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Learning Games Network, FableVision Unveil Free Game Design Kit

Learning Games Network (LGN) and FableVision have partnered to create the Game Design Tool Kit (GDTK), a free online resource designed to help teachers use game design more extensively in their curriculum. The companies will also provide professional development workshops and gaming sessions to help teachers learn how to use the tools.

Offered as a series of resources, the GDTK is available for download by teachers at no cost as a comprehensive handbook.

Features of the GDTK include:

  • A lesson plan guide;
  • Research and design prompts;
  • Step-by-step instructions; and
  • Discussion guides.

Implementation of the GDTK can be condensed into as brief of a span of time as a few days or can be spread out over a quarter or a semester.

The GDTK is designed to help educators teach about the four game design phases as they research  concepts (explore), brainstorm and strategize (discover), give life to a prototype (create), and test and give concept presentations (share).

In addition to existing offerings, more resources will be added in the near future, such as lesson plans, photos, templates, video clips, and a glossary, according to information released by the company.

"The GDTK immerses teachers and students in collaborative, challenge-based learning projects throughout the school year, encouraging both to explore new 'roles' that facilitate student-driven enquiry and design as teachers facilitate new concept development," said Jennifer Groff, LGN's vice president of learning and program development. "Teachers' growth in this new pedagogy is supported through a robust syllabus of learning experiences and associated professional development activities that emerge from LGN's work with teachers, designers, and producers in our growing network of game-based learning professionals."

The GDTK is intended to increase teacher and student familiarity with some of the more common game design tools including Gamestar Mechanic, GameSalad, Kodu, and Scratch, among others.

In addition to the GDTK, expanded professional development (PD) will be available from LGN to provide additional support with both two- to three-day game jams and four-hour inservice training sessions for teachers at the middle and high school levels.

Initial funding was received by LGN via the HP Catalyst Program. To develop the GDTK and professional development offerings, LGN partnered with FableVision, the MIT Education Arcade, and the Kentucky State Department of Education's Student Technology Leadership Program.

LGN is a non-profit body that grew out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Games+Learning+Society Program and the MIT Education Arcade. Boston-based FableVision specializes in digital media production.

More information on the GDTK is available at learninggamesnetwork.org.

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