Not all the games are being played on the diamond and the ones off the field have some pretty big sponsors themselves!!
At GameDesk the tools of the trade do not include a Louisville Slugger or Under Armour! GameDesk‘s mission is to “develop a “next generation” model of education, revolutionizing the way we teach and learn.” They position themselves as “a research, game development, and outreach organization that has evolved out of seven years of research at the University of Southern California.” Over the last seven years they have created, tested and validated digital learning software and curriculum for schools all over the United States.
The focus of GameDesk as they so eloquently say is: “to help close the achievement gap and to engage students, particularly those that are low-proficient, in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) learning. GameDesk embeds STEM content into game-centered projects with a strong focus on fostering students’ sense of purpose, ownership, and personal relevance.”
The GameDesk Team is made up of a wide variety of people including “ teachers, scholars, game-designers, school administrators, writers, engineers, artists, and career specialists who work to develop and implement GameDesk methodology and materials. The organization seeks to grow and nurture a pipeline of individuals who understand cyber, interactive, mobile, and game-based learning.”
As a 501(3) C non-profit, GameDesk is reliant on the generosity of donors and grants to run their research. To date their supporters have included
- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- The Motorola Foundation
- Race to the Top Award
- Samsung Corporation
- National Academy of Sciences
- Science and Entertainment Exchange
- The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
- Squid and Squash Foundation
- World Cyber Games
- Los Angeles County Office of Education
- MAC Fund
- University of Southern California
As we see the trend in gaming filter into corporate training, the research at GameDesk validates what we already know and suspect – people learn and retain more when it is fun and engaging. Furthermore, as gaming becomes more prevalent in the classroom, our up and coming workforce will be experts in online learning and gaming. Up until recently, GameDesk has only been able to serve schools in the greater Los Angeles market. AT&T has put their money where their mouth is. A long time promoter of corporate training for their organization, AT&T has made a $3.8 million contribution, one of AT&T’s largest single contributions to date under AT&T Aspire. This donation will give GameDesk’s its first opportunity to launch a nationwide program. Phase one will be the development of materials with phase 2 the opening of a nationwide – free access portal for educators and parents alike. Clearly AT&T sees the handwriting on the wall. Is your company’s training department in the game or are they out of the park?
Author: Karen Hall