In recent years Parents & Educators have both worried about the amount of screen time our kids enjoy. The basic fact is that technology has become part of their daily lives and it is not going away. Despite the fear of excessive gaming the fact remains that technology can also be a big help in educating our kids when used in the right way. With this in mind, the U.S. Department of Education has created several initiatives to explore the potential of learning games and to see how effective they can be in educating kids in the modern world.

Using Learning Games for Assessment

Ed Games Week is one of the  initiatives that has been spearheaded by the Department. The 2015 Ed Games took place on December 9, 2015. The event included 45 game developers and 6 government agencies including the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. One of the key focuses of the 2015 summit was the use of learning games as an assessment tool. Game-based assessment models are the ideal way to test student mastery of content because it can provide real time progress reports to help teachers assess gaps in learning and address them more quickly.

In addition to the use of learning games as assessment tool stakeholders in educational technology met to discuss ways to further collaborate.  Later they were able to demonstrate their games to more than 200 people who got to play the games and meet the more than 45 developers. You can read the full article about Ed Week on the U.S. Department of Education’s website here. It goes into more detail and gives examples of the games demoed like Kiko’s Thinking Time – a learning game that aims to increase executive functioning and reasoning skills.

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