A crowdfunding campaign launched for a $9 computing solution last week and has already blown past its modest fundraising goal. It's already off to a great start, generating $682,711 from roughly 13,499 backers with 26 more days to go. CHIP started out asking for $50,000. So what is C.H.I.P.?
Subaltern Games released a new trailer for its upcoming game No Pineapple Left Behind. The game pokes fun at the U.S. educational system, or more specifically, "No Child Left Behind."
Applications are now being accepted for New York City area teachers who want to take part in the NYC Student Game Design Challenge. NYC middle and high school teachers who want to learn how they can teach game design and development to their students, and receive funding for running an in-class or after school course in the fall and winter of 2015-16 should apply - no prior game design or programming experience is required and training will be provided.
On April 20, Seco launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for UDOO Neo, a "credit-card sized" open-source hardware board similar to the Raspberry Pi aimed at students and enthusiasts looking for a cheap computing solution. By 11 a.m. - 80 minutes into the campaign - it blew past its goal of $15,000. Today the Kickstarter has generated $102,699 from 1,352 backers (as of this writing) with 35 more days to go.
Video games retailer GameStop has announced an employee scholarship program that aims to give back a little for those improving their lives through higher education. The scholarship program is in partnership with Scholarship America and is an expansion of the Gamer Fund employee relief program. The program, officially called "Power to the Scholars," will award 40 scholarships of $2,500 to employees during the 2015/2016 school year.
The South Australian State Government has launched a special program that lets students help create national park upgrades by designing and creating elements in Minecraft, according to The Lead - South Australia.
This mildly amusing report from the Australian Government explains the different "blocks and rocks" in Minecraft and dispels the myths about what happens to them in the game (as opposed to what would "really happen"). We are sure this short report is for the benefit of youngsters who play the game and might be getting some less-than-accurate "geosciences" from it.
Here are some myth busting highlights from the report:
An excellent and exclusive interview with Mark DeLoura, former Senior Advisor for Digital Media at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, reveals that the Obama Administration has turned the corner on the debate about the negative effects of video games.
Subaltern Games is working on an interesting game that pokes fun at the U.S. education system, or more specifically, "No Child Left Behind." In its game, No Pineapple Left Behind, an evil wizard appears at a local school and turns all of the students into pineapples. These pineapples don't do much, save bounce around from classroom to classroom and take tests.
High schoolers in Northern Ireland are getting access to MinecraftEdu, the special free educational version of Mojang's still popular world building game. Around 200 secondary schools in Northern Ireland will receive free download codes for MinecraftEdu, according to a report in The Guardian (as reported on by GII).
Buoyed by support from the Obama administration right out of the gate, Unity's new program aimed at secondary school educators has the right trajectory for wide proliferation.
Video game research initiative Yale play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab has signed a two-year partnership with Yogome to develop educational mobile games for elementary school children. Researchers in the p2P Lab will work with Yogome to develop math, science, computer programming, and sustainability games. Games developed through the collaboration will be based on the Common Core framework and adhere strictly to child privacy standards.
The BBC will give away one million micro computing devices to children in the UK as part of its "Make It Digital" initiative. Through this initiative, the BBC will distribute a wearable coding device called a "Micro Bit" to every year 7 student (ages 11 to 13) in the country, totalling one million devices.
Three professors from the Open University of Catalonia, UOC, (Barcelona, Spain) argue that video games have value as education tools and as a positive means of communication in a new study. The study, "A report on media literacy in the digital game Experts in Europe," analyzes 18 European videogame applications in education.
Jennifer Ann's Group will be hosting a session at the Game Developers Conference next month about how video games are one of the most effective ways about raising awareness about teen dating violence and teaching prevention skills to teens and adults. The session will be led by Jennifer Ann's Group executive director Drew Crecente, whose daughter Jennifer Ann Crecente was murdered by her ex-boyfriend on February 15, 2006. Since then Crecente has been using his group - named after his daughter - to raise awareness about the deadly consequences of teen dating violence.
Raspberry Pi distributor Element14 has revealed the Raspberry Pi 2, a new version of the low-cost, barest of bare-boned PC computing solutions designed for electronics projects and teaching children how to code, is now available for purchase. And while the new system has better technical specifications and offers a more powerful computing solution, its price-point still remains at right around $35.
World of Tanks maker Wargaming.net has partnered with Full Sail University to launch the new on-campus Full Sail User Experience Lab. The collaborative effort promises to bring "state-of-the-art UX testing to over 5,000 play testers annually, and will include Full Sail students and graduates, as well as external members of the community." The Full Sail User Experience Lab plans to accomplish 100+ research projects per year for companies from multiple industries, as well as provide a project-based teaching environment.
A new study from researchers at the University of Rochester (Rochester, New York) suggest that people who play first-person shooters like Call of Duty have enhanced learning capabilities compared to non-gamers. Daphne Bavelier, a research professor in brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says that FPS players are better at multitasking, performing cognitive tasks, have better vision, and focus and retain information better than non-players.
Lisa Rosner, a distinguished professor of history at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, has been awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a game about the early history of smallpox vaccination. The NEH has given professor Rosner $99,837 to create a game called "Pox Hunter," as part of a project called "A 3D Strategy Game for the History of Medicine." She is building the game with the help of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and digital learning game developer Eduweb.
Independent game festival IndieCade, and Museum of the Moving Image announced that they will partner for a third year to present IndieCade East from February 13 - 15, 2015 at Museum of the Moving Image. The Festival program includes a professional conference featuring panels and discussions headlined by prominent game makers, academics, artists, marketers, and journalists.
A new adventure book for children promises to teach them how to code using the Ruby programming language.
Published by No Starch Press, Ruby Wizardry is the creation of New Yorker-published poet, professional programmer, and former Codecademy content architect Eric Weinstein. The book (which retails for $29.99) follows the adventures of young heroes Ruben and Scarlet, as they learn programming skills.
The book promises to teach the following (according to No Starch Press):
Elegy for a Dead World from Dejobaan Games is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux on Steam for $15. The game is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, because it encourages players to write their own creative stories based on locations they visit and the people they meet within several locations throughout the game.
President Barack Obama has become the first sitting president to write a program. Promoting the annual Computer Science Education Week by participating in the "Hour of Code" event in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex, President Obama wrote a simple computer program using a few lines of code that draws a square on a screen.
"All programming starts simple," says Hadi Partovi, co-founder Code.org. Code.org promotes computer science education in the United States. "No one starts by creating a complicated game.”
With less than eight days to go That Dragon, Cancer needs a little over $12,000 to be successfully funded on Kickstarter. As of this writing the game has generated $72,513 of its $85,000 goal from 2,415 backers. Developers Ryan Green and Josh Larson turned to Kickstarter in November to fund the rest of the game's development. If successfully funded the game will released in 2015 on multiple platforms including Ouya, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
New research coming out of the University of Sussex in England suggests that girls may be better than boys in designing more complex story-driven games. The study conducted by Dr. Kate Howland and Dr. Judith Good - and recently published in Computers and Education journal - came to the conclusion that girls in the classroom wrote more complex programs in their games and learned more about coding than boys did.
The University of Southern California (USC) Pullias Center for Higher Education has developed a new Facebook game called Mission: Admission, which aims to encourage low-income students to attend college by teaching high school students the importance of meeting deadlines and learning the application process of the college.