Thursday, 30 January 2014

Academic Camp to Teach Teens Game Design

This news story has caught my eye this week.  This innovative, 21st century teaching is inspirational and it will be extremely interesting to find out how it goes.  I wish more of this happened in the UK (see my case study on Code Club, to see what there is to offer in the UK).

Teenage students in Idaho will have the opportunity to participate in an online camp in game design/programming from March.  The Idaho Teen Game Lab (ITGL) is intended for people who are interested in a career in digital gaming and computer programming.  It is open to 200 middle and high school students across the state of Idaho.

ITGL is a six week, online camp that teaches digital game design and allows for career exploration in this area.  ITGL is taught using 3D GameLab, which is a quest-based learning platform.  Students level up by playing educational “quests” within Gamemaker Studio, Sploder, Unity, Minecraft and adventure maps at their own pace.  Students will be able to collaborate in virtual worlds to plan and build civilizations, create personalized games and 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.

Registration will open on February 5th 2014, in celebration of Digital Learning Day.  ITGL will be great for beginner and intermediate game designers.  For more information, go to http://idahoteengamelab.org/.

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