App Inventor, StarLogo and TaleBlazer heading to CSNYC MeetUp this Saturday 5/17

Our App Inventor, Taleblazer and StarLogo teams are heading to New York City this weekend for a special Saturday session of the Scratch Meet Up. If you are in New York CIty and are interested in learning about how these blocks-based programming tools might complement the work you are already doing with Scratch, please join us at the Flat Iron School at 10 AM. Learn More!


The Scheller Teacher Education Program (STEP) at MIT will host both week-long and day-long summer workshops using the new online version of StarLogo, StarLogo Nova.  The August 11-15, 2014 week-long session will allow teachers to use StarLogo Nova to create scientific simulations, programming activities, mathematical models, content-focused games, or other activities speifically designed to suppport their own instructional objectives.  Several day-long sessions (7/7, 7/19, 8/1 and 8/6) will provide teachers and/or parents with an introduction to programming using StarLogo Nova.  Back by popular demand, the 7/19 session is a family friendly session. Learn more and register today!

Registration for Three-Part Webinar Series Now Open

Registration is now open for Parts II and III of our three-part webinar series, Using The Radix Endeavor, a Multiplayer Online Game, to Support Secondary Math and Science Instruction
Part II: Formal and Informal Assessment in the Game Environment
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 3:30 – 4:30 PM EDT
Using examples from The Radix Endeavor, MIT researchers will discuss how online games can be used to as formative assessment to gauge student understanding. The team will demonstrate the teacher dashboard and reporting mechanisms that allow teachers to view and monitor student progress and potentially identified gaps in understanding. The team will also review the research objectives of the current research and respond to questions about teacher and student participation in the pilot.
Part III: Selecting and Aligning Game Content with Classroom Instruction
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 3:30 – 4:30 PM EDT

AppInventor's Guide to Creating Challenge-Worthy Apps

Want to create challenge-worthy apps? Want to participate in the House Student App Challenge but don’t know where to start?  
Monday, April 7, 2014 from 7:00 – 8:00 PM ET
MIT App Inventor’s Guide to Creating Challenge-Worthy Apps! A virtual live webinar
MIT’s App Inventor team is partnering with the Congressional App Challenge Coalition to offer a special hour-long webinar for middle and high schools students (and their mentors) who want to learn how to build an App with MIT App InventorThe Webinar is geared toward to students enrolled in the House Student App Challenge as well as anyone who just wants to learn code.Webinar participants will learn how MIT App Inventor can help you design, build, and submit an Android app just in time for the April 30th deadline! 

Radix Team to Host Webinar, "Using Multiplayer Games in the High School Classroom"

On March 13, 2014 at 3:30 PM ET, MIT Researchers will host a webinar to discuss how their new game, The Radix Endeavor can be used to support high school math and biology instruction. They will talk about the benefits of role-playing and immersive virtual environments in general and more specifically about how teachers can start using The Radix Endeavor in their classrooms. High school math and biology teachers are encouraged to attend.
REGISTER TODAY! Be Sure to enter event # 641123549

Daylong PD Session, Using Games in the HS Classroom

On Wednesday, February 19, 2014 from 9 am - 3:30 pm, The Radix Team is hosting a one-day professional development session that will address many of your questions about using an online game for STEM learning within the classroom environment. This fun, hands-on workshop on the MIT campus will address:

  • How games can be used to set the context for or reinforce difficult concepts
  • The learning standards addressed in The Radix Endeavor
  • How scaffolding is addressed within specific quest lines
  • In-game assessments
  • Reports and built-in teacher monitoring tools
  • Options for enrolling in the Radix Pilot


Education Arcade Releases New Game for STEM Learning

MIT’s Education Arcade Releases Online Game for STEM Learning
Seeks High School Math and Biology Teachers to Participate in Research Pilot

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – MIT’s Education Arcade has spent two years collaborating with teachers and game developer, Filament Games, to develop an immersive virtual environment to support high school math and biology instruction. The result is The Radix Endeavor, an online multi-player game released today. The Education Arcade researchers will study implementation of the game in high school classrooms across the country through the end of the academic year.
The Radix Endeavor places students in an Earth-like world with a technical and social situation similar to our 1400s. Players are adventurers on an island at a crucial juncture. As political forces make arbitrary and greedy decisions that threaten the health of the island and its inhabitants, a group of dedicated and curious rebels are rising to oppose them. Players collaborate solve pressing social and environmental problems facing the island using fundamental concepts from math and biology aligned with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.
The game integrates a web-based design that allows teachers flexibility in how and when students play; in school or at home. The island incorporates five different biomes with a variety of unidentified plant and animal species. Students use the tools of math and science to investigate these habitats and solve a series of quests aimed at saving the island from its evil rulers. Twelve quest lines support a variety of high school concepts including Genetics, Ecosystems, Evolution, Human Body Systems, Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics.  A teacher dashboard allows teachers to track student progress and provides access to teacher resources including video supports, and classroom connections.   
The MIT Education Arcade is currently identifying a pool of schools and teachers to participate in a research study that will examine how and to what impact teachers use such a tool.  “The potential for video games to create effective learning environments has received much attention of late,” said Professor Eric Klopfer, director of the Education Arcade and The Scheller Teacher Education Program, the group that designed the game.  “It is our hope to contribute to the national dialogue on educational games with evidence of effectiveness and case studies of varied implementation models.”
Formal and informal educators at the middle and high school level from around the world are invited to participate in the pilot simply by enrolling their students in the game.  US-based high school math and biology teachers are also invited to participate in the pilot at deeper levels by using the game in conjunction with some assessments aligned with the learning standards in the game or by hosting MIT researchers to conduct classroom observations of students engaging with the game in the classroom setting. 
“This deep level of collaboration with teachers is critical to successful implementation of any school-based initiative,” remarked Susannah Gordon-Messer, Education Content Manager. “Only by studying how teachers use the game to support their own instructional objectives can we accurately document the potential contribution games like this can make in terms of engagement and growth in student performance.”
Teachers interested in enrolling in the research pilot, should complete the Radix Pilot Enrollment Form. 
MIT’s Education Arcade and Scheller Teacher Education Program  is a research and development lab based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that explores that which is authentically playful in learning. Focused on supporting teachers in their efforts to create playful, powerful learning opportunities for students drives our research and development of games, simulations, and tools that help transform kids into creators and explorers.

Filament Games  is a game production studio that develops engaging teaching and learning games. The company’s games combine best practices in commercial game development with key concepts from the learning sciences, sparking inspiration through exploration and discovery. Filament Games works with teachers, parents and students to engineer authentic gameplay mechanics that assist educators with meeting Common Core requirements and specific learning objectives.

Looking for High School Teachers to Pilot Assessments

The Radix team is looking for high school math and biology teachers to pilot our online assessments. Accessible from any web browser there are seven separate assessments.  US-based teachers can pilot any one or all of the subjects relevant to their course of instruction.  Fifteen to twenty question assessments are available in each of the following subject areas – genetics, ecology, evolution, human body systems, algebra, statistics, and geometry. Teachers will be able to see their students’ results upon completion. If you are interested in piloting these assessments, please complete the research enrollment form selecting OPTION D.

Coming Soon… Educational Games Development MOOCs on edX

The Scheller Teacher Education Program and the Education Arcade at MIT will offer a series of online course modules (4-6-week mini-courses) for those interested in both digital games and educational technologies (and the intersection of the two).  In Fall 2014, we will launch the first of the four-course series, supported by the MIT Office of Digital Learning, in partnership with MITx. Designed to be take together or as a single module, the course modules include: Introduction to Game Design and Development; Theory and Design of Educational Technology; Design and Development of Educational Games for Formal Learning; and Educational Technology: Present and Future. Each module will incorporate mini-documentary style case studies and interviews highlighting real game developers at work and other experts on-location in the field and assignments that bridge theory and practice. The Intro to Game Design and the Design and Development of Educational Games for Formal Learning courses will also include a blocks-based programming tool to enable learners to build their own games online as part of the course. 

Lab Staff to Speak [and Play] at Playful Learning Boston

Media Literacy Conference 2013: Playful Learning Boston invites K-12 teachers, whether seasoned experts or new to using technology in the classroom to join their colleagues in exploring what is inherently playful about learning. Our own Daniel Wendel and Wendy Huang will be presenting about the use of 3D Games and Simulations.  In addition, the Radix team will be showing off our new multi-player online game for secondary STEM instruction.  The event will take place at the MIT Media Lab on Saturday, November 2, 2013 from 8 to 5.  Learn more and register today!