Thursday, May 10, 2012

Innovative Educators Using Game-Based Learning and Interactive Technology to Help Students Learn

The NEA Foundation Awards $1,000 to Top 10 Best Ideas

WASHINGTON, DC (May 10, 2012) -- When given a chance to voice their thoughts on how gaming can be used in student learning, educators have an unlimited number of ideas. To spotlight some of the best, the NEA Foundation, in partnership with Microsoft Partners in Learning and the U.S. Department of Education, is recognizing 10 innovators, selected by their peers and a panel of experts, to receive the NEA Foundation’s Challenge to Innovate (C2i) Gaming Award, and $1,000.

“Game-based learning and interactive technology can help build technological and communication competencies valued in the workplace and the 21st century economy.  So we asked educators to share, discuss, and evaluate ideas about how to use these tools to support classroom instruction,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the NEA Foundation.  “We discovered educators who are using technology in fun, creative ways. By initiating this discussion and knowledge sharing, we hope to help educators better equip their students with the skills they’ll need to be successful in college, work, and life.”

The NEA Foundation uses crowd sourcing on the Department of Education’s innovation portal as a way to ensure that educators have a voice in determining new instructional strategies. Continuing a multi-year partnership, the Foundation partnered with Microsoft to solicit and share ideas on how gaming could be integrated into the curriculum to meet students where they are highly engaged while improving their learning.

The 10 winners were selected from a pool of more than 150 ideas from 38 states and five countries by their peers and a panel of educational experts. They are:

  • Adeline M. Bee, Attleboro High School, Attleboro, MA
    Idea Name: Crime Scene Reporter;
  • John V. Binzak, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
    Idea: Friends of a Feather;
  • Kimberly Brown, Signal Mountain High School, Chattanooga, TN
    Idea: Curriculum APPlications;
  • Melanie Dolifka, Falcon Elementary School of Technology, Peyton, CO
    Idea: Challenge the World;
  • Serdar Aslan, Osman Balci, Kirby Deater-Deckard, Michael A. Evans, and Anderson Norton, Virginia Tech; Mido Chang, Florida International University
    Idea: The Candy Factory Game;
  • Andrew Miller, ASCD/Buck Institute for Education, Tacoma, WA
    Idea: Creating Citizens with Game Based Learning and Authentic Assessment;
  • Soumya D. Mohanty, University of Texas—Brownsville, Brownsville, TX
    Idea: STEM learning with video games;
  • Brendan Noon, Williamson High School, Williamson, NY
    Idea: Game-Based Learning with Online ‘Quiz Shows’;
  • Gerol C. Petruzella, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams, MA
    Idea: Dungeons and Discourse;
  • Kathryn Thomas, Windber Area Middle School, Windber, PA
    Idea: Learn to Earn: Game Based Learning;

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About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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