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

Welcome to another entry of What’s New in Game-Based Learning – your monthly roundup of the 🔥hottest🔥 news from the worlds of educational gaming, games for impact, and AR/VR for learning!

(Image source: Giphy)

Check out this month’s highlighted articles below, and be sure to reach out on Facebook or Twitter if we missed any big stories!

How VR in Healthcare Delivers Pandemic Education and Outreach (HealthTech Magazine)

Though COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on nearly all aspects of life, among healthcare professionals, the pandemic has helped illustrate the growing versatility of virtual reality as a tool for medical training. From modules designed to help physicians and nurses practice the proper application of PPE, to enabling doctors to view 3D scans of the lungs of COVID-19 patients, and even helping teach mindfulness strategies to patients who need it most, VR is making waves in the world of healthcare training – get the full scoop in this report from HealthTech Magazine. [READ MORE]

A Guide to Teaching Writing With Minecraft (Edutopia)

In his latest piece for Edutopia, friend of Filament and University of Northern Colorado professor Matthew Farber, Ed.D. details how educators can leverage Minecraft: Education Edition to teach writing in their socially and physically distanced classrooms. Drawing from a recent podcast episode hosted by Meenoo Rami, senior program manager at Microsoft, in discussion with high school teacher Joe Dillon and Christina Cantrill, associate director of national programs at the National Writing Project, Farber shares how teachers can leverage a suite of 10 all-new English language arts (ELA) lessons to add a playful spin to their writing curricula. [READ MORE]

Ready politician one: How the election made its way into video games (NBC News)

Last month, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., went live on game streaming platform twitch.tv to help promote voter turnout for the upcoming U.S. presidential election – and her stream quickly became one of the most-viewed in the platform’s history. And this is hardly the only recent political foray into gaming – with political organizations around the country utilizing popular games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and NBA 2K21 to educate and empower voters. For a closer look at how political campaigns and gaming companies alike are using video games as a tool for voter outreach, check out this in-depth report from NBC News. [READ MORE]

With Esports, a Wider and More Inclusive Playing Field (EdTech K-12 Magazine)

Across the country, collegiate level Esports teams are more popular than ever – with more than 175 colleges and universities now offering varsity Esports programs. Often attracting students who wouldn’t ordinarily participate in extracurriculars, these innovative programs aim to give students the resources they need to succeed – both as a member of their team and academically. In their latest Esports feature, EdTech K-12 Magazine details how college Esports programs – and their corresponding scholarship opportunities – are enabling a new breed of all-star student athletes. [READ MORE]

How Video Games Are Saving Those Who Served (WIRED)

According to research from the RAND Organization, 18.5% of U.S. service members returning home following deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from either depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – conditions which, compounded by social distancing and stay-at-home orders, can make everyday life incredibly challenging for military veterans. In this feature from WIRED, learn how veterans and medical researchers are using video games as a tool to treat PTSD, depression, and more – to surprisingly effective results. [READ MORE]

Miss last month’s entry of What’s New in Game-Based Learning? Have no fear – check out our October 2020 entry here!

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