Category: Blog

Developing Differences Of Middle Basic And Students

It is important to develop specific monetary objectives and reports, even although youare not planning a full business-plan. Within this manual, we will show HOWTO employ Succeed to make a revenue outlook which can not be as compound or sophisticated as you want it to be. What Figures Do You Really Need? There exists a popular misunderstanding among several companies that you need a solid background in a few other control, sales or finance that offers a great deal with amounts as a way to develop a sales prediction.Read More


3 Cheers for STEM Night!

You’ve probably heard the acronym STEM used more and more lately in relation to education. You probably also know that it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. But what do those subject areas really mean for education? Why are they important? How do they help kids learn and grow, in and out of the classroom?

 

A few years ago, Education Week published an article online stating that “STEM is more than just a grouping of subject areas. It is a movement to develop the deep mathematical and scientific underpinnings students need to be competitive in the 21st-century workforce.” That’s also what President Obama said in 2010 when he set a clear goal for STEM education: motivate and inspire American students to excel in STEM subjects so that within the next decade, they will no longer be in the middle of the pack for STEM achievement but leaders of a competitive global community.

 

“This movement goes far beyond preparing students for specific jobs,” the Education Week article goes on to say. “STEM develops a set of thinking, reasoning, teamwork, investigative, and creative skills that students can use in all areas of their lives.”

 

A school STEM Night is a great way to include families, educators, and the community in supporting students’ ability to do just that. On Tuesday, March 22nd, Bethesda Elementary students in grades K-5 get a chance to display their STEM projects at the annual STEM Night celebration. With the help of teachers and parents, students chose topics they were interested in learning more about. They applied the scientific method to a hands-on investigation that produced results. They worked individually and in teams to build creative displays that will communicate their discoveries to the STEM night audience.

 

STEM education is close to our hearts at Dig-It Games. We’re a company that uses technology to produce video games that teach and support these vital subjects. We are deeply invested in the national dialog on STEM, and we believe in the power of game-based learning to promote STEM education in schools and new and fun ways.

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We loved being a part of Bethesda Elementary’s STEM night last year. Dig-It staff members Dayle and Steve ran our exhibit table as well as checking out and admiring students’ STEM-related projects and getting a chance to interact with parents, educators, and especially kids. Their favorite part of the night was seeing how excited students were to play, and meeting parents who were just as excited as the kids! Some kids ditched their parents for the games right away, some kids didn’t want to let go of the games, and some kids competed with their parents! In fact, there was so much interest that we ran out of devices for visitors to play on.

 

This year, we’re honored to be invited back again, along with C3 Cyber Club, KID Museum, Under the Sea‘s mobile aquarium, and Montgomery County Public Library. We’re bringing more devices and more DIG folks. We will also be exhibiting some of our unreleased titles before they are seen by the general public. Students can comment and give feedback on a game-in-progress, which is known in the industry as beta testing, an essential part of product development. This little bit of behind-the-scenes insight fits right in with the STEM movement’s goal of motivating kids to pursue intellectual curiosity, and equipping them for hands-on, innovative problem-solving.

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“We love events like this where we interact with our end users,” says Dig-It Games president Suzi Wilczynski. “Being around students, parents, and teachers helps us to make sure that our games are meeting the needs of those whose opinions we trust and follow. It also supports our belief that game-based learning enriches education by encouraging critical thinking, independent learning, and the joy of intellectual discovery. Bethesda Elementary’s STEM Night is an event we look forward to attending.”

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“We’re thrilled that Dig-It Games has again partnered with us,” says Kenneth Tercyak, a co-organizer of the event. “Bethesda Elementary students enjoy learning about computer science and its application to game design. It’s a great way to help build their interest in STEM and STEM careers.”

 

Follow STEM Night as it happens at https://twitter.com/bethesda_es.


Eleven Strong Dissertation Topics For Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychology is one of the many branches of psychology. It primarily focuses on educational, social and career adjustment problems. To be specific, it deals with different situational problems that people from various social fields suffer from. It is different from clinical psychology, because clinical psychology deals with the study, diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders. It is not the psychological disorders that counseling psychology deals with, rather it helps people get over their mental pressure regarding different social ups and downs.Read More


FETC 2016 Game Workshop Slides

We were happy to have our CEO, Suzi Wilczynski present to over 175 educators at the FETC 2016 Game Based Learning Workshop this year. For those who could not attend, here is a summary set of slides here to share with you. By reading through these, you should gain a basic understanding of game based learning and its benefits.

The slides outline the key features of game based learning and how they can be used effectively in the classroom. Based on research, the positive effects of game based learning in the classroom is undeniable. However, this is only when educators know how to use the games. Through effective implementation, game based learning can help students grow, explore, and experiment. The Keys to Success defined here should give teachers a good start in figuring out how game based learning could work for them!

Should you have any questions about Game Based Learning, please feel free to reach out to us. We love hearing from interested parties and answering questions about how games can be used in education.

If you want to know more about our products, check out our social studies series Excavate! where students are put in the shoes of archaeologists or our STEM games ExoTrex and ExoTrex 2 where students must investigate other planets with the goal of finding a new home for humanity. Our full game library can be viewed on our Games page.

If you want to know more about the Future of Education Technology conference, check out their website to learn about their history, goals, and more. Thanks to everyone who came to see Suzi speak this year! We had a great time at FETC.


The FETC 2016 Experience

 

Dig-It! Games joined nearly 10,000 education leaders and tech experts at the 38th annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC). From our participation in an exclusive Game-Based Learning Summit to the Education Arcade on the show floor, we loved sharing our games and insights.

GBL Summit attendees at FETC 2016

GBL Summit attendees at FETC 2016

 

As part of the GBL Summit, Suzi Wilczynski, Dig-It! Games’ Founder and CEO, led a discussion on important features of game-based learning, including how to make it easier to find, evaluate and utilize games in teaching. GBL Summit attendees also took place in a 3 Digits competition and found out more about Dig-It! Games classroom resources.

FETC attendees getting hands on demos of Dig-It! Games in the Education Arcade

FETC attendees getting hands-on demos of Dig-It! Games in the Education Arcade

 

Dig-It! Games also offered hands-on demos in Exhibit Hall’s Education Arcade. Thank you to all the educators, FETC and our GBL Summit partners for a great conference!


Join Dig-It! Games at FETC 2016

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The Dig-It! Games team is heading to Orlando next week to join teachers, administrations and other educational technology advocates at the 38th annual Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC).

On January 12, Dig-It! Games is partnering with FETC,  BrainPOP and the Learning Games Network on the Game-Based Learning Summit, a day-long professional development session on integrating game-based learning in the classroom. As part of the GBL Summit, Suzi Wilczynski, Dig-It! Games’ Founder and CEO, will lead a discussion on important features of game-based learning, including to how to make it easier to find, evaluate and utilize games in your teaching. She will also highlight the Dig-It! Games Teacher Network, its benefits and how attendees can get involved!

Dig-It! Games will also be a part of the Maker’s Space in the FETC Exhibit Hall January 14 and 15. Come meet the team, play games and sign up for our Teacher’s Network. Not attending FETC? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for updates from the GBL Summit and FETC.


Dig-It! Games Celebrates 10 Days of Giving

Looking to keep children entertained during holiday travel? Or, do you have a new mobile device and are looking for games the whole family can enjoy?

Dig-It! Games is giving away free downloads of our award winning, educational games until the end of 2015!

Free Games For Holidays

Our games incorporate age-appropriate content in math, science, social studies and language arts into fun, interactive and engaging learning experiences for kids of all ages. The holidays are a great time for families to expand their vocabulary skills in I Have a Word or go head-to-head testing their math skills against the Maya number system in 3 Digits.

Visit the Dig-It Games page in the Apple App Store each day for a new free educational game, and follow us on Twitter to see that day’s give away.

Happy holidays from Dig-It! Games!


Getting to Know You: Tim Mrozek, Artist

Tim Mrozek is an artist at Dig-It! Games, bringing environments and characters alive through modeling and animation. Tim grew up in Catonsville, which is just outside of Baltimore, and of course, is a huge Orioles fan. He moved to Silver Spring, MD about right years ago to take a job as a 3D artist and animator at the National Institutes of Health. After that, he worked for four years at Pixeldust Studios as Lead 3D Modeler and 3D animator and worked on around 20-25 projects, including Fabric of the Cosmos, Alien Deep, NOVA: Cracking Your Genetic Code, The Smithsonian’s X3D project. Tim was fortunate enough to be nominated for an Emmy for his work as character artist on a Smithsonian Channel show called Mass Extinction: Life on the Brink. Tim studied Animation Major at UMBC. In the spring, He’ll be back at UMBC to teach ART 484 (advanced animation) in the evenings.

Tim sat down to answer some questions about his average day in the studio , what attracted him to educational games and his go-to karaoke songs.

Tim

 

What’s an average day at Dig-It! Games look like for you?

The flow of my day changes pretty frequently, but there are a few things that remain pretty constant. Every day starts with my bike ride from Silver Spring to Bethesda. This, of course, is immediately followed by obtaining coffee. Then I’ll settle down at my desk where I’ll do a quick visual review of any works in progress posted by the other artists. After that it really varies on a daily basis. Sometimes I get right into zbrush and start sculpting a 3D model for one of our games, or I’ll open Photoshop and get to work designing the UI for one of our games, or menus. Sometimes it’s a team meeting to critique each others work and discuss how we want to move forward on a particular design or game. Each day is exciting when you have a team of artists you really enjoy working with, and the dev team isn’t too bad either.

What got you interested in game design?

I’ve always been incredibly intrigued by video games since the first time I played an NES. As a 32 year old, video games as a whole are only a few years older than me, so I’ve always been incredibly excited to age along with games. The moment that I really knew I wanted to pursue making games was when I first played Riven: The Sequel to Myst. I had never seen CG look so incredible. The mindblowing still renders in that game, combined with the really challenging, naturally integrated puzzles and story took me completely off-guard. I knew that I wanted to learn how to do this, and if I got lucky, make a living making games for the rest of my life. I’ve even joined a team of volunteers, called The Starry Expanse, that are rebuilding this inspirational game for the new generation using the Unreal Engine.

What is your favorite video or digital game from childhood?

Since I already mentioned Riven, I’ll go with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This wasn’t the first 3D game I had played, but it was the first 3D game in my favorite series of games (Legend of Zelda). This game gave me a whole new perspective of what was possible in a video game. I have probably replayed this game about 10 times in my life. While small by today’s standards, the open world felt endless to me at the time. The first time I stepped onto Hyrule Field I felt like I was given complete freedom to explore anywhere I wanted, and I had never experienced this in a video game before.

What drew you to Dig-It! Games?
I’ve always been interested in using animation and CG for education. Before Dig-It! Games I was working at Pixeldust Studios where I was creating animation for Smithsonian Channel, National Geographic, and Discovery. I have always gravitated to games and TV that explore science, archaeology, and education as a whole. This, combined with my interest in making video games made Dig-It! a pretty natural choice. I love the idea of creating games that will inspire creativity and exploration in a new generation of kids.

What song would you sing at karaoke and why?
Funny you should ask, I was just at a karaoke party a week or two ago, and I sang three songs. Bad Romance, by Lady Gaga, Heaven on Their Minds from Jesus Christ, Superstar and In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins.


Getting to Know You: Steve Hunnicutt, Head Developer

Steve Hunnicutt is Dig-It! Games’ Head Developer responsible for bringing the coding to life. Steve’s father was in the Navy, so he grew up in lots of different places, including Honolulu, Hawaii for three years. After his father retired from the Navy, we moved to Jacksonville, Florida. He spent more of my childhood there than anywhere else, so he considers it his hometown. Steve moved to Baltimore in 1990 and has been living there ever since.

Steve sat down for a Q&A to give us more insight into his role at Dig-It! Games, what sparked his love of programming and how aspiring programmers can get started.

steve

What’s an average day at Dig-It! Games look like for you?
I don’t really have an “average” day. One day, we’re working out the design for a new game and doing prototypes. The next day, we may start working on the code architecture. Sometimes, I do concept sketches to communicate ideas to the rest of the team. It’s always something different.

What got you interested in game design?
I love playing games. Board games are favorites, but I’m always playing some sort of video game. Also, I’ve been coding in one language or another for almost thirty years. So when I had the opportunity to work at a game studio, I grabbed it.

Any advice for kids who want to become programmers?
It’s easier than ever to dip your toe into programming. There are lots of different ways to get started. One of the easiest is to start building web pages; all you need is a text editor and a web browser. There are innumerable tutorials to get you started. Once you have a simple page, you can add interactivity with JavaScript. You can make a lot of simple games very easily, but the platform has the potential for very complex games. The only limit is your imagination and your skill.

What is your favorite video or digital game from childhood?
My family purchased an Apple //e computer about the time I was starting the eighth grade. I took to it immediately, playing games, connecting to bulletin board systems (BBS) and writing my own programs. My favorite game was one that I played with my mother. It was called Starlanes.

The goal of Starlanes was to build the most profitable interstellar company. Each player would place a star base each turn. Adjacent star bases connected into a single company. Companies that were adjacent to a star were more profitable. In addition, each turn the player could buy stock in any of the companies, even your opponent’s. If two companies touched, they merged and you could get a big stock payoff.

Once upon a time, I had the source code to Starlanes. I still hope that someday I’ll find it again and I could bring it back to life on modern computers.

If you were ruler of your own country what would be the first law you would introduce?
This is a tough question. I think I would institute a social welfare system that guaranteed basic income, healthcare, and nutrition to my citizens. Read Ernest Callenbach’s “Ecotopia” for a much more detailed vision of a society that I find compelling.


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