Microsoft will participate in a new alliance of academic institutions and researchers called the Games for Learning Institute, aiming to promote the study and use of games as a way to educate students in math and science. Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, announced the G4LI project during a speech at New York University.
NEW YORK-Microsoft announced the formation of a gaming research alliance to promote the
use of games as learning tools for students, particularly for learning math and
science among middle school students.
Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, announced the
first-of-its-kind, multidisciplinary, multi-institutional gaming research
alliance during a speech to New York University
faculty and students here.
Mundie said the G4LI (Games for Learning Institute) is a joint research
endeavor of Microsoft Research, New York University and a consortium of
universities, including Columbia University, CUNY (City University of New
York), Dartmouth College, Parsons, Polytechnic Institute of NYU, the Rochester
Institute of Technology and Teachers College. According to a Microsoft news
release, "The G4LI will identify which qualities of computer games engage
students and develop relevant, personalized teaching strategies that can be
applied to the learning process."
"Technology has the potential to help reinvent the education process
and excite and inspire young learners to embrace science, math and
technology," Mundie said. "The Games for Learning Institute is a
great example of how technology can change how students learn, making it far
more natural and intuitive."
Microsoft has invested before in projects aimed at reaching young people and
students, such as the Popfly Game Creator. According to Microsoft:
Through its Gaming Initiative, since
2004 Microsoft Research has invested more than $3 million in gaming kits,
assessment studies, academic funding and an academic sponsored event, the
Academic Games and Computer Science Game Cruise. Last year, six academic
researchers received funding and had access to game-related resources available
from Microsoft including Visual Studio, XNA Game Studio and Microsoft
"Flight Simulator" ESP. The
G4LI will build on these efforts to help improve middle-school math and science
Microsoft also said:
Microsoft Research is providing $1.5
million to the Institute. NYU and its consortium of partners are matching
Microsoft's investment, for a combined $3 million. Funding covers the first
three years of the G4LI's research, which will focus on evaluating computer
games as potential learning tools for science, technology, engineering and
mathematics (STEM) subjects at the middle-school years
(grades 6-8). The institute will work with a range of student populations, yet
focus on underrepresented middle-school students, such as girls and minorities.
"Middle school is a critical stage for students, a time when many are
introduced to advanced math and science concepts," said Ken Perlin,
professor of computer science in NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical
Sciences and director of the Media Research Laboratory at NYU. Perlin will
co-direct the G4LI, to be located at NYU. "Many students become
discouraged or uninterested and pour their time at home into gaming. Ironically,
we think gaming is our starting point to draw them into math, science and
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.