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AT&T Aspire Contribution Sends GameDesk onto National Stage

AT&T, as part of its AT&T Aspire program, is contributing $3.8 million to help Los Angeles-based nonprofit research and technology institute GameDesk take its model of embedding academic materials and assessments into interactive digital games and simulations to a national audience.

The new initiative is designed to create a living, learning laboratory and provide free access to an online portal.

The laboratory, designed as a model for the future of education, will include a "classroom of the future" learning environment to test and evaluate GameDesk's products. Additionally, new digital tools and technologies are expected to be developed and resources developed by outside companies will be "evaluated and aligned with academic standards," GameDesk said. The free portal will open the way to a large intuitive library of digital learning material as well as other support for teaching and classroom integration.

AT&T Aspire recently announced a $250 million expansion to contribute to companies that use technology to connect with students in new and effective ways, such as with interactive games, Web-based resources, and social media.

Without the contribution, GameDesk could serve only the Los Angeles market, Lucien Vattel, the company's founder and executive director, said in a news release.

"Our work encompasses collaborative efforts from leaders in academia, education, and the entertainment industry, and as a result we're able to build and curate a compelling library of 21st Century interactive content," Vattel said. "We see this as being a clearing house for all the best work in this space and we want the entire education community to contribute content to the site, from the professional developer to the educator in Kansas, to the creative and tenacious parents and kids at home."

"We hear from students that learning is 'too hard, too boring' and there is a lack of meaning and relevance," Vattel said. "Thanks to this collaboration with AT&T, we're able to work together towards changing that."

About the Author

Jim Barthold is a freelance technology reporter. He can be reached at jimbarthold@comcast.net.

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