December 18 2015 edition

Thanks to Julia Atalla, Mark Guzdial, Mike Mika, and Russ Shilling for contributing to this issue! Please forward us your news and favorites to the contact information shown at the bottom.


Curious what happened during the ED Games Expo in Washington DC a few weeks ago? 45 games were on display, most of them with funding via Small Business Innovation Research grants. EdSurge has a great piece about the event.

Co.lab recently announced that it is accepting applications for its fifth cohort. The educational games accelerator based at Zynga’s headquarters has been home to many strong startups.

Both Filament Games (“Reach for the Sun”) and iCivics (“Do I Have A Right?”) released end-of-year reports. Filament has moved into a new space downtown; iCivics is now being used in 50% of middle school social studies classes!

Two game studios have been charged by the FTC for violating the COPPA standards (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act). If you are making games for kids, make sure you know how to work with COPPA!

The Pew Research Center released a report on video game use by Americans. According to the results, 49% of American adults play video games, but only 10% consider themselves “gamers”.

LRNG will be holding several regional summits in January and February. If you are near Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Chicago, be sure to check out the details!

The National Endowment for the Humanities released its latest list of grant awards. Several games are included in the list, including USC’s Walden and RIT’s game Lost and Found, which explores the history of medieval legal codes.

Are you familiar with Tinybop, creators of great iOS apps such as The Earth, and Everything Machine? Tinybop apps are always so engaging and focused around manipulating things on the screen. Wired published a nice article about their work.

Coding and Making

Lean In has partnered with the Anita Borg Institute to launch Lean In Circles that support women working in or studying computer science and education.

Only one out of ten schools in the U.S. offers computer science classes. U.S. News looks at the movement toward computer science education in Arkansas, and touches on a few other states and initiatives under way.

Cornell Tech is partnering up with Roosevelt Island Public School, a K-8 school, to deliver tech education to children in the New York City Area. K-3 teachers with learn how to integrate computational thinking into their practices, while teachers of grades 4-8 will add coding into their teaching.

In Florida there’s a push to count computer science courses toward the foreign language requirement for graduation. At first this didn’t make much sense to be, but a representative from Florida told me recently that while it may not be a perfect solution, it may be the shortest path toward getting the classes into schools.

A University of Sussex study suggests that girls can be motivated to explore programming by building on their skills in literacy and storytelling.

The University Interscholastic League in Texas is testing out the addition of a robotics program to high schools! The pilot will begin in 2016 and include both workshops and high school cnotests.

The Infinity is a tablet that kids can take apart to learn how it works. Its modular design makes it easy to examine or alter, and the tablet comes with apps like Scratch Jr and Google Classroom.

Linden STEAM Academy in Malden, Massachusetts uses “Novel Engineering”, a program that mixes engineering with literacy in elementary school classrooms. Classes build prototypes of devices that solve problems, using Lego robotics or littleBits.


Future of Education Technology Conference – Bringing educators and technologists together to share teaching techniques. Orlando, FL. January 12-15.
Global Game Jam – The world’s largest simultaneous weekend game jam. Everywhere. January 29-31.
EduCon 2.8 – Education innovation un-conference. Philadelphia, PA. January 29-31.
Kidscreen Summit – The kids entertainment industry’s most important annual event. Miami, FL. February 8-11.
DICE Summit – The game industry’s annual executive leadership summit. Las Vegas, NV. February 16-18.
SXSW Edu – Education sub-festival before SXSW Music / Film / Interactive. Austin, TX. March 7-10.
Game Developers Conference ‐ The largest game developer conference! San Francisco, CA. March 14-18.


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