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April 26, 2010 Update
A webinar was held on April 13, 2010 to update GLTI participants on some of the early findings of that data collection (2010 winter survey) and to discuss next steps and opportunities.
A recording of that webinar can be viewed here
Slides of survey findings can be viewed here
GLTI Project Summary:
We are happy to announce a joint research project with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on informal educational gaming called the Games, Learning and Technology Intiative (GLTI). Educational games are transforming the classroom landscape: multiple research studies have shown that educational gaming can dramatically improve student learning outcomes, while simultaneously reducing the gap between the least and most accomplished students.
As part of the GLTI project, MLTI will be supplying up to 12 middle and high schools with a range of top-tier Mac OS X educational gaming software packages at no cost to the schools. The goal of the current project is to determine which games students would play on their own, and how frequently they would play them, while simultaneously allowing teachers access to the software and associated professional development materials.
GLTI Project Details:
The games provided will cover topics in foreign languages, social studies, and biology. Participating schools will be provided with a supplementary software image that can be installed on student and teacher machines. This image will add the educational gaming software to student laptops, together with a launcher for convenient access to the software. After installation, no special maintenance or support for this software will be required.
To determine which games students play and how frequently, the launcher will keep track of game launching and quitting, and upload this information to a server periodically. We have taken great care in the design of this project to make sure that student privacy is fully preserved. Therefore, no information that could be used to identify individual students will be collected by this software. Some of the games provided include online components: students will access these online components via logins specially customized for this project that do not require them to reveal any information that could be used to personally identify them.
MLTI will provide professional development materials online to participating schools at no cost to the schools, so that teachers can explore this software and its potential fully. Teacher participation in this professional development component is optional, and not required for school participation in this phase of the project.
A second phase of the project, scheduled to begin in January 2010, will look at the use of this software in specific classroom settings. Participation in the first phase of the project does not in any way commit schools to participating in the second phase; however, participation in the second phase of the project will require that schools have participated in this first phase.
For any additional questions, please contact Juanita Dickson.
Can a school install these games on non-MLTI computers? Other platforms?
No, the pilot project is for MLTI devices only. The games are specific to Mac OS X. While some games may be available for other platforms, the supporting software that is being designed and created specifically for this pilot is for Mac OS X.
Can a school participate with grade levels outside the 7-12 grade spans?
The games selected for the pilot program were chosen specifically for the 7-12 grade span. At this time, we are limiting participation to these grades. The Department would like to hear from schools that have an interest in grade spans outside of 7-12. Please contact Juanita Dickson if your school is exploring the use of educational gaming in other grade spans.
How much technical support is required to participate? How do we install the software?
The software installation package will need to be installed locally on each MLTI device. It could be pushed via ARD as well. Since new equipment is being built and delivered to schools, it not anticipated that schools will need to "re-image" but they will need to install local software (including this software). The installation process is designed to be as simple as possible; once the software is installed, no additional extra maintenance should be required.
Are teachers required to integrate the games into the curriculum?
No. The goal of the current project is to determine which games students would play on their own, and how frequently they would play them. In phase two, scheduled for January of 2010, there will be an optional opportunity for participating schools to use these software games in a classroom setting. So that teachers can be fully prepared for this second phase, we will be providing relevant professional development materials throughout the second half of 2009.
Will all students in a participating school have the games installed on their laptops or only a select group?
A participating school must agree to install the games on all student devices in the school. Availability of the games to all students is a base condition for the research component of the pilot.
Do students need to enter their real names when prompted for username/password?
Some of the games ask you to generate a username/password. The vendors had modified their account creation practices to limit the amount of data collected in forms, and students can generate accounts using fake names to remain more anonymous if necessary.
The username/password are not intended to track an individual student (who need not and should not enter individually identifiable info when filling the registration form out), but rather provide a way for kids to resume a game where they left off after quitting, and region information for us.
MLTI received far more applicants then we have spaces for participation. As such, we chose schools at random in order to determine participants.
Please note that some of the games that will be provided to participants are available to education at no cost. Click here for a list of the games included in the program.
Acton Middle School
Auburn Middle School
Barnes Elementary School
Charlotte Elementary School
Dexter Middle School
Freeport Middle School
Gray New Glouceter Middle School
Jay High School
Jonesport Beals High School
Lyman Moore Middle School
Mt Ararat High School
Rockland District Middle School
Shapleigh Middle School
Skowhegan Middle School
Winslow Junior High School
Wiscasset High School