Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Harnessing the Power of Games for Learning

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The US education system is facing a triple whammy: it must deliver a set of skills
more sophisticated than in the past; it needs to do this for a large, highly diverse
population; and it needs to do this at a lower cost. What can the video game
industry contribute to the educational challenges facing America? Possibly a lot.
The overlap between the skills needed to win some popular games are
surprisingly close to the skills that are in increasing demand in the workplace –
learning on the fly, acquiring knowledge from multiple sources, making decisions
with incomplete information, planning and strategic thinking, and collaborating
with diverse colleagues. Good games allow players to acquire skills using
environments that implement many of the strategies recommended by state-ofthe-
art learning science: problem-solving in complex systems, creative
expression, cooperative tasks; and continuous assessment. While commercially
successful games find broad markets for these sophisticated environments, they
have had little influence on mainstream education. This workshop is designed to
pinpoint the contributions that game designers can make to education and
understand how to build markets for their innovations.

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