January 10, 2013 marked the kick-off for Phase II of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s Games and Learning Publishing Council. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Council aims to expand the role of games and gaming in the educational lives of children by providing new research and analysis of the field of games-based learning. In its first year, the Council has expanded research and set forth a rigorous agenda for future work.
Representing the diversity within the field, GLPC members include journalists, commercial and educational video game developers and publishers, classroom teachers, university scholars, and leaders in the venture capital, foundation, and investment communities. We launched this new phase of work with a renewed commitment to producing practical and useful products and research that demonstrate the possibilities of game-based learning to a variety of audiences.
In addition to the market map of the educational game sector for K-12 schools released today, we plan a series of analytic briefs on the crossover between commercial and educational digital game development, as well as another set of five video case studies illustrating innovative uses of digital games in the classroom. In order to reach classroom teachers who are seeking practical guidance around using digital games, we are collaborating with MIT’s Learning Games Network (headed by GLPC member Alex Chisholm) to bring together teachers for hands-on professional learning opportunities using their innovative Playful Learning platform. We are also developing an expanded National Survey of Teachers and Digital Game Use to track changes since our last survey in May 2012.
Spanning the next two and a half years, our work to advance games-based learning will also include multiple policy briefs and conference proceedings, all of which will be published on a new dedicated website that will be launching this summer. The new information service aims to help developers create effective and entertaining games by helping them understand the latest research in childhood learning, game design and emerging platforms. The new site will also work to make developers aware of grants and business opportunities available in educational gaming.
The site also aims to help foundations, universities and venture capitalists make more effective investments in future projects by demonstrating what works and what doesn’t when it comes to both the development of educational games and the marketing of those games to schools, parents and others.
As we build up to our website launch, you can follow us on on Twitter @cooneycenter, where we will be tracking big developments in games-based learning!