and that they are open to further game-based learning integration if the results of student outcome data proves satisfactory. [READ MORE]
How can we help narrow the studied racial and gender gaps that persist in STEM education at U.S. colleges and universities? If you ask the folks at the Connected Learning Alliance, they might suggest the unexpected: esports. According to a new article from EdTech K-12 Magazine, competitive gaming can help open up new pathways for traditionally marginalized higher ed students through avenues like gaming scholarships, inclusive housing opportunities, and an improved sense of community and belonging. Surely esports isn’t a full stop solution to solving higher ed’s STEM equity crisis – however the fact remains that esports in education holds the potential to benefit learners in a variety of ways. [READ MORE]
Walmart Has Added Virtual Reality to Its Assessment of an Employee’s Potential (The Washington Post)
Virtual reality assessments…at Walmart!? The future is now, folks – as evidenced by the organization’s recent initiative to replace its paper-based assessments with virtual reality-based tests when evaluating internal candidates for store manager promotions. Equipped with Oculus Go headsets and custom training software developed by STRIVR, Walmart hopes that these immersive simulations – which challenge workers to address common store issues like resolving conflicts with challenging customers and cleaning up massive spills – will help reduce bias from the internal hiring process when used in conjunction with conventional interviews. [READ MORE]
Want to catch up on last month’s news? Check out our July 2019 roundup here!