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Executive Summary Games 4 Brains is a fresh new curriculum for bright young minds which comes from the collaboration of Game Stop and their educational games along with participating educators. The idea stemmed from President Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign and STEM initiative. Game Stop recognizes the need to help the keiki of Hawaii and improve education in the public school systems. By offering new and innovative curriculums that allow faculty and students to meet the educational standards, not only will Hawaii get back on track in these tough economic times, but will also come to the forefront of setting educational standards by using the campaign proposed by Game Stop: GAMES 4 BRAINS. While the educational gaming industry is small, Game Stop hopes to become the innovator of bringing educational games into the classroom setting. Because of the poor state of public education in Hawaii, we cannot afford to pass up an opportunity with so many potential benefits to our keiki and Hawaii as a state.


Background Introduction to the Beginnings of the G4B Campaign The Indie Game Challenge (IGC) is an annual gaming competition founded by three major gaming companies, one of which is Game Stop. The purpose of the competition is to give gaming developers a platform to show their gaming creations. At the end of 2009 President Obama announced the creation of his educational campaign, “Educate to Innovate.” The campaign’s purpose is to generate an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The campaign is supported not only by the Federal Government, but also by the professional gaming industry. The Reasons Fresh off the Indie Game Challenge, Game Stop has seen the benefits and potential of the educational gaming industry. President Obama in his introduction of “Educate to Innovate” and STEM presented a challenge to the video gaming industry to make educational video games. This is a goal long since coming for the gaming industry. The current market of educational video games is very small. Game Stop is looking to break the mold and create an educational gaming curriculum that will help schools meet educational standards. Though President Obama’s campaign focuses on kids in high school nationwide, Game Stop has decided to start small for the sake of their campaign and focus on elementary school kids at the third grade level (kids who are 8-10 years old). With the tragic state of public education in Hawaii and the President’s “Educate to Innovate” program as a means to raise


educational standards, Game Stop is proposing that Hawaii be an example of the potential success of an educational game based curriculum. In order to demonstrate the potential of such a curriculum, Game Stop would like to invite a private school (MPI) in Hawaii to be the stepping-stone for educational gaming. Regardless of a school’s public or private status, all schools must meet the Nation’s and the State’s educational standards. Because Game Stop needs to make an example to show the potential success for an educational gaming curriculum it has been decided that a private school in Hawaii would make for the best candidate for such a program. Mid Pacific Institute (MPI) is one of Hawaii’s top private college preparatory schools. In addition to core curriculum, Mid-Pac boasts a state of the art Math/Science/Technology Complex and Technology Plaza, along with a program for the arts and athletics. MPI believes in giving young people the academic challenge and individual attention needed to reach beyond themselves and grow. MPI prides itself on being at the forefront of education, which would provide a constructive platform in getting educational video games to elementary schools. Being a private school is an advantage to Game Stop's campaign because of the requirements for implementing a curriculum. Private schools require the teacher to create the curriculum, and the principle to approve it. Public Schools in Hawaii are harder to reach because of Government rules and regulations. While a public school would be a great opportunity with potentially more recognition, the financing and access is not realistic for this campaign. Hence a private school such as MPI which has the individual


ability to implement such a curriculum is deemed more appropriate. The Proposed Campaign Our campaign is for Game Stop to get Mid Pacific Institute to adopt an educational gaming curriculum specifically designed for teaching math in the third grade. The educational game console used will be Nintendo DS, and the actual game will be Brain Age. Brain Age is a mathematical game that is designed to be played a little bit at a time. The math problems range from being as simple as 2+2 up to simple division. The idea is to use two third grade sections at MPI. Each section has approximately 25 students. One section will learn from a math curriculum which uses educational gaming (Brain Age for Nintendo DS) while the other section will learn in a traditional text book mode. The requirements for the math class will be the same in terms of tests and timeline. The main difference is that one section of students will have a text book (or math packet with the same standard of math equations as the game Brain Age) while the other class will have a Nintendo DS. At the end of the school year, each class will be examined in terms of learning outcomes and student success (test grades and course grade). The section using the Nintendo DS systems would implement the use of the educational game as a way to let students learn independently at their own pace during class, and as a mode for completing homework assignments. Because of the way Brain Age works, there is a way to track progress and successful completion the way a student is required to turn in homework in a class. Of course it would be required that there be a certain level reached by a certain time. The same quizzes and tests will be administered


to both third grade sections. This will help compare the two class sections to each other.

SWOT ANALYSIS


Strengths: -

Educational video game quality will improve

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There will be an increase in the variety of educational video games offered

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Good PR for GameStop.

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Children will become more motivated to learn due to educational gaming

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Could become a national program if Hawaii students and faculty respond positively to the program

Weaknesses: -

Brain Age does not show significant results in the students’ improvement in math

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Children can lose or break the gaming console, costly

Opportunities: -

Expand the educational video gaming market

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Chance to capitalize on the STEM initiative

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Engage Students to want to learn

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New Wave, bring Hawaii to the forefront

Threats: -

Parents do not approve of video games in the classroom


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School does not approve of video games in the classroom

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Brain Age will not benefit the children

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Hawaii will fall further behind Profiles of Potential Publics

Mid Pacific Institute: Demographics and psychographics Mid Pacific Institute is one of Hawaii’s top private college preparatory schools. Established more than 140 years ago Mid-Pac has grown from a being a small school serving the children of missionaries, to a well established educational community ranging from Preschool to the 12th grade. Enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year is 1,509 students with a faculty of 146. In addition to core curriculum, Mid-Pac boasts a state of the art Math/Science/Technology Complex and Technology Plaza, along with a program for the arts and athletics. Mid-Pac believes in giving young people the academic challenge and individual attention needed to reach beyond themselves and grow. Mid-Pac prides itself on being at the forefront of education, which would provide a constructive platform in getting educational video games to elementary schools. Current Relationship Mid Pacific Institute maintains a very positive relationship with the community. Mid-Pac contributes to Hawaii by striving to develop its children into bright, well


rounded citizens. Mid-Pac also gives back through events and charity organizations. Influentials Board of Trustees, Parents, Alumni, Faculty, Students, Community Self interest: To nurture and challenge students to develop intellectual, emotional, artistic, and physical strengths, to become compassionate and responsible lifelong learners and global citizens. To maintain high enrollment and success for the continuation of the school. MPI Parents : Demographics and Psychographics Mid Pacific Parents vary in age and background, while most fall under uppermiddle class all have a desire to provide their children with a quality education. Mid-Pac parents are very involved with their child’s education. The PCA (Parent, Community, Association) is open to all and meets regularly to discuss events and issues about the school. The middle school and elementary school each have their own parent committees (middle school and elementary ‘ohana) which hold meetings at least once a month to plan events and fundraising. For each committee a newsletter is sent out to every parent accordingly to grade. Current Relationship Mid Pacific Parents have a good relationship with the community as they are doing their part to ensure their children contribute positively to society.


Influentials Peers (other parents), their employers, Trends/statistics/news content and media. Self Interest Making sure their kids and family are happy, happy and doing well in school. Making decisions that reflect positively upon the family. MPI Faculty: Each Mid Pacific faculty member must at least have received a Bachelors Associate degree in their field of teaching. More than half have also received masters. The male and female faculty consists of various ages and backgrounds. Teachers are actively involved in local and professional organizations for early childhood, language arts, and mathematics. Several teachers have been conference/workshop presenters at local and national meetings; others have developed educational programs that are implemented in several elementary schools throughout Hawai'i. Mid-Pac’s faculty care deeply about the education of their students and strive to push all students to their full potential of creativity and intelligence.

Mid-Pac faculty supports a progressive

curriculum and innovative technology, which would lend itself as positive support in implementing educational games into their classrooms. Current Relationship The Mid Pacific faculty holds a very good relationship with the community as educational leaders to society’s future.


Influentials Peers (fellow teachers), Principal, Parents, Students, Media/trends and statistics. Self Interest: Doing a good job with their teaching, being successful in helping students achieve their full potential. Pleasing parents, school heads, and the community by molding students into responsible, intelligent young adults. MPI Students: Demographics and Psychographics Mid Pacific Institute and a co-ed school ranging in ages from 3 years old to 18 years old. They come from a variety of different backgrounds but mostly a Christian, middle-upper middle class. Mid-Pac students are very bright and enthusiastic often with various other interests besides school such as sports, hobbies in the arts and performance art. Current Relationship Students currently have a positive relationship with GameStop. Since majority come from economically comfortable backgrounds, the issue of certain students not being able to afford technological entertainment is nominal. Majority of students do own some type of video consul and enjoy the various games GameStop sells. Influentials Parents, Peers, Media and trends (mostly TV and movies), celebrities. Self interest To be happy and have fun, to be successful in what interest them and not have to


do anything else.


Core Opportunity By participating in the campaign Games 4 Brains, the state of Hawaii has the opportunity to become the leader in educational gaming in the classroom. Goal Implement gaming education based curriculum at MPI as a means to meet and potentially raise educational standards and bring Hawaii to the forefront. Objective -

Get games (Nintendo DS and Brain Age) to MPI 25 students by FALL 2010

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Observe increased learning abilities, overall test scores will be raised 10% by year end (MAY 2011)

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Sales for educational games from Game Stop will increase by 5% by year’s end (calculate sales for educational games prior to program) and calculate 1 year from date to measure increase


Key Public 1/2 MPI Faculty: Primary message: Games 4 Brains! A fresh new curriculum for bright young minds. Help your students gain a brand new perspective on how fun learning can be through educational video games! Secondary messages: -

User-friendly technology when integrated effectively into a learning environment helps engage students in the “active� process of learning

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Games expose players to deeply engaging, visually dynamic, rapidly paced, and highly gratifying pictorial experiences that make almost any sort of conventional schoolwork (especially when mediated by a lecture or text) seem boring by comparison

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Video games create heightened emotional reactions because they mimic sensory experience which creates a memorable learning experience


Strategy: -

Convince MPI faculty that educational gaming is the new wave in education

Tactics: -

Present proposal to faculty of MPI (2hr seminar with PowerPoint and hands on activities)

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Present President Obama’s STEM initiative as support through informational

Strategy: -

Raise faculty awareness of educational gaming potential

Tactics: -

Let them play the game and see the uses and gratifications

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Present useful data that helps support campaign


Key Public 2/2 MPI Parents: Primary message: -Do you have curious keiki? Games 4 Brains! Your child can be at the forefront of the learning curve through the world of educational video games! Secondary messages: -Courses are aimed to advance student achievement in math by integrating collaborative/competitive simulation games in the classroom curriculum -Students will invariably gain greater knowledge of the world of math through the process of solving the proposed problem(s) -Some might argue that games offer more fun than substance. One goal of this project is to incorporate fun educational video games in the classroom that are highly interactive and have a strong foundation of mathematical content in the design. Strategies: -

Get parents motivated to be supportive of innovative education through


educational gaming Tactics: -

Have parents play the game

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Present supporting data for campaign

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Invite them to a seminar


Conclusion With the data from Mid-Pac, a future campaign will be to work with the DOE to spread the implementation of this project to the public school sector. Success of this project will lead to more game developers making educational video games. These games will have the potential to teach students, what Bloom's Taxonomy refers to as "high cognitive domain skills." This can expand the market of educational video games for GameStop to sell, not just to schools, but to the everyday consumer. Thus, effectively making the pool of quality educational video games available AND accessible.


Games 4 Brains