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What’s New in Game-based Learning – December 2022

We’ve almost made it, Filafolks. Yet another edtech-filled trip around the sun! It’s officially December, which means we have a gift just for you: a brand-new segment of What’s New in Game-based Learning! What’s New in Game-based Learning is a series here on the Filament Games blog that brings together all of the ❄️coolest❄️ serious game, games for impact, and AR/VR news, wrapped up in one convenient place just for you. 

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Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you’re always in the know when it comes to educational video games. With that, let’s tear right into the most exciting game-based learning news of the past month!

How Game-Based Learning Develops Real-World Skills (EdSurge)

Our first piece of news comes from one of our favorite publications, EdSurge. In this article, EdSurge journalist Wendy McMahon interviews Rachelle Vallon, a middle school guidance counselor at Quest to Learn, “a public 6-12 school in New York City focused on game-based learning.” McMahon asks Vallon about the real-life power of game-based learning. Vallon notes that game-based learning can help students with different learning styles thrive: “Game-like learning is supportive and provides opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning differently. A student who struggles with writing may have the chance to show their understanding through a Minecraft tutorial.” Also, much like our CEO Dan White, Vallon believes failure has massive educational potential, and one of Quest to Learn’s guiding principles is “failure reframed as iteration.” Learn more about “failure reframed as iteration” and meet Rachelle Vallon in the video below!

This Nonprofit Proves Games’ Power to Create Social Change (WIRED)

If you’re a longtime reader of our blog or active in the game-based learning industry at large, you’ve probably heard of Games for Change, a nonprofit organization focused on games for the greater good. In this article from WIRED, journalist Jaclyn Greenberg focuses on some of the most influential and memorable games that Games for Change have promoted throughout the years. These mentions include a couple of games we’ve covered on the blog, like Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, Kind Kingdom, and Active Citizen. To learn more about the history of Games for Change, some of its most interesting projects in progress, and the annual Games for Change Festival, check out the full article. You can also take a peek at the 2022 Games for Change Festival in the video below.  

Video Game Console for Dogs Dispenses Treats, Fights Dementia (Nerdist)

If you listened to the episode of the recently revived Filament Games Podcast featuring Jennifer Van Os, you’ll know that humans aren’t the only species that can learn from video games! This article features Joipaw, a company dedicated to fighting dementia in dogs through video games. Like humans, dogs need both physical and mental exercise to keep their bodies and brains healthy, especially as they age. For dog owners who don’t have the time or resources to create their own canine brain teasers for their fluffy friends, Joipaw is the solution! The game is still in development, but according to Nerdist, so far it includes Whac-A-Mole, pinball, and counting games, and also includes features such as “a wearable fitness tracker and a phone app” so owners can check in on their dog’s progress. See the game in action with some enthusiastic pre-release testers in the video below! 

Can Video Games Help Early Learners Grow? (EdSurge) 

Here on the Filament Games blog, one of our most popular sets of posts is the “5 Excellent Educational Games for the Nintendo Switch” series. Safe to say, the learners of the world want to know, can the Nintendo Switch be a good learning tool? This EdSurge article by Eleanore Catolico contains an investigation of high-quality learning games for young learners on consoles. This year, Nintendo launched “CoComelon: Play with JJ” on Switch. This game is designed for children ages 2-4 to play along with a parent. Through interviews with experts on child education, Catolico discovers the pros and cons of console-based games for young learners. While most console games are designed for teenagers and adults, the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen may provide more accessibility for the younger crowd. The article also investigates what makes quality screen time – an important factor, especially for the youngest of learners. Ultimately, Catolico concludes that time will tell whether the launch of “CoComelon: Play with JJ” is successful when it comes to education! Check out the game’s trailer below. 

Combining Movement and Technology Enhances Learning (EdTech Magazine)

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For those of us in cold climates (like Wisconsin), hunkering down for the winter can deprive us of much-needed exercise. In this article, Colene Hardy, an award-winning educator with nearly 20 years of experience in public schools, asserts that combining movement and technology could be the trick to provide students with more daily steps and more opportunities to learn. Hardy explains how to use technology such as QR codes, magnetic tablet cases, styluses, and game-based approaches to combine exercise, technology, and meaningful learning. Hardy suggests that educators integrate this combination steadily into their classrooms: “Combining technology and movement creatively can lead to significant benefits for students, but that doesn’t mean educators have to make dramatic changes right away. Introducing one or two movement-based activities and building from there will make it easier to realize the benefits of pairing technology and movement.” Check out the whole article for more details! Not sure where to start and want a list of games for exercise education? We have you covered.

That concludes your December dose of game-based learning news! We’ll be here each and every month to update you on the educational game industry. It’s what we do! Do you know what else we do? Make high-quality learning games for all ages and platforms. Reach out to us for a free consultation!

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