Joan Ganz Cooney Center – gaming and mlearning

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has a couple of reports that might interest many of you out there. The latest is a report (Game ChangerSummary) on using games to learn that recommends:

  • Implement R&D initiatives at federal and state levels to identify learning gains through games and other digital media, develop metrics and set research goals. This includes funding research into alternative assessment.
  • Government should create partnerships with technology partners and game developers to develop games, using philanthropy and funding as a means to offset costs and potentially provide profit (my reading between the lines there).
  • Support adult guidance through professional development for teachers on these new ideas and resources.
  • Modernize public/education media (remember these are the people behind Sesame Street)
  • Create a broad public dialogue on digital media and games to help educate everyone on these new literacies (they have a report on that as well – The Power of Pow! Wham!: Children, Digital Media and Our Nation’s Future).

The other paper is Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning (Summary) that lists the opportunities, challenges and goals for mLearning:

Opportunities:

  • Encourage “anywhere, anytime” learning
  • Reach underserved children
  • Improve 21st-century social interactions
  • Fit with learning environments
  • Enable a personalized learning experience

Challenges:

  • Negative aspects of mobile learning
  • Cultural norms and attitudes
  • No mobile theory of learning
  • Differentiated access and technology
  • Limiting physical attributes

Goals:

  • Learn: Understand mobile learning as a unique element of education reform
  • Develop: Build mobile learning interventions
  • Promote: Engage the public and policy-makers in defining the potential of mobile devices for learning
  • Prepare: Train teachers and learners to incorporate mobile technologies
  • Stimulate: Generate new leadership support for digital learning

It certainly is nice when there is a thinktank out there that is thinking the same way you do eh?

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