Have you heard about the troubles that came along with the latest release of SimCity’s new edition? Well, we might just have found out why the server went down. The many connections of SimCityEDU, a platform proposing educators to create and share learning games using SimCity, may be one of the reasons!
Electronic Arts, the renowned games publisher, has teamed up with GlassLab to create an online resource for educators: SimCityEDU. The platform is an online educational resource for classroom teachers having a strong interest in the use of digital platforms as a learning tool, especially to drive student interest in hard sciences (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The EDU version uses the same code as the commercial game SimCity with the addition of the use of students’ choices during challenges as a method of assessment. The lessons could cover a vast range of subjects: politics, economics, civics, service industries, resource management, and civil engineering.
SimCityEDU is a place for educators to create and share learning tools and assessments that use SimCity™ to encourage students to think critically about the challenges facing modern cities. The studio is still working on developing challenges based on focus-group feedback on student interests. However, one challenge on the environment will be included, having already emerged from focus groups’ positive feedback.
The platform has been developed by GlassLab, a research and development initiative aiming at transforming learning practices through digital games. The games they develop engage students in challenges and provide immediate feedback to help them improve. The studio aims at making SimCity™ more than a game in the classroom. Their objective are to build a tool allowing the next generation to experience and build skills through urban planning, environmental management and socio-economic development.
An interesting initiative giving a classic video game a role far beyond its publisher sole profit objectives. Discover their website here: www.simcityedu.org