Winter Game Design Camp…for teachers?!

hero_banner-01I’m really excited about this one…game design camp for teachers, woohoo!! As a lot of states and school districts begin to get involved in coding initiatives (CodeMontana, Hour of Code, etc. etc.), we help coders and builders engage in a very specific type of development — game design!

Did you know 99% of US teens play video games, and over 66% of adults have played a game on their mobile phone in the last week?  Gaming is pervasive and ubiquitous in our society.  As we continue to explore the uses of gamification for learning, we can’t think of anything better than to help teachers and students become designers of their own games, educational or otherwise!

As some of you know, last summer we launched a fully online pilot of Teen GameLab, our game design camp, with appx. 30 teens around the US, and one from S. Africa.  I’m not sure if they had more fun or we did. Seriously, those teens were amazing, what a fantastic and engaging learning experience for all of us.  While advertising that camp, we heard from a lot of teachers who wanted to participate, as well.

So, we’re bringing back our game design curriculum in January and February, and making it available in 3D GameLab Teacher Camps.  In January, we’ll offer three weeks of questing in camps on game design in Minecraft (adventure maps, anyone?), and Sploder.  Lucas Gillispie, proud leader of the Minecraft in Schools project will be taking the lead on the Minecraft camp, and Chris Haskell, co-creator of 3D GameLab, will be covering game design in Sploder.  In February, Mark Suter will be teaching GameMaker Studio, and we’ll be adding a new camp in Unity (wow!) taught by Melissa Wrenchy.

Hope you can join us and share in the amazing games that will be built, played, reviewed, and shared!

What Students Think about 3D GameLab

A couple of screenshots shared with me recently by teachers in 3D GameLab. Thanks for taking the time to pass along the awesome news.  I love everyone’s enthusiasm. 🙂

8th grader
Survey of Mr. Denham’s class

Sometimes the best news  comes directly from the students themselves.  We recently completed Teen GameLab, our three week online game design camp.  I asked one of the campers what he liked best about camp, and what suggestions he had for the future.  I got a huge smile on my face when he said, “Oh, I absolutely loved everything about Teen GameLab, so I don’t have any suggestions.  The one bad thing is that we don’t get to hang out together anymore.”  I’ll have to figure out a way to change that!