Category: Educational Conferences

IMMERSION 2014 Early Registration Ends May 23

IMMERSION 2014 early registration closes Friday, May 23.

Sponsored by Disney and Target, IMMERSION 2014 features speakers and exhibits by Disney Animation Studios, the Smithsonian Institution, Google, Microsoft, Stratasys, Oculus, Oracle, Bitcoin and more. Speakers, exhibitors and registration details are online at

Building on the success of the previous 8 years of Immersive Education (iED) Summits, the world’s leading experts in immersion convene June 6-8 in Los Angeles California for IMMERSION 2014. Hosted by The Getty Center and Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in collaboration with the Smithsonian Institution and the Western USA Chapter of the Immersive Education Initiative (iED West), IMMERSION 2014 is open to the global academic and business communities, the general public, and experts in immersion and immersive technologies.


2014 Serious Play Conference July 21-24

Here’s the press release for the upcoming Serious Play Conference:

Sessions for university faculty, school administrators and teachers working to improve student engagement though games-based learning will be featured at the fourth annual Serious Play Conference at the University of Southern California (USC), Tuesday-Thursday, July 21 – 24.

Conference highlights will include teachers already using games as well as game developers, publishers, consultants, analysts and faculty talking about their experiences with games in the classroom, games for home use and teaching students to design their own games.

K-12 teachers sharing their experiences will include:

* Marianne Malmstrom, Elisabeth Morrow School, discussing how students have used a virtual world to help their younger schoolmates adjust to middle school
* Peggy Sheehy, Ramapo Central, exploring why games engage us and how we can harness that engagement for K-12 learning
* Alice Keeler, Cal State Fresno, showing how to use Google Apps in the classroom

Educational software creators discussing their work:

* Justin Leites, Amplify, offering tips on how to improve the quality and quantity of voluntary, outside-the-classroom learning
* John Krajewski, Strange Loop, elaborating on the potential of game-based learning
* Ken Spero, Education Leadership Sims, sharing his thoughts on how simulations can help train and support school leaders
* Peter Stidwill, Learning Games Network, sharing best practices based on research on how games have been implemented to date in the K-12 classroom
* Jamie Anunzio-Myers, PBS, on services provided free to early learners over cable networks

University researchers will also present their findings:

* Zoran Popovic, University of Washington, talking about a worldwide math challenge sponsored by DARPA
* Girlie Delacruz, CRESST, explaining how game assessment can be done and how this data is furthering scientific research
* Chris Haskell, Boise State University, addressing how MMORPG mechanics such as leveling, skill-building and immersion in a virtual world can be applied to education

A pre-conference workshop on Monday, July 21 will offer hands-on instruction for teachers new to game-based learning.

For more information, check out the site:


CFP: GALA 2014

The Games and Learning Alliance conference (GALA 2014) will be held July 2-4 in Bucharest Romania.

The Games and Learning Alliance conference (GALA 2014) is an international conference dedicated to the science and application of serious games.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers, developers, practitioners and stakeholders. The goal is to share the state of the art of research and market, analysing the most significant trends and discussing visions on the future of serious games.

The conference also includes an exhibition, where developers can showcase their latest products.

The Serious Games Society is building a scientific community at international level for shaping future research in the field. This community represents a significant blend of industrial and academic professionals committed to the study, development and deployment of serious games as really useful and effective tools to support better teaching, learning, training and assessment.

The deadline for the Call for Papers has been extended to May 9. Please click here for more details.


EdMedia 2013 CFP due Dec. 12

Call for Participation

December 12, 2012

June 24 – 28  ·  Victoria, British Columbia
Victoria Conference Centre

EdMedia is an international conference, organized by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

This annual international conference serves as a multi-disciplinary forum for the discussion and exchange of information on the research, development, and applications on all topics related to multimedia, hypermedia and telecommunications/distance education. EdMedia attracts more than 1,500 leaders in the field from over 70 countries.

We invite you to attend EdMedia and submit proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, tutorials, workshops, posters/demonstrations, corporate showcases/demos, and discussions.


Second Annual Serious Play Conference

The Second Annual Serious Play Conference is August 21 – 23 at the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA. Below is a press release from The Bohle Company.

50+ Speakers Address the Future of
Games for Training, Learning

SEATTLE  — June 21, 2012 — More than 50 of the top thinkers in serious games will come together to discuss the future of the use of non-entertainment games and sims, Tuesday – Thursday, August 21 – 23, 2012 at the 2nd Annual Serious Play Conference at DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash.

Plenary sessions include:

“Getting the Best Virtual vQuotient in Non-Entertainment Games”

· Ran Hinrichs,  2b3d, keynote speaker

“The Future of Sims and Games in Large Organizations”

· David Metcalf, UCF

· Phaedra Boiondiris, IBM

· James Oker, Microsoft

· Parvati Dev, CliniSpace

“Sizing the Potential Market for Serious Games”

· Tyson Greer  / Sam S. Adkins,  Ambient Insight: Mobile Games, Education

· Burnes Saint Patrick Hollyman, the Digital Entertainment Alliance: Virtual Worlds

· Michael Cai, Interpret, Corporate

“Measuring Game Effectiveness”

· Eva Baker, CRESST at UCLA

· David Gibson, simSchool

· Ken Spero, Immersive Learning University

· Jenn McNamara, BreakAway

An Early Bird Discount is still in effect as well as special faculty and student pricing.

Members of the Serious Games Association ($35 annual fee) receive $50 off conference cost.

For more information, visit the conference site:

Immersive Education 2012 Conference June 14-16

Immersive Education 2012 registration has been extended to June 9 with no late fees. This looks like a very interesting conference. Below is part of their earlier press release:

BOSTON, MA – March 15, 2012 – The Immersive Education Initiative today announced that registration for Immersive Education 2012 (iED 2012) is now open. Boston College will host iED 2012 from June 14-16 through arrangement with the Woods College of Advancing Studies. The three-day Summit is open to the global academic community and experts in immersion, simulation, learning games, virtual reality and full, augmented and mixed reality (FAM). Building on the success of the previous seven years of Immersive Education conferences, iED 2012 has a special focus on learning games, serious games, game-based teaching and learning and full, augmented and mixed reality.

Seats may be reserved through the official website at Due to popularity and space considerations there is a strict limit of 5 seats per organization. Registration will automatically close when the available seats have been reserved. Speakers and presenters may submit abstracts and proposals at

Organized specifically for educators, researchers, and administrators, Immersive Education (iED) Summits provide attendees with an in-depth overview of immersive learning technologies, platforms, best practices and techniques.

Speakers at past iED Summits have included faculty, researchers, and administrators from The Grid Institute, Boston College, Harvard University (Harvard Graduate School of Education, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, and Harvard Kennedy School of Government), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MIT Media Lab, The Smithsonian Institution, Loyola Marymount University, Stanford University, United States Department of Education, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Federation of American Scientists (FAS), Duke University, Temple University, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center, Cornell University, Amherst College, Kauffman Foundation, Boston Library Consortium, South Park Elementary School, Oracle, Turner Broadcasting, Open Wonderland Foundation, realXtend (Finland), The MOFET Institute (Israel), University of Aizu (Japan), Keio University (Japan), National University of Singapore, Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), University of Essex (UK), Coventry University (UK), Giunti Labs (Italy) and European Learning Industry Group, Open University (UK), and more.

About iED Summits and Topics of Interest

iED Summits are official Immersive Education Initiative conferences organized specifically for educators, researchers, and administrators. iED Summits consist of presentations, panel discussions, break-out sessions, workshops and demonstrations that provide attendees with an in-depth overview of immersive learning platforms, technologies and cutting-edge research from around the world. iED Summits feature new and emerging virtual worlds, virtual reality, learning games, educational simulations, and related teaching tools, techniques, technologies, standards and best practices.

The world’s leading experts in virtual worlds, learning games, educational simulations, and full, augmented and mixed reality (FAM) convene June 14-16 in Boston, USA, for the seventh Immersive Education Summit.

Topics of interest for iED 2012 Boston include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learning Games
  • Serious Games
  • Game-based Learning
  • Game-based Learning Technologies/Systems (e.g., PC, Mac, XBox, Playstation, Nintendo, iPad, etc.)
  • Commercial Video Games as Learning Tools (e.g., World of Warcraft, Little Big Planet, Minecraft, etc.)
  • New Literacies Using Video Games For Education
  • Best Practices, Curriculum Development and Assessment for Game-Based Learning
  • Full-body Immersion (such as caves, domes, natural interfaces, XBox 360 Kinect, and so forth)
  • Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Mixed Reality (MR)
  • Head-mounted Displays (HMDs)
  • Haptics, Natural Interfaces and Touch Interfaces (e.g., iPad, iPhone, Tablets, Android devices, etc.)
  • Robotics
  • Virtual Worlds
  • Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Simulation
  • Psychologically Beneficial Immersive Environments as defined by iED PIE.TWG
  • Pedagogy in the Age of Immersive Education
  • Assessment in the Age of Immersive Education

Call for Submissions: 10th Annual Game Developers Conference Online

The 10th Annual Game Developers Conference Online in Austin, TX has an open call for submissions:

The call for submissions to present lectures, panels, full day tutorials and roundtable sessions at the 2012 Game Developers Conference® Online (GDC Online) is open now through midnight PT on Wednesday, May 2. The tenth annual edition of the conference is presented by the UBM TechWeb Game Network, and will take place over three days, October 9-11, 2012 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, TX.

GDC Online focuses on development of connected games including social network titles, free-to-play web games, kid-friendly online titles, large-scale MMOs, and beyond. Submissions should address the most pressing development challenges for online and connected games with submissions related to the following tracks: Business & Marketing, Design, Customer Experience, Production and Programming.

The deadline is May 2. Additional info is available at

Teaching Difficult Concepts Through Videogames

As mentioned earlier, I’m honored to have been invited to a conference held by the Center for Children and Technology last week. The title of the conference was Making Games That Teach Difficult Concepts, and it brought together game designers and academics to discuss issues perplexing to both.

We broke into small groups to focus on games for middle school science, middle school social studies, and early childhood. I was in the social studies group, admirably led by Bill Tally at CCT, where among other things he is the PI for evaluation studies of Mission US, a history game focusing on revolutionary America.

One of the challenges of history games we mulled over is the question of game mechanics. As I’ve opined elsewhere, good game mechanics involve key learning elements. The classic example is traditional dominoes, which requires players to count by fives in order to succeed, making it a great game for teaching basic arithmetic to children.

In history games, though, the primary learning dynamic often takes place through text. Narrative action is thus often the key mechanic in which learning takes place. This led to much discussion regarding the problem of compelling game play, with fascinating insights from participants such as Bert Snow, lead designer and VP at Muzzy Lane, and Tracy Fullerton over at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Conferences such as this one are important in bringing together multiple perspectives. Knowledge and understanding gleaned from these discussions further preparations for research and development of future educational games. My thanks to all the good people at CCT who made this conference possible.

SITE 2012 CFP Due Oct. 21

SITE will be in Austin, TX March 5-9:

SITE 2012 is the 23rd annual conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education. Join with 1,200+ colleagues from over 50 countries in Austin, Texas!

This society represents individual teacher educators and affiliated organizations of teacher educators in all disciplines, who are interested in the creation and dissemination of knowledge about the use of information technology in teacher education and faculty/staff development. SITE is a society of AACE.

Attendees can participate virtually; there is a new call for virtual presentations. A new topic this year for teachers and school leaders is Teaching with Technology: Engaging Students Through 21st Century Learning. Games & Simulations remains a popular topic strand.

Here is the Call for Participation. Deadline is Oct. 21.

Kriegsspiel: Powerful Lessons from War Games

Matthew Kirschenbaum, Associate Professor of English and Associate Director, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) over at University of Maryland, has a most excellent article on wargames at Play the Past.

“To a wargamer,” writes Greg Costikyan in the just published collection Tabletop: Analog Game Design, “wargames are not abstract, time-wasting pastimes, like other games, but representative of the real. . . . You can learn something from wargames; indeed, in some ways you can learn more from wargames than from reading history”

I agree. Gee has been telling us for most of the last decade that we can learn from games.

Kirschenbaum went to the recent Connections wargaming conference. He says wargaming has a rich history:

Indeed, the Connections conference advertised itself as being held on the 200th anniversary of the “invention” of wargaming. What can this mean, with games like Chess and Go dating back to antiquity? In the early 1800s, the Prussian staff officer Georg von Reisswitz formally introduced his Kriegsspiel, a game played by laying metal bars across maps to mark troop dispositions (derived from a set his father had made up) to his fellow officers. “This is not a game! This is training for war!” one general is said to have exclaimed. (The authoritative account of the origins and development of Kriegsspiel is to be found in Peter Perla’s excellent The Art of Wargaming.)

One of the key elements of beneficial learning players obtain by engaging in these games is not so much historical knowledge, but rather decision making skills. When faced with limited resources, for instance, in times of high crisis such as war, what are the best decisions a leader can make? Better yet, what are the best skills a leader can acquire so that he or she can make the best critical decisions when previously unforeseen circumstances arise? It is within this context that wargames provide a beneficial sandbox.

Most of the action seems to involve sitting around a table and talking (sometimes colloquially referred to as BOGSAT, “Bunch of Guys [and Girls] Sitting Around a Table” by those in the know). Such games, which are staged not only by the Pentagon but also by corporate consulting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton, can be about response to a global pandemic or an interruption in the supply chain for a manufacturing process as well as military operations and contingencies. Wargaming, increasingly, is a term as likely to be encountered in a business leadership seminar as inside a Beltway think tank.

The article hardly qualifies as a blog post. It is more along the lines of something one would read in The Atlantic. It’s a very interesting perspective and well worth the read.