It may be hard to believe, but 2021 is almost behind us! Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, though – we have a whole month left until we ring in a new year. With every new month comes a new round-up of game-based learning news that you don’t want to miss!
We’ve covered this news recently on the blog, but we’re so thrilled about it, we wanted to shout it out again! Roblox has now announced details of upcoming initiatives comprising a new chapter of Roblox Education and Roblox Studio. Filament Games and FIRST® are some of the initial Roblox Community Fund grantees, and an upcoming title based on RoboCo will be available on Roblox in the future. Check out this post on the official Roblox blog to learn more!
Gravitational is a VR adventure game that was released on November 11th. Developed by Electric Monkeys, players take on the role of Sebastian, a scientist and wheelchair user working at Gravicorp Labs. After experimental new gravitational technology goes wrong, the player must solve gravity-based puzzles all around the Gravicorp facilities, and not all have been designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind. In video games, representations of people with disabilities (along with assistive and accessible technology) still have a long way to go – this VR adventure hopes to provide many players with a new perspective.
Students can learn to code using a new, free, time-traveling Hour of Code in Minecraft Education! Aptly titled “Timecraft,” students must use code blocks or Python to correct changes occurring throughout history and save the future as they know it. This computer science learning feature contains an educator guide and a lesson plan for in-person learning as well as remote learning.
A newly-formed team at the University of Calgary is working to develop simulations for students pursuing law, nursing, and social work degrees. These simulations, or simulation-based experiences, are not new for the nursing students, but this choose-your-own-adventure style experience aims to tie together disciplines of law, nursing, and social work to realistically depict complexity in cases of domestic violence. The simulations are also designed to increase understanding and collaboration between the three disciplines during these cases. Simulations give students the opportunity to fail and receive instant feedback, so they are better prepared in real-life situations. UCalgary faculty of Social Work professor Dr. Angelique Jenney, PhD., notes that “Simulations like this provide a safe training environment for future social workers — and in this case, future lawyers, nurses and social workers.”
Australian educator Tim Sproule noticed a lot of students struggling to engage in English class at Templestowe College, so he created a new elective called “Level Up: Game-based Writing” which merges students’ passion for video games with learning. Through the course, students are encouraged to continue gaming, learning future-facing skills and technological literacy along the way, and then to write about their experiences, paying close attention to mechanics and rules of English to produce the best articles possible for blog assignments. Read more about the results of this new course here!
That’s it for this month’s round-up of GBL news! Be sure to let us know on Facebook or Twitter if we missed any noteworthy articles or announcements.
More 2021 game-based learning news: