Games is the hottest word. Last week, on June 24th, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center launched the Games and Learning Publishing Council. It came at the end of the Games for Change week and the day after AMD Foundation’s Changing the Game Partner Summit. To put a fine point on it, one of the distinguished members of our new Council is Alex Games, Microsoft’s new Education Design Director. Alas, his pronunciation rhymes with llamas.
The Cooney Center’s Games and Learning Council is part of a larger project we are doing with E-Line Media, generously supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. We’ve convened a stellar group of leaders from various backgrounds: publishing (Pearson), academia (MIT and UW/Madison), industry (Microsoft, Activision, ESA), media (Education Week, Common Sense Media), on-the-ground practice (NYC Board of Ed, Texas High School Project, High Tech High), investment (Union Square Ventures, New Schools Venture Fund), as well as policy-makers and philanthropists who are looking on in an ex-officio capacity. The Council’s mission is to conduct a national inquiry to “raise the sector” of games-based learning.
We’ve just begun the work of creating a sector analysis and market map of game-based learning initiatives, and formulating a new framework for understanding the dynamics of successful, scalable products and services. Over the course of the next year we will be publishing a series of analytics, proof-points, and papers that should prove useful for all of us interested in the potential of games (rhymes with names) to move the needle on kids’ learning.
*Edited January 16, 2013.