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NOTE: This presentation is 30 minutes total, it is 15 minutes shorter than most presentations.
At its best, an education can help us to create a broad and deep mental model of the world that is personally meaningful, fulfilling, and self-determined. Unfortunately, schools by and large continue to function within 19th century methods of repetition, memorization, lecture and testing which do not adequately build the skills necessary for students to formulate these mental models. Getting students to think conceptually around the BIG IDEAS is integral to learning, long term engagement, and is crucial within students’ expressive lives where they must use knowledge insightfully. Joe Wise is the Associate Director of New School Models and Curriculum at GameDesk, a Los Angeles based non-profit, to try to fix the disconnect (Resnick, 2002) between media and maker cultures, cutting edge research into games, 21st century learning, and new school models of instruction. In this talk, Wise will showcase GameDesk’s model for play and assessment-based conceptual learning supported by its AT&T-funded national education and research network. This network includes a community-based learning center, PlayMaker School in Los Angeles, and a web-based portal for nationwide distribution of the very best in 21st century education. Attendees will also get a view into everything happening and being produced in these spaces from GameDesk’s games and technologies, to unique processes within its DreamLab team for creative “Playmaking” curriculum development, and demos of GameDesk’s PlayMaker educational modules.