May 2013 News

May 2013 News

Teacher Conference

Last month we went to both NSTA (science teachers conference) and NCTM (math teachers conference) to present on Radix. We talked to teachers about why an MMO is a good fit for STEM learning, what the Radix gameplay experience is like, and where we are in our current phase of production. We also told them about the exciting opportunity to pilot the game during the 2013-14 school year, and invited them to sign up here to get more information on the pilot program as it becomes available.

We love going to teacher conferences because we get to share our project with teachers who we hope will play it with their students and make it come alive. But we also love it because we get great feedback on the game and our implementation plans from objective potential users. We live and breathe Radix every day, but they help us see it through the eyes of someone getting their first look at the game and evaluating it as a usable tool, which tells us a lot about what’s necessary to actually adopt it. Teachers at both conferences asked great questions about how students interact in the game, privacy concerns related to in-game chat, how to track student progress, and much more. This gave us a good sense of what the most important elements are for teachers, aside from content and standards, that would enable them to use Radix “in the wild”. And knowing this helps us prioritize features when we work with our developers over the next few months.

One of our favorite comments came when a teacher we met voiced her concern about the game, asking, “What do we tell the English teachers when the students aren’t doing their English homework because they’re busy playing this game all evening?” Well, if this game is that engaging for students, we’ll just have to tell the English teachers they need to find an equally good literacy game! We’re excited for math and biology teachers all over the country to use this new style of learning game and help us research its merits and challenges, and if what we find is that students are spending that much time on it, that’s not a bad problem to have!

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The Radix Endeavor is an educational MMO game in development at The MIT Education Arcade, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.