Idaho statewide teen game design camp

27 01 2014

For immediate release:

CONTACT
Idaho Digital Learning
Mike Caldwell
208.342.0207

Idaho Teens To Learn Digital Game Design as Career Path

Idaho Teen GameLab to teach Idaho students the art of digital game design and coding in an interactive camp.

Screen Shot 2014-01-11 at 1.36.26 PMBoise – January 2014 – Idaho students interested in a career in digital gaming and computer programming have the opportunity to participate in the Idaho Teen GameLab (ITGL). ITGL is a six-week, fully online academic camp that provides career exploration in the exciting field of digital game design. ITGL is taught using 3D GameLab, a quest-based learning platform where students level up by playing educational “quests” at their own pace within Gamemaker Studio, Sploder, Unity, Minecraft and adventure maps. Students will collaborate in virtual worlds to plan and build civilizations, create personalized games, test and provide feedback on fellow-developers games. ITGL is co-sponsored by Idaho Digital Learning (IDLA) and GoGo Labs.

“At Idaho Digital Learning, we are always searching for innovative ways to improve learning opportunities for Idaho Students. Idaho Teen Game Lab provides a rich learning experience that promotes creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking which are essential skills in todays work environment. We are really excited about our partnership with GoGo Labs and have enjoyed working with them on this project” said Mike Caldwell, Idaho Digital Learning Director of Program Development

“Ninety-nine percent of teens play video games. GoGo Labs is focused on engaging students and inspiring teachers through gamified learning opportunities, and what could be more interesting than designing the games themselves? We’re excited to be working with IDLA to bring this opportunity to Idaho teens” said Lisa Dawley, GoGo Labs CEO & Founder

In celebration of Digital Learning Day, registration will open on February 5, 2014.

Up to 200 middle and high school students throughout the state of Idaho can participate in the camp beginning in March. ITGL is great for beginning and intermediate game designers. For more information, or go to http://idahoteengamelab.org/.

Idaho Digital Learning was established as Idaho’s state virtual school by the Idaho Legislature in 2002.  The state virtual school serves 100% of Idaho School districts at over 19,000 enrollments in 2012-2013. Idaho Digital Learning is a nationally recognized program that was ranked 3rd in the U.S. for Online Learning Policy and Practice (Center for Digital Education, 2008) and is the fourth-largest State Virtual School in the United States based on statewide per capita online enrollments (Keeping Pace, 2011)

GoGo Labs, Inc., is a learning technology business based in Boise, Idaho.  Its mission is to empower, inspire and engage teachers and students using quest-based learning, and game-like learning communities. GoGo Labs holds a global exclusive license on 3D GameLab, a patent-pending learning platform that promotes student engagement and feelings of heroic success leveraging game mechanics such as quests, ranks, badges and player cards. Its customers are educators and institutions in over 13 countries that are seeking exciting, new ways to engage their digital-age students.





Winter Game Design Camp…for teachers?!

16 12 2013

hero_banner-01I’m really excited about this one…game design camp for teachers, woohoo!! As a lot of states and school districts begin to get involved in coding initiatives (CodeMontana, Hour of Code, etc. etc.), we help coders and builders engage in a very specific type of development — game design!

Did you know 99% of US teens play video games, and over 66% of adults have played a game on their mobile phone in the last week?  Gaming is pervasive and ubiquitous in our society.  As we continue to explore the uses of gamification for learning, we can’t think of anything better than to help teachers and students become designers of their own games, educational or otherwise!

As some of you know, last summer we launched a fully online pilot of Teen GameLab, our game design camp, with appx. 30 teens around the US, and one from S. Africa.  I’m not sure if they had more fun or we did. Seriously, those teens were amazing, what a fantastic and engaging learning experience for all of us.  While advertising that camp, we heard from a lot of teachers who wanted to participate, as well.

So, we’re bringing back our game design curriculum in January and February, and making it available in 3D GameLab Teacher Camps.  In January, we’ll offer three weeks of questing in camps on game design in Minecraft (adventure maps, anyone?), and Sploder.  Lucas Gillispie, proud leader of the Minecraft in Schools project will be taking the lead on the Minecraft camp, and Chris Haskell, co-creator of 3D GameLab, will be covering game design in Sploder.  In February, Mark Suter will be teaching GameMaker Studio, and we’ll be adding a new camp in Unity (wow!) taught by Melissa Wrenchy.

Hope you can join us and share in the amazing games that will be built, played, reviewed, and shared!





What Students Think about 3D GameLab

25 09 2013

A couple of screenshots shared with me recently by teachers in 3D GameLab. Thanks for taking the time to pass along the awesome news.  I love everyone’s enthusiasm. :)

Image

8th grader

Image

Survey of Mr. Denham’s class

Sometimes the best news  comes directly from the students themselves.  We recently completed Teen GameLab, our three week online game design camp.  I asked one of the campers what he liked best about camp, and what suggestions he had for the future.  I got a huge smile on my face when he said, “Oh, I absolutely loved everything about Teen GameLab, so I don’t have any suggestions.  The one bad thing is that we don’t get to hang out together anymore.”  I’ll have to figure out a way to change that!





Teacher Wallets & DonorsChoose

9 08 2013

Teacher Wallets promoIf you’re into teachers at all, then you’re probably aware of donorschoose.org, a really cool organization and website where teachers can pitch their projects/needs for the their classrooms, and donors can contribute to help them reach their goals.   Recently, the Gates Foundation and Digital Promise teamed up with DonorsChoose to create Teacher Wallets, a unique pilot program that provides 300 K-8 teachers nationwide with up to $6,000 per teacher to purchase digital courseware in core content areas.  The goal of the project is to study and better understand how teachers choose and use digital courseware in their classrooms.

As a teacher advocate for over 20 years, you can see why this project has personal appeal.  It’s not only asking teachers what works in their local context, but it’s turning over the purchasing decision directly at the class level, and studying actual implementation and outcomes.  SRI International will be doing some of the evaluation work, and I’m really looking forward to finding out more about what they learn.

We are PROUD that 3D GameLab was chosen to be showcased as an option on Teacher Wallets as a result of our recent finalist position in the NY Gap App Challenge.  We’re also curious if teachers will “choose” us, and why or why not.  When developing educational technologies, it’s critical to engage with participatory innovation, and this opportunity to learn systematically about our platform is an amazing opportunity for next phase development cycles.  Good luck with Teacher Wallets.

PS  I’d love to see all teachers have a Teacher Wallet!!





In the News at ISTE

4 07 2013

ISTE 2013 has come and gone.  At GoGo Labs, we were incredibly excited to have 3D GameLab showcased in the Epic Leadership event, and have our own Dr. Chris Haskell provide the keynote address for the Games SIG (SIGGS).  Gamification of learning was a HOT topic this year at ISTE, and we’re happy to share two great blogs summarizing some of the cool initiatives happening in this area. Thanks for the love!

Game-Based Learning Ideas from ISTE
Edutopia | Andrew Miller
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/gbl-ideas-from-iste-andrew-miller

Sparks Created at ISTE13
Getting Smart | Susan Lucille Davis
http://gettingsmart.com/2013/06/sparks-created-at-iste13/ 





Boise State’s First Start-Up is a Go

19 06 2013

Reprinted from the Idaho Statesman, June 20, 2013
Reporter: Kris Rodine
http://www.idahostatesman.com/2013/06/19/2623831/bsus-first-startup-is-on-the-go.html

Conceived on campus, a game-based teaching platform branches out as a private business

By KRISTIN RODINE — krodine@idahostatesman.com

When she first heard of 3D GameLab, high school language arts teacher Bonnie Warren was intrigued, but a little suspicious.

“I had a lot of questions about it being too gamified,” she said. “So I took their summer teacher’s camp and I got sold.”

Shortly after completing the camp last summer, Warren was one of 500 teachers across the nation and beyond who used the game-based system in their classrooms for beta testing of the new learning platform.

“Kids do a lot more work under it than the previous grading system and they do better work,” said Warren, who teaches 10th graders at South Fremont High School in St. Anthony. “Anything that’ll get my kids interested, I’m all about that.”

Created by two World of Warcraft-loving professors in Boise State University’s Department of Educational Technology, 3D GameLab uses a gaming format that helps students learn as they work their way through lessons in virtually any subject or grade level.

Now the software has spun off into a business led by one of GameLab’s founders. Former department chairwoman Lisa Dawley left Boise State in July to form GoGo Labs and be its CEO. The platform debuted in the marketplace May 1.

Dawley’s business is the first startup company launched by Boise State. President Bob Kustra heralded it as “a great byproduct of … the mechanisms now in place to encourage entrepreneurship on our campus.”

Dawley’s co-founder, Chris Haskell, remains at Boise State but is active in GoGo as principal researcher. The technology still belongs to the university.

Boise State owns the patent and the software, which is now licensed to GoGo Labs.

“It’s the same thing as if you worked at Micron – what you invent when you’re there is theirs,” said Mary Andrews, Boise State’s director of university and industry ventures.

“We (GoGo) have global exclusive rights to the technology, to turn it into a business,” Dawley said.

It took about seven months to work out the licensing agreement, which outlines how much profit will go to GoGo and how much to the university, she said, declining to reveal the breakdown.

“A significant portion” of Boise State’s share will go to the inventors, Dawley and Haskell, Andrews said. Some will go to cover expenses such as copyright and patent fees. The rest will help fund investigation of other opportunities for university entrepreneurs, she said.

“She (Dawley) has proven there’s a market for it,” said Andrews. “She has revenue and that speaks volumes. She’s getting repeat traction in the marketplace.”

HOW THE SOFTWARE WORKS 

Teachers build quests that students will use to reach learning goals. Students follow the quests, rising through levels and earning badges. The learner is the hero of a quest.

Warren started the school year with 83 quests to share with students and ended up with 953, most of which she built herself.

Students don’t move to the next quest until they get the previous one right, and complex tasks and lessons are “scaffolded” into numerous quests that help students feel momentum and success as they proceed, Warren said.

She described one assignment she gave her 10th-graders, to write a paper about how Macbeth changed through the course of Shakespeare’s play.

“This is literary analysis and that’s hefty stuff,” Warren said. But using GameLab, students who would normally balk embraced the task and did “A” work.

“It took 13 quests to get the paper built,” she said. “They do it in chunks and they know each chunk is right when they’re done.”

MORE TIME FOR FEEDBACK

If people think a game-based learning platform isolates students with their computers rather than fostering teacher interaction, those people should think again, Warren said. Her students work without computers more than they do with them, she said. When they are on laptops, they derive ample input from each other and their teacher. Warren monitors their progress through the quests and suggests revisions as they go.

The GameLab platform keeps track of student progress and results, freeing the teacher from recording grades for each exercise.

“I’ve never had time to give that much feedback before,” Warren said. “I was too busy managing the paper load. Now the system does it for me.”

A FIRST FOR BSU

More startups are in the works at Boise State, Andrews said, but the process is slow and the time frame uncertain. She said the most fertile ground for intellectual property with commercial potential tends to be in three areas: materials science and engineering, sensor development and computer platforms, and biomolecular science and chemistry.

“Commercialization is not a core function of the university,” Andrews stressed. “Universities are here to educate and do research, and faculty are here to teach and do research.

“However, with our growing research and the growing entrepreneurial culture, we have the beginnings of an infrastructure to support those activities,” she said, “and the innovation and licensing bring benefits back to the community and Idaho.”

REFINING THE PRODUCT

The company holds online teacher camps to help educators learn how to use the gaming platform and build quests. Teachers must pay $245 each for a one-year membership that delivers access to the system and additional teacher camps.

This summer the company plans to start offering monthly memberships. Later, it plans to sell GameLab access for schoolwide or districtwide use.

Haskell used an early version of 3D GameLab in his educational technology classes and reported students using the platform did better, and worked more quickly, than their counterparts in a traditional classroom. And more than 65 percent of the students kept on questing even after they’d done everything necessary to earn an A in the course, he wrote as part of his doctoral work.

DAWLEY HOPES TO SELL

The plan for 3D GameLab was always to commercialize it in some way, Dawley said, with an expectation that a larger company will buy it in a few years.

“This is a bridge to help ready it for sale,” she said. “It could happen in two years, but we’re told to be prepared for it to take five to seven years.”

About 700 teachers in 13 countries have used the platform so far, with 300 more joining in July, she said. California has the largest number of teachers who have adopted GameLab, with Idaho second and North Carolina third. In Arizona, about 13 faculty members at Maricopa Community College use it.

TEACHER HOOKED

“Does it work for everyone? No, nothing does,” Warren said. “But it works for more students and better than anything else I’ve tried. I would not want to teach without 3D GameLab again.”

Kristin Rodine: 377-6447





NYC Gap App Challenge Finalist

17 06 2013

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 12.20.38 PMHey friends, good news from the fine folks at NYC Gap App Challenge!  3D GameLab has been named as a finalist, and as such, we qualify to partner with schools in NY City to prototype and develop innovative quest-based curriculum and training inside 3D GameLab.

Will you help us spread the word to your colleagues in NYC schools?  We’d love to have another innovative partnership to do something amazing and extreme for kids!








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,336 other followers