Florida Districts Use Online Gaming in Summer Programs

Two Florida school districts are using immersive online gaming in their summer math programs. Hillsborough County Public Schools added Tabula Digita's DimensionM educational video games in its summer enrichment and intervention programs. The School District of Escambia County also put gaming to work this summer for course recovery and intervention.

DimensionM is an immersive gaming environment focused on math for students in grades 3 through 12. It offers a 3D environment in which players carry out missions (lessons) in multi-player tournament-style games. Players face mathematical obstacles, which, when solved, allow them to advance and score points.

At Hillsborough County, the district used DimensionM at four middle schools in an effort to build enthusiasm for math and improve student learning. Students finished the course with a gaming tournament.

"Our students commented that they never knew they could have this much fun at summer school," said Janet Boatman, middle school mathematics supervisor for Hillsborough County schools, in a statement released this week. "As educators, we love to see this kind of enthusiasm for math coupled with improved student learning – it makes us all winners."

Escambia County also rolled out the DimensionM game in four middle schools. Sheila Montgomery, secondary math supervisor for Escambia County, said the program was so successful that students were "begging" to continue the program. The students completed their program in July with team and individual tournaments.

"I was amazed at the retention rates our summer school program enjoyed this year," Montgomery said. "Parents told us their students were begging them to let them continue attending after the session was over. It was so refreshing to see how interested these students were in math and how much they helped one another."

Both districts used the DimensionM Multiplayer 2009 edition, which provides four levels of collaborative play focusing on more than 200 individual math skills. According to information released by Tabula Digita, the curriculum programs "correlate to both National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and state standards" and focus on state test objectives.

DimensionM supports Mac OS X and Windows systems. Further information can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .