GameDesk, a nonprofit organization that develops game-based learning initiatives, has now begun running their own classroom. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GameDesk has started a school in Los Angeles that focuses on gamification of the classroom – education driven and delivered through games and digital simulations. ‘Playmaker’ opened its doors on Sept. 6 to 38 enrolled sixth graders, and will be working in partnership with New Roads independent schools in northern California.
The students at Playmaker will be working with low- and high-tech games as well as creating physical models and participating in group activities. In a unit on kinetic and potential energy, for example, students will be watching videos, playing games, creating digital roller-coasters, and creating real-life models. Other activities they will experience include flight simulation and historical “time travel.”