edWeb.net partners with Games4Ed on new game-based learning initiative

edWeb.netOriginal_transparent_256, a professional learning and social network for the education community, is partnering with Games4Ed, a new organization recently established to further the use of games and other immersive learning strategies in schools, to expand and deepen collaboration on game-based learning.

Why games? High-quality games are unique in that they provide all three pillars necessary for learning success: high engagement of the learners (have you ever watched someone totally engrossed in a game?); effective learning (game players learn both academic content and higher-level skills such as collaboration, problem solving, and persistence); and embedded assessment (games provide immediate feedback to players and can track competencies without the need for external testing).

Games4Ed was formed by over 25 representatives from different sectors of gaming and education who came together to examine the possibilities and issues regarding the use of game-based learning on January 20, 2015. The group is establishing collaborations between educators, researchers, game developers, publishers and policy makers to further the use of games and other immersive learning strategies in schools to help the education sector fulfill the mission of preparing all children to become successful 21st century learners and citizens. Games4Ed is a non-profit organization, and the directors are Larry Cocco, Mitch Weisburgh, and Lucas Gillispie.

Games4Ed will be using the edWeb.net platform to create private working groups to support their broad-based education industry collaboration. They will also be partnering with edWeb.net to co-host the Game-Based Learning community on edWeb.net, which has grown to nearly 9,000 K-12 and higher education educators, who are collaborating on integrating the principles, assessment advantages, and motivating aspects of games into learning. Games4Ed joins the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA, ISTE GSN, and ISTE VEN, as a content co-host of the professional learning community.

Games4Ed’s partnership with edWeb.net launched with a webinar presentation by Lucas Gillispie and Steve Isaacs on “More Than Fun & Games: The Games4Ed Initiative.” Lucas and Steve are game-based learning educators and members of Games4Ed. Their presentation introduced the Games4Ed mission and its goals for ensuring that games are considered effective tools for learning. Lucas and Steve also shared how they successfully introduced game-based learning at their own schools, as well as tangible examples of effective game-based learning practices.

Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “We are delighted that edWeb.net can support the Games4Ed initiative both as a platform for their working groups and also as a co-host of the Game-Based Learning community. Our community will help them expand awareness of their work, and the community will benefit from learning about the advances they make in the field.”

Mitch Weisburgh, Co-founder and Director for Games4Ed, said, “We would like to thank edWeb.net and the other hosts: the ETIN division of the SIIA, and the ISTE Games and Simulation and Virtual Environment Networks. edWeb.net provides such a magnificent platform for conversations between thousands of stakeholders interested in moving education out of the industrial age. We are awed by the quality and quantity of educators we can talk to on edWeb.net, who are participating in and leading these efforts.”

Educators and game-based learning advocates are invited to join the free Game-Based Learning PLC to stay informed about upcoming webinars, join in discussions with peers and experts, and gain access to valuable resources.

Educators, researchers, game developers, publishers and policy makers are invited to register for Games4Ed to receive its quarterly newsletter, participate in a pilot program with students, or join a Working Group.

Organizations interested in learning about sponsoring the Game-Based Learning PLC may contact Lynn Scott, Senior Program Director for edWeb.net, at lynn@edweb.net.