I wanted to flag an interesting group that has formed to study the learning impact associated with gaming and promote the innovation of games in education: The Learning Games Network. The group's website describes its mission:
The Learning Games Network is a non-profit organization established to spark innovation in the design and use of learning games through:
- A network of scholars, teachers, producers, and game designers committed to the development and distribution of new games informed by research in the learning sciences across a complete range of subject areas from electrostatics to Shakespeare;
- The development and distribution of model activities, informal and formal curricular, and teacher training resources to support the use of all games for learning; and
- Evangelism and business development programs to help meet growing student and teacher demand for new commercial and open tools that better support individual and collaborative learning in the 21st Century.
My fellow Harvard Technology, Innovation and Education alumnus Andy Blanco is heading up program and business development for the group, which also includes gaming education heavyweights Kurt Squire, Scot Osterweil, and Eric Klopfer. These are the same folks behind the Education Arcade, so I'm not sure what the distinction is -- probably something to do with a new organization to correspond with new funding opportunities.
There is an online reading group forum for registered users. The group is currently reading The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, edited by Katie Salen (see earlier blog entry on Salen). You can download the entire book or select chapters for free by accessing the Open Access Edition.