Excelsior College to Host Games and the Curriculum: Towards a New Educational Model Gaming Symposium on May 17

Albany, New York (PRWEB) May 13, 2013

On May 17, Excelsior College will host academic and educational technology experts from across the United States on campus for the private, nonprofit distance learning institutions second annual gaming symposium. The event, Games and the Curriculum: Towards a New Educational Model, will begin at 10 am eastern and be livestreamed online for free to those who pre-register.

(Register now)

The diverse panel of experts will explore a number of issues at the two-hour symposium, including, whether games can improve student persistence, retention, and success and how games can transform curriculum and lead to greater student engagement and better learning outcomes.

Symposium participants will include educational technologists Clark Aldrich, managing partner of Clark Aldrich Designs, and Dr. Jon Aleckson, CEO of Web Courseworks Ltd, as well as gaming entrepreneur Dr. Tobi Saulnier, Founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions.

Dr. Ben DeVane of the University of Floridas Digital Worlds Institute, Columbia University Teachers Colleges Dr. Joey Lee and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institutes Lee Sheldon, round out the academic side of the panel.

Excelsior has also established a LinkedIn group, Gaming in Education (Excelsior College) to create an opportunity for registrants to network with panelists and other educational technology experts prior to the event, ask questions and share best practices. The topics discussed within the group will guide the symposium discussion.

For more information, including attending the event in-person on Excelsiors campus in Albany, New York, contact public relations manager Mike Lesczinski at mlesczinski(at)excelsior(dot)edu.


About Symposium Participants

Clark Aldrich, Clark Aldrich Designs

Clark Aldrich is one of the top educational simulation and interface designers in the world. As well as the founder and Managing Partner of Clark Aldrich Designs, Aldrich is a global education visionary, industry analyst, and speaker who serves on boards of universities, of companies, and in the intelligence community (where he has Top Secret clearance). He is also the author of five books and editor of ClarkChart.com, a free database of simulations and serious games. Previously, Aldrich was the founder and former director of research for Gartners e-learning coverage. He earned a BS in Cognitive Science from Brown University (during which he also taught at a leading environmental education foundation), and earlier in his career worked on special projects for Xerox’ executive team. He also served for many years as the Connecticut Governor’s representative on the education task force Joint Committee on Educational Technology and volunteered on several non-profit organizations aimed at child advocacy.

Jon Aleckson, PhD, Web Courseworks

Dr. Jon Aleckson has more than 30 years of leadership experience in the educational media industry. As CEO of Web Courseworks, Ltd., Aleckson has teamed with Clark Aldrich to lead the design and development of award-winning educational games for the World Anti-Doping Agency and the University of Minnesotas Intelligent Transportation Studies Institute. Alecksons team is currently completing the transition from Flash-based development to HTML5, and much of his current speaking in the field of game-based learning relates to the change management issues involved in that transition. Aleckson earned his BA and PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His doctoral research on collaboration among experts and developers was published as MindMeld: Micro-Collaboration Between eLearning Designers and Instructor Experts (Atwood, 2011, with co-author Penny Ralston Berg).

Ben DeVane, PhD, University of Florida

Benjamin DeVane is assistant professor of digital arts and sciences at the University of Florida. He earned his BS from Virginia Tech University and MS and PhD in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin, where he helped found the Games, Learning & Society research initiative. His research mobilizes methods from design research and qualitative analysis to investigate how young people learn about science inquiry, historical thinking and computational literacy with games and digital media. His innovative research on learning within game environments by means of commercial based off-the-shelf history games, place based mobile media games and browser based science games has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and published in peer-reviewed academic journals.

Joey J. Lee, PhD, Columbia University

Dr. Joey J. Lee is an assistant professor of technology and education at Columbia University (Teachers College) where he directs the Real-World Impact Games Lab, part of the TC Games Research Lab. Lee designs, develops and researches innovative approaches to education that address real-world problems, with a specific emphasis on sustainability, and motivation and engagement for learning. Projects include Scholar’s Quest, Science City Heroes, and Greenify: EcoImpact Missions. Lee earned his BS with Honors in Computer Science and PhD in Information Sciences and Technology from Pennsylvania State University.

Tobi Saulnier, PhD, 1st Playable Productions

Dr. Tobi Saulnier is founder and CEO of 1st Playable Productions, overseeing company operations and all aspects of product development. A veteran of both handheld and console games, she sees handheld game development as offering a unique blend of challenging hardware and fast pace, that complements the creative culture of a small independent studio. Prior to founding 1st Playable, Saulnier spent five years overseeing product development at Vicarious Visions, a role in which she was responsible for delivering over 60 game titles ranging from Blues Clues GBC to Doom III Xbox, including launch titles for the GBA, DS and PSP. Before joining the game industry, Saulnier managed R&D in embedded and distributed systems at General Electric Research and Development, where she also led initiatives in new product development, software quality, business strategy, and outsourcing. She earned her BS, MS, and PhD in Electrical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Lee Sheldon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Lee Sheldon is associate professor and co-director of the Games and Simulation Arts program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After a distinguished Hollywood career as a writer/producer, he has written and designed over two dozen video games, MMOs and ARGs. Lee’s book The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game (2011) helps teachers turn their entire classrooms into games. His book Character Development and Storytelling for Games (2nd Ed. 2013) is a standard text at the world’s top game programs. Building on his research into sustained storytelling, Lee is head of the team constructing the Emergent Reality Lab at Rensselaer, a massive 3D mixed-reality space for research, education and intervention; and is working on the sequel to his alternate reality game teaching Mandarin that will be the first client of the lab. Other new projects include writing and designing a game for Indiana University to teach business ethics; and The Lost Function Episode 2, the second in a series of sustained storytelling games he is writing to teach high school math. Pre-production has just begun on These Far Hills, which will teach engineering by following the adventures and conflicts of an extended Irish family emigrating to Mars. Sheldon earned his MFA from California Institute of Arts and BFA from Boston University.

About Excelsior College

Excelsior College http://www.excelsior.edu is a regionally accredited, nonprofit distance learning institution that focuses on removing obstacles to the educational goals of adult learners. Founded i

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