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Division of Instruction
NHEON :: Office of Ed Tech :: NCLB :: 2008-09 :: Focus Area 3

No Child Left Behind: Title II Part D
Enhancing Education Through Technology

Contact: Cathy Higgins

Focus Area 3: Digital Tools Projects

View abstracts of this year's 2008-09 Digital Tools Project.

Visit the Digital Tools Projects Wiki to follow their progress.

View abstracts of last year's 2007-08 Digital Tools Projects and May 2008 Digital Tools Pilot Projects.

Some Resources to Get You Thinking

Computer Simulation Games (aka interactive media environments or video games) can be extremely engaging for students. There is a growing body of research about digital games for learning. Some of these can be played on a desktop or laptop, while others are built for handheld tools. Some are created for you, while other software allows you to create the games yourself. This list will get you started:

    The River City Project, funded by a National Science Foundation grant, is an interactive computer simulation (free from Harvard and Arizona State) for middle grades science students to learn scientific inquiry and 21st century skills.

    Scratch is a (free from MIT) new programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. Scratch is developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab, in collaboration with the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, with financial support from the National Science Foundation, Intel Foundation, and MIT Media Lab research consortia.

    Alice is an innovative (free from Carnegie Mellon) 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice is a teaching tool designed as a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning introductory programming concepts. Also available are instructional materials to support students and teachers in using this new approach. Resources include textbooks, lessons, sample syllabuses, test banks, and more.

    Let the Games Begin, an article published in Edutopia in April 2005, discusses some of the pros and cons of using video games in education.

    Here are a few projects connected with the Games Learning & Society Group at University of Wisconsin-Madison:

    Joystick101 is a blog about using games in education.

    Local Games Lab - "Local games” are set in real-life neighborhoods and ecological habitats. When deeply immersed in such games, players experience the complex dynamics of a place. Local games deepen connections to people and places.

    CivWorld is a site for people interested in using Sid Meier's Civilization for learning academic content, including history, geography, or even game design. The site has custom-designed game scenarios, curricula, case studies, and experts on using Civ for learning with a goal of helping players, students, parents, and teachers use the game at home, in after school centers and classrooms.

    Games+Learning+Society Conference - While the 2009 conference program is not yet available, the 2008 materials are available. In particular we recommend viewing the conference webcasts.




Last updated 02/09/2009