PRESS RELEASE

GlassLab Partners with Developers to Bring High-impact Games into the Classroom





GlassLab will offer a suite of technology services for learning game developers. Partners will use these services to enhance their games so that teachers can easily see where students need improvement and quickly personalize learning for each student.

Beta partners include: BrainQuake, GameDesk, Schell Games, Ululabs, iCivics, and The Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University.


REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. [November 20, 2014] – GlassLab, the learning game non-profit, today announced that it will partner with six leading game developers to help them bring high-impact games into the classroom. BrainQuake, GameDesk, Schell Games, Ululab, iCivics, and The Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University will be among the first developers to utilize GlassLab Services, a suite of backend services designed to solve the most significant barriers in bringing more high-impact learning games to market. They were chosen from more than 100 games submitted for consideration over the past year. When their work is complete, these services will be opened up to more developers, with the goal of populating classrooms everywhere with high-impact games that are easy for teachers to use and tied closely to teaching the critical skills that kids need to succeed in the 21st century.

Developers have been able to create incredibly engaging games, but turning them into high-impact learning tools has been difficult because of the significant time and exorbitant cost that game designers incur to build the ongoing real-time assessment needed to make them truly powerful in the classroom. In addition, developers have found it difficult to find a clear pathway to teachers because of a confusing and costly institutional sales cycle and an inability for developers to get traction in crowded distribution channels.

Created by GlassLab and based upon key learnings from its own game development process, GlassLab Services is a full suite of services that will make it easier for developers to build ongoing assessment into their games that make learning transparent and create actionable next steps. GlassLab Services will also include the creation of distribution channels built on relationships with significant partners that have inroads into schools.

Key features of GlassLab Services include:

– Powerful learning analytics engine that provides developers a way to capture, store, and align data to the critical skills that kids need to succeed in the 21st century
– Dashboards designed to turn data from games into actionable classroom instruction
– Standards aligned reports based on game play data
– Instructional resources aligned to the game
– Tools to analyze game impact to help designers continuously improve learning outcomes
– Publishing platform for US K-12 market

“When GlassLab developed learning games, we spent about a third of our development investment creating the game itself – while nearly two-thirds was spent developing a way to collect and assess data in a way that made the games valuable to teachers and effective learning tools. It is a true barrier to getting more effective games into the hands of teachers and parents,” GlassLab Executive Director Jessica Lindl said. “GlassLab Services is designed to share the platform that GlassLab created with developers, cutting out that time and cost.”

The GlassLab beta partners include:

iCivics: “Argument Wars” — Argument Wars lets players argue landmark Supreme Court cases. By finding and using the strongest support, students recreate historic legal cases while evaluating arguments and distinguishing between valid and invalid reasoning.
BrainQuake: “Wuzzit Trouble” — Help the lovable Wuzzits escape from their traps! Wuzzit Trouble is a groundbreaking, highly engaging puzzle game that helps build a readiness to learn by engaging children in a subject that some may find threatening. Wuzzit Trouble reveals hidden math skills by radically changing how children demonstrate their learnings.
The Learning Games Lab at New Mexico State University: “Game Over Gopher” — Hungry gophers are after the prized carrot! Feed the gophers and defend the carrot by placing units on a coordinate grid. Game Over Gopher immerses players in reading coordinate pairs and plotting numbers, differentiating negative coordinates from positive coordinates, and identifying the four quadrants.
Schell Games: “Water Bears” — Water Bears is a 3D puzzle game for the iPad, designed primarily for middle school students. Players build structures out of pipes to redirect water flow in order to help the adorable Water Bear. This game, developed by the transformational games experts at Schell Games, explores the basics of systems thinking and color theory.
Ululab: “Slice Fractions” — Slice through ice and lava to clear a mammoth’s path in this award-winning problem solving game. Players discover essential concepts to intuitively understand fractions — the bottleneck of early math education.
GameDesk: “WarpDriver” – In the future, robot golfers compete in the ultimate space golf tournament. Tee off against your friends on alien worlds with changing atmosphere and fluctuating gravity. Master the laws of physics as you upgrade your robotic brain. Discover conservation of energy, aerodynamics of ball flight, gravity, lift, and drag in order to win the Cosmic Open.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s nonprofit iCivics was the first beta partner to begin its work with GlassLab and has been applying GlassLab Services to its wildly popular Argument Wars, a game designed to teach middle schoolers argumentation based on Supreme Court cases.

“Creating connections between in-game data and learning outcomes will enhance the value of instructional games for educators,” said Louise Dube, Executive Director of iCivics. “We are still evolving the best ways to make that happen. GlassLab Services is paving the way- and allowing other companies, both aspiring and established, to do the same.”

For more information about GlassLab Services, please visit about.glasslabgames.org. To speak with Jessica Lindl or any of GlassLab’s beta partners, please contact Jacob Berkman at jacob.berkman@gmail.com or Izzy Forman at izzy@izzyforman.com.

About GlassLab
GlassLab brings together leaders in commercial games and experts in learning and assessment to develop next generation digital games and interactive experiences that make learning visible. Our products and services are designed to deliver proven learning impact and reach youth in schools, informal learning environments, and at home.

The Lab represents a groundbreaking collaboration between Educational Testing Service, Electronic Arts, the Entertainment Software Association,Institute of Play, Pearson’s Center for Digital Data, Analytics & Adaptive Learning, Zynga.org and others.

GlassLab is made possible through the generous support of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


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