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What’s New in Game-Based Learning – May 2020

Hello all – and welcome to another exciting quarantine edition of What’s New in Game-Based Learning! A monthly recap of the 🔥hottest🔥 news stories, interviews, and announcements from the world of digital play, our series aims to help you stay informed of the latest trends in our industry. Check out this month’s highlighted articles below, and be sure to reach out on Twitter or Facebook if we missed anything newsworthy!

Raising Good Gamers: Katie Salen-Tekinbaş Tackles Online Toxicity with New Initiative (UC Irvine)

Kicking off this week’s list is a spotlight on Raising Good Gamers – a brand new initiative headed by Katie Salen Tekinbaş, Professor in the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine and one of our studio’s game-based learning luminaries (check out her guest article here!). A collaborative endeavor spearheaded by UC Irvine’s Connected Learning Lab, Raising Good Gamers is bringing together the minds of researchers, policymakers, activists, game developers, and more for serious conversations on how the games industry can best help to facilitate youth-friendly and inclusive online play communities. Following an intensive two-day workshop held earlier this year at New York’s World Economic Forum, Professor Salen Tekinbaş is currently working with her collaborators to prepare a report on the group’s findings which will be shared this coming summer at the Games for Change Festival. [READ MORE]

How Immersive Technology Can Expand CTE Options for Students with Disabilities (EdTech K-12 Magazine)

At Filament, we’re no strangers to the power of VR as a tool for learning – and we’re always excited to see more schools and universities adopting the technology for learning and training purposes! This time, EdTech K-12 Magazine highlights Danvers Public Schools in Massachusetts, which has recently begun incorporating VR into their curricula as a way to help students with special needs learn and practice key life skills. Utilizing 360-degree video footage of locales throughout their city, the school’s special education educators are now able to let students explore new environments in a low-stress, consequence-free fashion – a powerful opportunity for students who may face anxiety when first visiting new places. This is simply one of many possible affordances of VR as a tool for career and technical education (CTE) – check out the full article for more insights! [READ MORE]

Doctors and nurses are using VR to learn skills to treat coronavirus patients (CNN)

As the battle against COVID-19 rages on and hospitals worldwide face severe shortages of health professionals, many hospitals have begun leading coronavirus-specific trainings for doctors and nurses without infectious disease treatment backgrounds – for some, utilizing VR as a teaching tool. At Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, CA, more than 300 doctors have undergone VR training on topics ranging from assessing a patient’s symptoms to performing CPR while wearing protective equipment – and that’s just the beginning. CNN’s article details a number of companies and their efforts to create industry-leading virtual reality simulations for healthcare and medical professionals – an endeavor that’s not only backed by research, but made all the more important given the current state of the world. [READ MORE]

Breaking deaf stereotypes and normalizing sign language through gaming (Ars Technica)

Accessibility in gaming is something that’s always at the forefront of our minds as we develop games for learning and impact, which makes this new story about the world’s first fully American Sign Language (ASL)-accessible game particularly exciting for our team. That’s right – Deafverse is a free, choose-your-own-adventure style game that can be played in desktop and web browsers, developed by the Austin, TX-based National Deaf Center (NDC). Designed to help players grow their understanding of deaf culture, the game places players in the shoes of a member of the deaf community who must overcome common everyday hurdles which are often overlooked by individuals outside of the community. For more on the research, design, and impact of Deafverse, check out this article from Ars Technica – then try the game yourself on the National Deaf Center’s official website! [READ MORE]

With coronavirus closing schools, here’s how video games are helping teachers (The Washington Post)

School’s out…for an indeterminate amount of time. And as students, families, and schools continue to adapt to the new norms prescribed by socially-distanced learning, The Washington Post reports that some educators are turning to game-based learning as a way to help their students remain engaged in their learning while at home. Of course, you don’t have to convince an educational game developer like us that digital games can serve as a fantastic tool for remote instruction – but for many educators, COVID-19 has prompted educators to seriously consider the value of game-based learning as a tool for their remote teaching repertoire. In this article, teachers from the United States and Canada share their experiences incorporating games like Assassin’s Creed: Origins Discovery Tour and Minecraft: Education Edition into their curricula – find out what they had to share! [READ MORE]

Curious which stories made last month’s roundup? Check out our April 2020 news recap here!

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