Seeking Your Ideas for Gaming and Learning

There seems to be much interest recently on divining the successful intersection between gaming and learning. The noteworthy primer on the subject comes from Jane McGonigal’s compelling book Reality is Broken . I had the pleasure of meeting Jane this summer at the Microsoft Partners in Learning 2011 Innovative Education Forum where she delivered a compelling keynote articulating the benefits of gaming for engagement, learning and just plain fun.

I continue to see incredible interest from the educators I work with on making this connection in the classrooms. Of particular interest is the combination of Xbox with Kinect which brings the incredible opportunity of kinesthetic learning together with game-based motivation (and fun!). The vision is perhaps best expressed in this short video, however the reality is being expressed through what teachers are already doing today.

Some of the best examples can be found at the KinectEducation site which is an educator-driven source of information on Kinect in the classroom, and of course, Microsoft has a number of classroom-ready Kinect activities that span all grades, most subjects and align to Common Core standards. Though perhaps the most insightful work being done today is helping educators address some of the challenges in teaching children with autism (see video).

Click the BLACK BOX above to play

But Kinect is only one piece of this burgeoning movement.

What is crucial in this movement is continuing to seek ideas, inspiration and input from educators that believe the intersection of gaming and learning will drive student engagement and achievement. We would like hear your ideas.

This week, The NEA Foundation, as part of its ongoing “Challenge to Innovate” (C2i) initiative has partnered with Microsoft Partners in Learning to launch the Gaming Challenge to address the question: How can game-based learning help students learn?

c2iHow it works:

  • Submissions will be accepted from January 23 – March 5, 2012 – Submit your idea here.
  • A proposed solution must effectively incorporate game-based learning.
  • Portal registrants can also review, comment and vote.
  • At the end of the review period, up to 10 solutions will receive $1,000 cash award from the NEA Foundation.

It’s that simple. Submit your idea. Inspire transformational learning. And win $1,000!

I look forward to sharing some of the ideas generated from this exciting challenge in more depth in the coming months. Special thanks to The NEA Foundation for their leadership on this initiative.


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