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Fixing the education digital disconnect one video game at a time
Date:5/22/2008

elp students and workers learn globally competitive skills in demand by employers.

Computer games hold special interest to a generation who has grown up with them and show promise as educational tools. Here at FAS, were using games to better understand which features can be used to improve learning and to develop guidelines based on that research, said Henry Kelly, FAS President.

FAS will use Immune Attack with teachers and students across the U.S. to research how to improve the design of games for learning and how they may be used to encourage students to consider careers in bioscience, medicine and other health care professions.

Games increase motivation, but it is not entirely clear why. For example, games typically include competition - either against a human opponent or a computer-generated one. The research challenge is to determine how these features contribute to learning, said Kelly.

FAS's interest in games emerged from research that shows advanced learning technologies, such as video games and computer simulations, can help address one of the nation's most pressing needs -- strengthening education and preparing workers for 21st century jobs.

Immune Attack builds on insights from FAS's Learning Science and Technology Research and Development Roadmap, the FAS report "Harnessing the Power of Video Games for Learning", and the Digital Opportunity Investment Trust (DO IT) -- a proposal to transform learning and training for the 21st century. These recommendations have been incorporated into the House version of the Higher Education authorization bill which FAS hopes will be passed by Congress.

Immune Attack was created by FAS in collaboration with teams of game developers, instructional designers, immunologists, teachers, and learning scientists including Brown University, the University of Southern California, and Escape Hatch Entertainment.

To celebrate the premier of Immune Attack, a launch pa
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Contact: Monica Amarelo
mamarelo@fas.org
202-454-4680
Federation of American Scientists
Source:Eurekalert

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