Radix Team to Present at NSTA in San Antonio

Education Arcade and Scheller Teacher Education Program staff, Susannah Gordon-Messer and Louisa Rosenheck, present The Radix Endeavor, a multi-player online game for STEM learning where students immerse themselves in MIT's game world and perform quests applying biology and math skills and teachers receive real-time teacher feedback about student learning. Marriott Riverwalk, Alamo Salon E.
 
Not scheduled to be at NSTA but interested in learning about the game and its pilot scheduled for AY 2013-2014, Subscribe to Radix Updates.
 

Radix Cited as Example in The Scientist's Games for Science

The Radix Endeavor was recently cited in a recent The Scientist article, Games for Science as an example of how scientists are using video games to tap the collective intelligence of people around the world, while doctors and educators are turning to games to treat and teach.  Examining games form three unique environments, the article explore how:

  • Games designed to tackle tough scientific problems are leading to breakthroughs.
  • Gameplay can engage unfocused students and teach complex scientific concepts.
  • Medical researchers are using games to help patients overcome physical challenges.

Radix Team Launches Design Blog, Pinterest Board

The Radix Team is busy at work developing the world and quests that will ultimately become the Massively Multi-Player Online (MMO) game and interactive learning environment supporting high school math and biology instruction.  As if that is not enough, the team has recently launched a Pinterest Board and design blog that will allow us to see the game come to life.  Visit the Pinterest Board to see the graphical concepts evolve. Subscribe to the team’s design blog to follow them as they grapple with critical design questions including which standards to address, how long to make each quest, and how to address the role of free play.

Klopfer and Haas Release The More We Know

Eric Klopfer and Jason Haas release The More We Know: NBC News, Educational Innovation, and Learning from Failure. In The More We Know, Klopfer and Haas describe the rise and fall of iCue, an interactive learning venture that launched in 2006 and combined social networking, online video and gaming. In focusing on what iCue can teach us¬ about the challenges of innovation in education, they remind us of all that we can learn from failure. James Paul Glee calls The More We Know a must read for would-be reformers and “for all the rest, a delicious insider’s tale.”

Labyrinth Challenge Participants Winners on All Fronts!

The Education Arcade recently conducted an online math challenge for middle grades students using Lure of the Labyrinth, an online game where students collaborate to navigate a compelling graphic novel. Nearly 1000 teachers and youth mentors enrolled more than 30,000 students in the Labyrinth Challenge between April 1st and June 15th. Over the course of 10-weeks, students collectively spent half a TRILLION minutes (more than 950 years) exploring the Tasti-Pet Factory, collaborating, solving mathematical puzzles, and freeing pets. In addition to gaining problem-solving confidence and bragging rights, students and teachers also earned chances to win more some amazing prizes! 

Blog about STEP in EdWeek

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STEP Visiting lecturer Justin Reich recently blogged for EdWeek about teaching MIT students and their use of technology.

MIT’s Education Arcade Uses Online Gaming to Teach Science

A $3M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will fund development
 
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – With a new $3 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the MIT Education Arcade is about to design, build, and research a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) to help high school students learn math and biology.
 
In contrast to the way that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are currently taught in secondary schools – which often results in students becoming disengaged and disinterested in the subjects at an early age – educational games like the one to be developed give students the chance to explore STEM topics in a way that deepens their knowledge while also developing 21st-century skills.

Job Openings: educational MMOG project

Exciting news at the STEP lab is that we're about to start a new project - an educational MMOG to help high schoolers learn STEM subjects! Stay tuned for more information about this project, and for updates as we begin design and development. But for now, we're also excited to announce that we're hiring for 3 new positions on the project:

We're accepting applications on a rolling basis and looking to hire people as soon as we can, so feel free to spread the word to anyone you know who might be a good fit!

Vanished Recap featured in ARGNet and Wired Online

Alex Calhoun of ARGNet, who provided a sneak preview of Vanished before its spring 2011 run has now written up a post-mortem/recap of our completed curated game.  For those of you who didn’t get a chance to follow along as our players saved a future Earth from certain destruction with science, we recommend you check out Mr. Calhoun’s article, which was also linked from Wired Magazine’s Decode blog.

Playing Around on the Numberline

As a learning games research lab, we’re always interested to talk to people who are making research-based commercial games and apps. We recently got the chance to talk to Gabriel Adauto and Jacob Klein from Motion Math, a San Francisco startup designing and developing games to teach number sense to elementary and middle school students. They talked to us about their games, the research the games are based on, and the process they use to build them, and we were pleasantly surprised at how much their work has in common with ours.
 
The game we looked at is called Motion Math Zoom. It shows a number line with animals lined up along it to illustrate the scale. It starts with frogs and dogs for the ones and tens, but you later discover a plethora of other critters, from dinosaurs for the thousands down to amoebas for the thousandths. Players use the pinch and spread UI to zoom in and out and experiment with scale. In my own work at STEP, I have seen the importance of playfulness in games and giving players the chance to “mess around” in a sandbox-like environment. I loved the constructivist way in which this game lets kids explore the number line on their own, zooming in and out and moving left and right as much as they want before they complete the task at hand.