November 17, 2010

Games for learning recommendations published

Clearer definitions and a taxonomy of games for learning, a central repository, integration into textbooks, evaluation, localisation, a team approach to development, professional support and bridging home and school - these are some of the fifteen recommmendations of the two-year IMAGINE project.

One of the key outputs of the two-year project, funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, is a report and a set of recommendations to increase mainstreaming of games for learning in schools, vocational and adult education. The report outlines conclusions related to the use of digital games for learning, as they affect education policy-makers and decision-makers in school, vocational and adult education, presents the underlying evidence behind them and makes a series of recommendations arising from the conclusions and evidence.

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November 15, 2010

Report: Moving Learning Games Forward

"This grand vision of the integration of gaming culture with school culture will require a tremendous effort on the part of all involved – schools, parents, academics, government agencies, non-profit agencies, gaming professionals, and others. Providing access for all students to the kind of playful, investigative, collaborative and well-supported education that we envision in this document will necessarily depend on school culture and gaming culture coming to a respectful, mutual understanding and comfortable integration. Certainly, teachers and schools will have to take brave risks to innovate, but the learning games community will need to meet schools, understanding the constraints on the system and individual teachers."

This is the conclusion of an important paper on games for learning from the Education Arcade at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The paper starts by making a case for learning games grounded in principles of good fun and good learning. From there the paper explores the commercial games market, gleaning lessons from this rapidly growing and diversifying place. In order to address the concerns of those who see “edutainment” as a dead market, the paper analyzes the downfall of edutainment in the 1990s and establishes how the current movement differs. As
there are many applications of games related (more or less) to learning games, the paper lays out the ecology
of games with a purpose beyond play. Much of the rest of the paper establishes principles and best practices
for moving the field forward in a positive direction. The paper should provide a good grounding in the field
and both motivate and inform those wanting to participate in this rapidly growing domain.

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