Game Night at BrainPOP

Game nights have been bringing people together for generations, and recently BrainPOP collaborated with our friends from YouPD to host our very own!  The evening included game play, of course, and presentations from NewVisions, the MIT Education Arcade and Global Kids, to more than 50 teachers, administrators, non-profits employees. First,  Scot Osterweil, Creative Director at the MIT Education Arcade, shared how play is at the root of human nature and learning, yet it’s not honored within the US educational system.  He continued by describing how play is at the root of many well designed educational games including his own Lure of the Labyrinth which we played collaboratively with the entire group! Grand Theft Calculus it was not :)

Next Barry Joseph, Online Leadership Director at Global Kids,  along with two youth leaders, Ednica and Kendell,  presented on the process of designing games in their after school class, specifically “Playing for Peace” with Gamestar Mechanic.   They are currently challenging young game designers to create games with social impact about the causes and effects of war around the world.  Get your students involved by clicking the link above.

Next Hsing Wei from NewVisions showed off Hackasaurus from Mozilla, demonstrating how the thoughtful “x-ray goggles” tool allows students to see and remix code from various websites to make instant realtime mashups.  She illustrated the ease of mixing code from the google logo and a cat, and the results were hilarious. YouPD has also created a challenge to create a lesson for your students using these tools.  Click the link to share your ideas, or read about ideas from other educators. Mashups have never been so educational!

Finally we broke into small groups to play on our xbox 360 kinect, to survey the games on GameUp, and to enjoy the company of educators who are excited about the possibilities of using games in the classroom.  If you’re in NYC and would like more information about future NewVisions and YouPD Blender events, check out their website, and tell ‘em BrainPOP sent ya!