EDC’s Center for Children and Technology's new, free website that helps teachers use games to enhance students' science learning—"Possible Worlds"—has been named a "Site of the Week" by ESchool News. Possible Worlds offers digital games and a rich array of instructional resources targeted to help middle school science teachers address students' persistent misconceptions. The games and related resources focus on four particularly challenging topics for students: photosynthesis ("The Ruby Realm"), heredity ("RoboRiot"), electricity ("Monster Music"), and heat transfer ("Galactic Gloop Zoo"). Able to be accessed without registering, the new website also features an animated video series that explains why digital games are so appealing to students and offers "No Way!" a classroom activity that helps students develop critical thinking and science literacy skills emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards.
“Possible Worlds was a six-year research project to explore how instructional materials and practices might help teachers integrate games into their teaching,” said EDC vice president Shelley Pasnik, who directs the Center for Children and Technology. “Now we’re pleased to be able to share all of the games and materials we developed as part of the project.”
Since 2008, EDC’s Center for Children and Technology has served as a National Research and Development Center on Instructional Technology, paving the way for the creation of the Possible Worlds website. The Possible Worlds games were developed with the firm 1st Playable. The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.
- Read a series of three articles by Katherine McMillan Culp that shares findings and insights from Possible Worlds and view reports by Culp, Wendy Martin, Peggy Clements, Ashley Lewis Presser, and Marion Goldstein that describe study methods and present findings from a field test and an impact study.
- Check out a paper focused on Possible Worlds' instructional design—"Using Interactive Metaphors and Popular Game Designs for Science Education"—presented by John Parris, Jay Bachhuber, and Tobi Saulnier at the Games + Learning + Society (GLS) Conference.
- Explore the full archive of six years of research reports and conference presentations on the use and impact of digital games in middle-school science and view the EDC team that developed and studied Possible Worlds.
- Learn more about EDC's work to promote and deepen understanding of the effective use of technology to enhance learning and teaching.
Last Updated: July 2014