For the past 3 years, the New Media Consortium, along with CoSN and ISTE, has worked to identify trends in education and learning in their annual Horizon Report. This year, as in last year’s report, Game Based Learning has made the list of trends to be adopted in two to three years. Games, both digital and analog, are great ways for students to practice skills while learning social skills such as cooperation and teamwork. But playing games is only half of the learning equation. What can students discover when they’re challenged to design their own games?
To promote this thought, PBS is participating in the STEM Video Game Challenge, a contest where students have the opportunity to design and create their own video games for learning. For students just starting, or for teachers wanting to bring the contest into their classrooms, the PBSKids STEM Challenge site includes video interviews with game designers as well as a link to the registration site. The contest ends March 12, so there’s still plenty of time to register and join in the fun. And if you’re a teacher who wants to try your hand at designing the next great learning game, there’s even a category for you.1
To kick off the fun, we’re hosting a Twitter party this Thursday! I’ll be a panelist during the PBS Twitter Party on Thursday, January 19 between 7:00-8:30 PM mountain time2 to discuss the PBSKids STEM Challenge. You’ll find me there (@milobo), joined by hosts @teachmama, @techsavvymama, @pbskids, @pbsteachers and a host of other panelists. You can follow the entire stream by using the Twitter hashtag #PBSKidsSC. We’ll be giving away some pretty cool prizes to participants in the chat,3, so make sure to RSVP using this link.
I’ve had the honor and privilege of working with the fine folks at PBS on a few projects over the years, and this is one I’m happy to help promote and publicize.4 I think this project is one that has great potential for moving students and teachers beyond the role of consumer to the role of designer. Think about encouraging your students to join in the fun!
- Anyone interested in teaming up to try? [↩]
- that’s 9:00-10:30 PM for all you East coast folks [↩]
- including a Kindle! [↩]
- In the interests of full disclosure, you should know that PBS is providing me compensation for my participation in the Twitter event, but the comments I’ve made here about the event and the contest are all my own. In my opinion, I owe them twice as much for getting me out of my slump and making me want to write again. [↩]