GameDesk and Syyn Labs collaborated on a new, embodied version of GameDesk’s AERO! game, transforming it from a stand-alone iPad app to a fully immersive, multi-sensory flight simulator experience. Nicknamed “The Science of Flight”, this creation puts the player into the game by utilizing a custom-built Albatross Wing controller and 18 Dyson Bladeless fans. Together they replicate the effects of wind on an albatross’ wings, allowing the player to actually feel what it’s like to be a bird in flight. full story
Change The Equation held its first “Games Committee” meeting at the GameDesk offices in Los Angeles. Change the Equation is a coalition of over 100 CEOs of major corporations who have pledged to improve STEM learning in the United States. In addition to hosting the committee, GameDesk presented its insights and experiences as a leader in the digital learning space. Executives from Microsoft Research, AMD, HP, Carolina Biological, Epic Games, Activision/Blizzard, and E-line Media met to discuss the challenges and opportunities in using games as a medium for transforming K-12 education.
Among the topics discussed were embedded assessments within games to replace traditional written exams, the challenges involved in publishing and distributing educational games on a larger scale, and the possibility of creating game creator programs in schools across the nation. This first “Games Committee” meeting was a great start to an exciting collaboration that will further the cause of digital tools in education.
How can you use technology to revolutionize schools? Joe Wise, an educator and researcher with 39 years of experience, joins GameDesk to tackle this very question as our very own Associate Director of New School Models and Curriculum. Joe is co-directing GameDesk’s new game and digital based school that will be launching in the Fall of 2012.
Partnering with GameDesk is the natural next step for Wise. Recalling his first meeting with “kindred spirit” Lucien Vattel, CEO of GameDesk, Wise laughs, “It was like listening to me!” The two instantly hit it off and found they had remarkably similar goals. Moving forward alongside GameDesk and Vattel, Wise sees a bright future and the potential to finally realize his ambitious vision: “This is a culmination of years of cultivating relationships, and exploring. This is a really exciting phase in my life.” full story
Are educational iPad apps valuable for learning? Until recently, no studies had put iPad learning apps to the test. This month GameDesk released a study, led by USC Prof. Michelle Riconscente, on an iPad fractions game, Motion Math, for elementary-school aged children. The study, which applied a controlled experimental design, evaluated whether playing Motion Math led to increases in children’s fractions knowledge and attitudes. Over 120 participants played the game for 20 minutes daily for five days, for a total of 1 hour and forty minutes of game play. Among the main findings were that fractions knowledge increased an average of 15%, and participants gained confidence in their fractions ability and reported liking fractions more after playing the game. Changes on all outcome variables were statistically significant compared to a control group. full story
Bill Nye the Science Guy, recently joined the GameDesk team to build a library of digital science curriculum and games. Most recently, he has been working with us to build version 2.0 of the aerodynamics game, Aero!, for the iPhone. Bill has been helping the team understand how wings deflect air, proper equations required for a correct simulation of flight, and the coupling of yaw and roll. “Oh, it was big fun. I’m having a great time working with the Institute. Lucien and his team know what they’re doing. They’re top-notch, first-cabin, and are serious about complex science learning.” Bill has joined the Board of Directors for the GameDesk school and stated that he and GameDesk are now planning a series of science learning games and apps for release in 2012. full story