GameDesk Studios is the creative brain stem responsible for developing the interactive games, apps, and teaching tools that are found within the Educade portal and used to teach at PlayMaker School, local Los Angeles schools, and beyond. The products that evolve from this team are of commercial quality and are well respected for their academic viability in the classroom. Games and apps tie to standards-based curriculum and curricular wrap arounds to increase student engagement and promote game-based learning within the traditional school environment. The GameDesk Studios team is continually ideating and developing new products to make serious learning fun.
- Playful and academically rigorous curricula
Funded by: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
GameDesk develops and offers a variety of leading edge curriculum packages that engage students in playful learning experiences and help to build the body of skills necessary for 21st century success. Each Curriculum PlayBook module is aligned to Common Core and Next Generation standards using highly engaging contexts so that students are able to connect with content in more meaningful ways. Major lenses that are a part of all GameDesk curricula include learning through play, learning through making, and learning through discovery. To promote creativity, persistence, and curiosity in students, GameDesk takes an integrated approach with each activity—challenging students to tackle problems from many perspectives. Students participate in intelligent and collaborative discussions that focus on a self-assessment model of understanding to help lead them to answers. Curriculum PlayBooks include high tech, low tech, and no tech options and can be facilitated by GameDesk Bootcamps for professional development upon request.
- An emotional learning game
Funded by: MAC Foundation
Dojo is an immersive biofeedback game designed to help players recognize changes in their physiological and emotional condition and learn to regulate different emotions in a variety of scenarios over time. The game is geared towards young people who may be inclined to impulsively respond to stressful situations and who struggle to regulate their emotions. The game has historically served urban high school students, youth within or coming out of the juvenile justice system, and students with emotional management and anger management needs. The goal of Dojo is for players to learn to control their physiological reactions. Game interactions and challenges provide players practice and support for regulating their emotional reactions. By controlling these reactions, players experience success in the game, and become better prepared for success in future real-life challenges.
- An open-world aerodynamics learning game
Funded by: National Academy of Sciences/Iridescent/Office of Naval Research
Full-Game Planned for Early Summer 2014 Release
Current Download is a Prototype Simulation
Players can control a soaring albatross and learn how various aerodynamic principles are applied to achieve flight in Aero, a forces and motion learning game for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Spread your wings and soar over the surface of the sparkling blue sea as you master the concept of flight! Players have full control over the amount of flapping and range of wing rotation while completing a series of fun, skill-based challenges. Navigate over the ocean waves and perform specific maneuvers, while applying an understanding of lift, drag, trust, wind, and the aerodynamic forces of the atmosphere. Explore a vast open world and uncover cool, hidden gems such as delicious fish meals and gear for your fine feathered friend. Accumulate flight rewards and win new songs for the albatross to sing as you learn and demonstrate each concept!
- Teaching math through game development
Funded by: Motorola Solutions Foundation
After-school and in-class curricular modules that utilize game design and game development to teach critical mathematical content and to help students form identities as engineers.
The project serves both middle schools and high schools and is GameDesk’s most successful remedial math program. It also has a long history of helping at-risk students attending large urban schools struggling to reach proficient levels in mathematics and remains GameDesk’s longest standing refunded project. Students engage in a carefully structured series of game-making activities that require them to grapple with and apply mathematics standards in game design, game logic, and game programming activities.
The curriculum is designed to (1) improve students’ mathematics proficiency; (2) increase students’ motivation in math; and (3) positively impact students’ STEM identities.
This video show both the development of modules, the remedial implementation at Crenshaw High School, the impact on students, and 3rd party evaluation conducted by the University of Southern California.
- Embodied learning with geoscience
Funded by: National Academy of Sciences, National Science Foundation
Targeting California state standards for earth science and geoscience, this interactive driven pair of games utilize Leap Motion technology to teach players about Pangean and Geomoto. Players will challenge their creative problem solving skills through sophisticated game play and have their learning reinforced through this multi-sensory teaching tool. This module is designed to bring misconceptions about traditionally challenging geoscience concepts to the surface, and includes opportunities for students to correct their understanding through experience and interaction.
- Exploring thermal energy inside a game
Funded by: Race to the Top Award
The Thermbot modules include both games and curriculum activities designed to give learners a deep conceptual understanding of the physics of thermal energy at the molecular level, including conduction, convection, and radiation. The modules are designed to reinforce rigorous content standards around thermal energy and heat transfer. Educators consistently cite these topics as being among the most difficult for students to grasp. By linking these concepts to rich and varied visualizations and interactions, the GameDesk design methodology brings students’ common misconceptions to the surface and supports students in developing accurate and transferable knowledge.