Articles Tagged with: summer

Finish Off the Summer Right!

Summer vacation is officially drawing to a close (if it hasn’t already), and back to school season is in full swing. But, if your kids are feeling down from returning to the rigid schedule of classes, homework, and clubs, help them make the most of the last bits of summer feeling. For that matter, parents should take advantage of it too!

While our recent blogs have focused on preparing teachers and parents for the beginning of the school year, this one focuses on making the most of the end of the summer. Even if your school district has already started up again, take some weekend time while the warm weather still lingers. Here’s some ideas to smooth the transition into the school year.

Plan a Get-Together

Summer barbecue get together

Whether in celebration of back to school or the end of summer, think about arranging a get-together for parents and kids alike. Those with a yard could choose to host a barbecue and pull out the water guns for the kids. As the school year continues, big gatherings start becoming more difficult to arrange for students and their parents.

Talking with fellow parents also gives you the chance to make sure everything is prepared for the new year. Kids, meanwhile, return to socializing with their school friends a little early. It never hurts to help them prepare for the sudden influx of social contact. 

Even if you’re not the hosting type, think about arranging something out in the neighborhood. Send the kids to the pool or even head to a restaurant. Just make sure you all get the chance to spend some quality time with people you enjoy while there’s more time to do it.

Have a Pajama Day

Pajama day in the summer

Take a day to simply relax! Don’t get dressed and don’t go out. Lounge about in the AC and take 24 hours to stop worrying about the work you need to do. Instead, think about ways you can arrange family time together. Watch some TV, put together a puzzle, or play some board games.

Once school starts, your kids won’t have as much time to simply hang out. Likely, neither will parents. An indulgent pajama day is the perfect way to say goodbye to summer without any kind of pressure.

At the same time, it offers a good way to convince your kids to spend some time with you, particularly if they’re older. It’s even possible to keep them away from screens for the day, if any parents get worried about the amount of time kids spend on computers during the school year. Take advantage of the summer heat to create some valuable personal time together.

Make a Photo Album

photo album of summer memories

One thing you can do on a pajama day is go through your memories of the summer with your kids. Pick out the best pictures from time spent together on adventures or vacations and print them out from your computer or phone. Make your own photo album from construction paper if your kids are the craftier type, or buy one that’s pre-made.

While you reminisce, talk with your kids about their favorite part the summer. As they arrange the photos, parents can learn the best parts of the summer honestly. As an added benefit, talking about the summer will also allow them to practice for the inevitable back to school icebreakers they’ll receive.

Hang Out Together with Games

Our Excavate! series is currently 30% off with the code BACKTOSCHOOL18 on our online store. Reintroduce your kids to education in a fun way, allowing them to discover all about six unique ancient cultures through archaeology. The games can be bought separately or in a bundle, but all of them are 30% off. Learn more about Excavate or go to the online store now to buy your license.

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Summer Advice for Teachers!

One of the perks of being a K-12 teacher is that long break over the summer! But it can also be a lot to handle at the same time. Not sure what to do with yourself over the summer? We’ve got some advice for teachers on what to do in terms of professional development and having fun over the break. 

Get Reading

Summer advice for teachers 1: get reading

Summer is the best time for reading, whether at home, at the beach, or anywhere else. Also, reading is one of the easiest ways to keep learning over the summer whether you’re reading about new educational strategies or just curling up with a good novel. Summer learning is as important for teachers as it is for students! Maybe you picked up a book already, but the internet offers tons of teacher suggestions if you haven’t. 

While it’s an older list, Teach for America suggests several books from classroom management tips (Like See Me After Class and Real Talk for Real Teachers) to simple beach reads. The Washington Post also offers a list based on teacher recommendations for books in many different categories. However, if you want to grab a few newer titles, join Education Closet’s 2018 summer reading challenge for teachers. They list a good variety of genres from the fictional drama of Little Fires Everywhere to the step-by-step guides of The Design Thinking Playbook.

Your reading doesn’t have to just come from books either. Educational blogs feature new ideas and research on a regular basis. Some of our personal favorites include Edutopia, Mindshift, and, of course, our own blog right here!

Learn from Others

Teacher advice for the summer 2: learn from others at conferences and workshops

Summer is full of small workshops and conferences with educational organizations and thought leaders in the community, both in-person and online. For instance, PBS TeacherLine hosts a lot of workshops for teachers at all grade-levels. Some have the added benefit of being self-paced, meaning you can break up your learning across the summer as it works for you.

Going out to learn from others can be as simple as a trip to a museum! Find an interesting museum in your area and make a day of it. This directory should be helpful when it comes to finding something interesting that’s within a reasonable distance.

Dig-It! attended the Games for Change Festival back in June and will be attending the Serious Play Conference. Come see us at the latter conference if you happen to be in the area!

Take a Break

Teacher advice 3- make sure to relax during the summer break

After a long school year, you’ve earned it! Make sure to take a few days to spend time with family or enjoy some precious alone time. Plan a vacation or a staycation, if you’d rather stay at home. Try cooking more or exploring nearby cities. Summer gives you plenty of time to plan and do whatever you want. Take advantage of it!

If you happen to be a gamer, make sure to check out our summer gaming list for suggestions or just click over to our games page for tons of educational products to test out. Have fun and plan for next year- that’s two birds with one stone!

Mostly, however, our advice for teachers is this: make sure you’re doing stuff you enjoy while you’ve got the time! That’s the important thing.

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Our Summer Gaming List 2018

Summer is a great time to get gaming. Libraries are always handing out summer reading lists, so we assume that you’re already covered when it comes to setting yourself and your family up with great books (but if you’re not, here are a few recommendations). But do you know what games to set yourself up with? Look no further than this list, where we give you a few recommendations for what to tackle when you’re trying to avoid the heat.

Younger Players

When picking games for younger players, it’s important to keep a few considerations in mind. Games must be appropriate for the age group in content and difficulty but they still have to be fun too. Check out our recommendations.

Grow Home

Summer Gaming List 1: Grow Home from Ubisoft

Ubisoft

Grow Home is a short and sweet little adventure from Ubisoft. Play as B.U.D. (Botanical Utility Droid) as he attempts to grow a plant which will oxygenate its home planet. The open world offers many opportunities for exploration as B.U.D.’s actions and movements adapt to the environment. Controls can be a bit difficult, but that’s just a way for parents to play along. Overall, it tells a sweet story with an adorable art style and a fun sense of discovery.

Grow Home is available on Windows, Linux, and PlayStation 4.

Super Mario Odyssey

Summer Gaming List 2: Super Mario Odyssey from Nintendo

Nintendo

The Switch is the big new thing for good reason. While the amount of games remains small, the game available are stellar. Like Grow Home, Super Mario Odyssey offers a great sense of discovery. Take Mario and his friend Cappy on an adventure through the many lands the game has to offer. From urban to jungle, Mario explores all kinds of places in his journey. Controls, particularly the motion controls, can also be finicky, but they’re not bad.

Super Mario Odyssey is available on the Nintendo Switch.

Older Players

As gamers get older, they want more complicated games to play. Fast-paced, thoughtful gameplay or narrative heft are both considerations when picking a gamer for bigger kids (or even for parents!) to play. Here’s a few suggestions.

Fortnite

Summer Gaming List 3: Fortnite from Epic Games

Epic Games

Battle Royale is the big craze and Fortnite is the king among them. Like Overwatch, Fortnite offers player vs. player gameplay without an excess of gore. The game features a building mechanic where players can craft walls or ramps for themselves with material they collect in the environment. Just watch out for the online interactions to make sure your players are not harassing others or being harassed themselves. Best way to prevent this? Make sure they’re playing with known friends or keep the voice chat off.

Fortnite is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Shadow of the Colossus

Summer Gaming List 4: Shadow of the Colossus from Bluepoint Games and Team Ico

Bluepoint Games

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the classics of video games, and it’s more accessible than ever with the remake that came to PlayStation 4 this year. Experience a great example of storytelling through games. An added bonus- if you’re not quite caught up to the current generation of systems, a remaster of the original version of the game can be played on the PlayStation 3. For gamers who enjoy narrative, Shadow of the Colossus is definitely a can’t-miss.

Shadow of the Colossus is available on PlayStation 2, 3, and 4.

Summer Gaming for the Whole Family

Gaming doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Make a night of it and bring the whole family together to play games. While local co-op can be hard to find, we’ve got you covered with these two awesome possibilities.

Overcooked

Summer Gaming List 5: Overcooked from Ghost Town Games

Ghost Town Games

Test your family’s ability to cooperate with Overcooked where your group of chefs must work together to save the world from a ravenous beast. First, however, you must train in an increasingly complex set of kitchens. Deal with cooking on top of two trucks, on a sailing ship, and in the middle of a busy crosswalk. Overcooked supports up to four players in both cooperative and competitive modes.

Overcooked is available for Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Human Fall Flat

Summer Gaming List 6: Human Fall Flat from No Brakes Games

No Brakes Games

Human Fall Flat challenges you to take control of the most awkward, clumsy humanoid creature there is and solve physics-based puzzles with nothing but your genius and a bit of nonsense. While Human Fall Flat only supports two players locally, it’s easy to pass the controllers back and forth if your family expands beyond that. The game offers a lot of fun and a lot of laughs as you try desperately to clear challenges in the most awkward way possible.

Human Fall Flat is available on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

Dig-It! Games’ Gaming Catalogue

Summer Gaming List 7: Dig-It! Games

Of course, we have our own catalog of games! While our focus has always been on education, we’ve been applying those experiences to puzzle games recently. For fans of match 3, there’s not a better fit than Silk Road! Head on down the famous trade route with Matthias, the friendly but sassy camel who serves as your companion. Also, coming this year is Roterra, our map traversal game where players take on the role of Angelica. Help guide Angelica home through the twisting, turning world of Roterra. Both of these games will challenge your mind in different ways.

If you’d like to beta test for Roterra or just stay up-to-date on the development, make sure to sign up for updates on the game page.

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Filament Games also has their own reading and gaming list for the summer with even more recommendations, once you get through these.


Stop Summer Learning Loss…While Having Fun!

As the school year rolls into the summer, we are all looking forward to warm weather and vacations. However, just because school is out doesn’t mean learning should come to a stop. Without any sort of academic practice, kids can experience summer learning loss which puts them at a disadvantage when the school year starts again. To combat this summer learning loss, fun activities, games, and events centered around learning are hugely necessary. On this post, we feature several ways to keep kids thinking hard during the long summer months.

Summer Learning Activities

summertime learning to stop summer learning loss

Summer learning doesn’t necessarily need to be traditional classroom learning. Activities that kids might not have had time for during the year can keep their minds active while providing something fun and different. Teach kids how to cook or set them to learning new arts and crafts that keep them creative.

Bringing them outside for science experiments or adventures can keep them active and soaking up the good weather while learning. After a good day outside, make your own ice cream to cool down or chill out in the AC for some reading time.

Essentially, it’s not neccesary to concoct whole lesson plans to stop summer learning loss. Simply make sure that activities get planned and resources are available to keep kids’ minds working and thinking creatively. For a full list of suggestions, We Are Teachers and Education World have specific resources for families in the summer. All of these are easy plans for a weekend excursion depending on parents’ work schedules.

Educational Shows & Videos

educational shows and programs can help stop summer learning loss

One of the benefits of modern technology is the sheer amount of educational programming you can find out there. However, not every source teaches effectively or impartially. Finding the right sources can be hard, especially if you rely on streaming services. We recommend a few unconventional services for various ages below. 

CrashCourse offers a literal “crash course” on almost every topic you could imagine. It began with a focus on history but expanded into science, literature, and more. The lessons are presented in comic form with cute figures and animations providing context for the actual facts being presented.

Khan Academy is a pretty well-known resource now, but it is still worth mentioning. The free service has everything you could possibly need, taught by experts in the field. It even includes test prep for students who want to start getting ready for SAT and other big tests over the summer.

As we’re a game company, we have a fondness for Extra Credits, a channel that not only covers topics in game design but also in history and science fiction. Like CrashCourse, they offer their lessons in animated form, but their videos focus on more specific topics rather than providing wider overviews. For kids who are fond of games, their main Extra Credits series offers a great way to learn about the industry and the inner workings of their favorite games. Speaking of which, games themselves offer ways to learn during the summer!

Game-Based Learning

Our educational games work well in classrooms, but they also can be used to keep learning going outside of it. Not only are educational games fun, they sneak learning in almost before you can realize it. Excavate! offers a fun way to delve into ancient cultures while ExoTrex literally rockets you into the future of space. 

Our games aren’t the only educational games out there and a quick web search will open up a whole host of games for kids of different ages to play. From TeacherGaming (whose Odyssey game we reviewed) to iCivics, our fellow game-based learning companies offer great products for combating summer learning loss.

Learn More About Summer Learning Loss

combat summer learning loss

The organization Summer Learning dedicates itself to combating summer learning loss in communities across America. Their website includes information on why summer learning matters and how summer learning loss can be harmful. For a summary of what exactly summer learning loss can entail, check out the statistics from Oxford Learning.

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Local Archaeology: Discoveries, Education, and More!

Archaeologists discover new findings every day across the world. Here, we take a moment to highlight discoveries and opportunities for those interested in archaeology around the DC Metro area. Based in Bethesda, MD, we at Dig-It! Games always try to keep up with what’s happening in archaeology around us. Bigger finds often overshadow local archaeology. However, archaeologists find tons of interesting things around Maryland, Virginia, and DC.

Alexandria’s Big New Discovery

Local archaeology in Alexandria led to the discovery of two ships on the waterfront

On the historic waterfront of Alexandria, archaeologists discovered the remains of two ships from the late 1700s or early 1800s. Just two blocks away, archaeologists found a similar ship at the Hotel Indigo site in late 2015. At the beginning of March, the City of Alexandria won a grant to preserve that ship from the Virginia Association of Museums. For these two new ships, examination and analysis still needs to take place. It has yet to be announced if these ships will be preserved.

Archaeologist discovered the ships on a site where developers JBG Smith and EYA are turning a former warehouse into townhouses and condos. The law of Maryland requires that developers have archaeologists on site whenever ground is disturbed.

“It wasn’t an unexpected discovery, especially since what we knew from the Hotel Indigo site,” Eleanor Breen, the city’s acting archaeologist, said. “I think there’s a high possibility of additional archaeological treasures to be found.”

We look forward to hearing about what those archaeological treasures might be! If you want, read the full story on the Washington Post for all the details about the excavation.

Local Archaeology Programs for Kids & Students

Get your kids into local archaeology with great programs

Do you know an aspiring archaeologist or just a kid who loves to dig? Around the DC area, you can find many opportunities for young excavators to learn the tools of the trade- literally! Check out these programs first to see if there’s a good fit for your student, child, or the whole family!

Archaeology in the Community, a Washington, DC, organization, aims to promote the study and understanding of archaeological heritage. In pursuit of this goal, they host public events, enrichment programs, and professional development. Additionally they offer a ton of regular youth activities as well as camps.

Also, the National Park Service offers regional archaeology programs in and around DC. They offer cool archaeology programs for youth, teachers, professionals, and others in a variety of locations around the metro area.

Finally, of course, check out the Alexandria Archaeology Museum and learn more about the newly discovered ships.

Game-Based Archaeology

Get your students into archaeology with Excavate!

While we don’t have an Excavate! DC, our series of social studies archaeology games serve as a great way to get students interested in world history and the process behind excavation. Through C-3 aligned gameplay, Excavate! fits into both the classroom and homeschooling curriculum.

Choose from a variety of civilizations with six currently available: MesoAmerica, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Byzantine Empire. Additionally, bundles of civilizations release on the Apple App Store tomorrow for greater convenience. However, the games can also be purchased from Google Play, Amazon Appstore, and on our website.

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Fun Educational Summer Activities!

Now that summer is in full swing check out these great activities to do with your family or send the information along to your students. Educational summer activities are a great way to help students learn while they are having fun as well as giving teachers beneficial professional development.

The Smithsonian is hosting a variety of programs every day this summer! The Mystery of the Megatherium Club: Mustaches and Mayhem is going on every day at the Smithsonian Castle, sometimes twice a day! This scavenger hunt will excite the whole family! Also, on select days there are films after 5 p.m. at the Anacostia Community Museum! Check out their summer activities and events to see which museum is hosting something that will entertain and enrich your child’s summer. If the events are not your thing and you love just to check out their exhibits, hurry some of these programs leave this fall!

Looking for some professional development to do from the comfort of your home? Twitter is your place to be this summer. With a variety of edchats being conducted on various days and new porch PD, it is safe to say that an educator could enjoy gaining new information, tools, techniques, and resources from other educators around the world from the comfort of their home! There are many chats to participate in, and I guarantee the schedule will keep you busy! Some notable chats to participate in are #edchat, #satchatWC (West Coast Leadership Chat), #satchatOC (Oceania Coast Leadership Chat), #mschat (Middle School Chat),  #sschat (Social Studies Chat),#ntchat (Ed Tech Chat), #engchat (English Chat), #mathchat (Math Chat) and #games4ed (GBL Chat).

Summer is also a great time to learn at summer camps, workshops, and conferences and most summer activities on Eventbrite are free!

Going on right now is the Modern Robotics LocoSummer Camp Series by LocoRobo Innovations Inc. This camp is from Mon. July 10th – Fri, July 14th.

The Urban Institute is inviting educators to a forum on Wed. July 12, 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on The Impact of Early Childhood Education on Health and Well-Being: The Latest Research on Policies for Action.

Also on July 12th is the Microsoft Inspire IAMCP Women in Technology Charity Luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Excited about Legos? Send your kids to a 1-Day Lego Summer Camp on Sat. July 15th from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m hosted by e2 Young Engineers.

Make the trip to Norfolk, VA on July 21st from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. for the Inspiring Teacher Conference from YAV and Old Dominion University College.

Women in Tech Demo Day Presented by Capital One is a two-day event from Fri. July 21 – Sat. July 22. This program is by the Women Who Code and AngelHack.

Lastly, on Sat. Aug. 12 send your daughters to the Product Designer (World Fair Event) hosted by the DAR from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Have fun this summer and don’t forget that there are a lot of free, fun, and educational events going on all over the states. Check out museum sites, Eventbrite, and Twitter for great ideas!


Summer Gaming List

Could you save the world this summer?  Discover a new civilization? Or even explore the universe first hand?

We know you can!

Summer is here and it is time to keep the learning going! Summer reading lists are being circulated now with carefully chosen books to support reading gains over the concluding school year and a stepping stone for opening discussions at the beginning of school in the fall.  There can be a significant amount of down time in the summer for children which is the main reason why summer reading lists have become a part of our summers today.  We encourage students to read all summer long but also, don’t neglect to curate your own summer gaming list too!

Picture this: A child seated by himself reading a book under a tree’s shade on a hot summer day.  A hundred feet away, under the shade of another tree, is another child seated by herself playing a video game on a tablet.  In Everything Bad is Good for You, Steven Johnson argues that there is an inherent bias in promoting the reader’s activity as enrichment while deriding the gamer’s activity as wasting time.

They are both seated by themselves engrossed in other worlds.  But one is more acceptable than the other.  Johnson argues that we need to be open to changing the bias against video games.

A good reader will be actively reading by predicting what comes next, recognizing foreshadowing, but they will always be responding to a fixed narrative.  Whereas the video game player is making decisions that impact the outcome of the game, accomplishing short term and long term goals, and depending on the game, may very well be interacting with other players in creating and reimagining the world in which they inhabit.  Johnson argues that this may potentially be more intellectually rigorous…but it all depends on the content and the structure of the game.

This summer, read through that reading list, enjoy those summer evenings of staying up late and reading by flashlight and exploring new worlds.  We also encourage you to grab a video game that is educational and enriching and one that will engage your mind on multiple levels.  Who knows you very well may discover a new home for humanity, discover a new civilization or explore planets you never knew existed!

We here at Dig-It Games are proud of our library of educational games that we encourage you to add some or our games to your summer gaming list! Looking for more games?  Check out the library of games hosted by Games for Change.

Finally, if you are looking for another book to add to your reading this summer, why not pick up Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us SmarterWe bet it will start some interesting conversations as well!


That’s a Wrap! Summer Advice for Teachers

As a former teacher, I know very well the excitement that June brings for most educators out there. Some of you are already done (Congratulations!) and some are so close you can taste it (hang in there)! I still have that sense of anticipation even though this will be my first non-teacher summer ever! While I hope most of you can sit back and relax a bit, I also know that a lot of you will be working at some point this summer. The summer was a great time for me to reflect on the past year as a whole and start formulating my approach for the fall on my own time. I am no expert by any means, but I wanted to offer some of my advice for getting the most out of your summer planning:
  • If you kept a journal throughout the year, go back and read it. If not, think through your year. Make a list of your greatest lessons and also the ones that completely failed (we all have those). Analyze these to see what you can keep, get rid of, or change. I always had student feedback that I referenced while doing this too.
  • Keep up with your peers on Twitter. It’s the best free PD you can find! Use the hashtag for your content area and find chats that interest you – full schedule can be found here. It worked wonders for me for the past 5 years to just keep up with trends in schools and what teachers from all over the world were doing.
  • Do you use Kahoot, ClassDojo, or Dig-iT! Games? Check out my blog post about connecting with EdTech companies. They (we) want to hear from you! Do you have questions or concerns about something? Do you have a feature you’d like to see added? Don’t be afraid to reach out.
  • Learn something new! This is the perfect time to learn about technology tools, game based learning, or anything that will make your life easier in the fall. Check out these programs from the Institute of Play. Then put your new knowledge into practice by using one of our games! You can see them all here.
  • Lastly, relax and enjoy yourself as much as possible. If you have kids or  extra summer jobs, try to carve out some time for yourself to recharge. It’s just as important!
We are just as excited about summer here at the studio. We have our education team heading to ISTE in San Antonio. If you’ll be there, reach out and meet up! You can find the blog post here to explain more. We are also working on curriculum and lesson plans to make implementing our games in the classroom much easier!
On Fridays our incredibly talented artists show off their skills live on Twitch and will answer any questions you may have about how they create characters and objects for our games. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign up for our newsletter! You’ll get first access to our new games and the news coming out of the studio.  We’d love to hear from you! Enjoy your summer!

 


Dig-It! Games is going to ISTE

Dig-It! Games is super excited! This June 25 – June 28, 2017, Dig-It! Games is traveling to the ISTE Conference in San Antonio, Texas! Our company will be presenting and participating in a variety of events. We are so excited to bring our games to the ISTE conference, which has been held in numerous U.S. cities every year for the last three decades, to excite teachers with the potential to heighten their instruction. We are slated to present, Become a Game-Based Learning Guru and are planning to attend numerous social events.

ISTE began almost 40 years ago as a way for K-12 educators to network about changes in learning and to make the biggest impact for our students. Dig-It! Games feels that our mission to build fun, educational games for middle-school-aged students is directly aligned with the mission of ISTE. We know that learning needs to be fun and we design fun games that meet a variety of learners needs. By building digital games, we are building bridges from curriculum to learning in a safe, fun, engaging way.

Come check us out on Monday, June 25th for our workshop that will teach instructors on the elements of game-based learning and learn how to evaluate games for their curriculum needs. You can also look for us at any of the gaming networking events Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night. Some events we are planning to attend are ISTE Game Night/LAN Party: Networking with Games, Online Learning Network Annual Meeting, Ed Tech Coaches Network Annual Membership Meeting, and EduMachinima Fest 2017. The ISTE conference is a great way to meet fellow educators that have a thirst for new knowledge and love technology integration in their classrooms. Come check us out and get some Dig-It! Games swag!


Summer Learning Loss Campaign #gogolearn

Summer Learning Loss

Fighting Summer Learning Loss with Games

Note: This is an early preview of our Summer Learning Loss Campaign – On July 14th all the details will be updated here.

At Dig-It! Games®, we are committed to improving education. As our corporate mission states, “we believe in the power of games to change how kids learn by promoting critical thinking, independent learning, and cultural understanding. Our games incorporate age-appropriate content in math, science, social studies and language arts into fun, interactive and engaging learning experiences. Through our seamless blend of fun and learning, we seek to foster the joy of intellectual discovery and inspire kids to think differently about learning.”

The education community has recently come to understand the true value of game-based learning and games are being regularly integrated into curricula. Currently, half of all K-12 teachers are using games in their classrooms in a meaningful way. These educators recognize the value of games in their students’ learning experiences and the potential of using the data collected by digital games to improve students’ learning and create personalized learning environments. Teachers are finding that games are effective in improving executive function skills, 21st century skills, technology skills, Literacy and Math skills, and more.

Unfortunately, those most in need of our products are often least able to use them. Teachers report that digital games help low-performing students catch up and motivate them to learn more. Digital games not only improve student performance, but positively impact student behavior and attendance. But the digital divide remains, making it a challenge for the students who could benefit the most from game-based learning to gain access to digital learning products.

At Dig-It! Games®, we recognize this challenge and are working to help close the achievement gap. We have spent the past several months rebuilding our infrastructure to provide access to our products from any device on any platform. This device-agnostic approach meets kids where they are: on their phones and other mobile devices. Although bandwidth and data access remain a problem for many students in America, we are happy to be taking steps in the right direction. Our games are also now available on Chromebooks, a more affordable option for schools and parents both.

But we can do more. Every summer, low-income students lose 2-3 months of academic skills compared to their higher-income peers. These gaps in math, reading and other skills add up: by 5th grade, students can be as much as 3 years behind! Summer Learning Loss is real, and affects low-income students disproportionately. Dig-It! Games is joining a national movement to eradicate Summer Learning Loss. Led by the National Summer Learning Association, partners around the country are hosting Summer Learning Day events on July 14, 2016 to raise awareness for this vital educational initiative. To learn more about Summer Learning Day or to find an event near you, visit http://www.summerlearning.org/summer-learning-day/. Dig-It! Games will be hosting an event to raise awareness in our community. We hope you will join us at on July 14, 2016 at Veterans Park in Bethesda.

It’s a great start, but we believe we can do even more. Games are a perfect tool to prevent Summer Learning Loss and keep kids engaged in learning throughout the summer months. Games build content knowledge, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, and so much more. Plus, they’re just fun! Who doesn’t want to be an archaeologist, or search through Maya pyramids or explore space in an engaging game? However, we realize that the students who are most affected by Summer Learning Loss can’t afford these fun experiences. So we are proud to announce our new “Get One, Give One” initiative.

Through “Get One, Give One,” for every game purchased or downloaded this summer we will give a game to a low-income student. Download a Dig-It! game from the iOS App Store or download or buy a game on our website  and we will donate a game to one of our partner organizations to distribute to a child in need. Any game. Free or paid. Big or small. We’re serious about fighting Summer Learning Loss, but we need your help.

If you are or know an organization that can benefit from this campaign you can submit an application here.

As an added incentive, the initial donated game will be our brand new science game ExoTrex™, which with a pre-release retail price of $5.99. So, buy ExoTrex™ for yourself and know that a child is receiving access to a high-quality science game they couldn’t otherwise afford. Or play Excavate!™ for free and that child will still get ExoTrex™ to improve his/her chemistry skills before school starts back up in the fall.

The more you Get, the more we Give. So spend your summer building your vocabulary, exploring the Maya jungle and excavating artifacts! With 10 games to choose from (and more coming this summer), there’s something for everyone. Why not try them all? The kids suffering from Summer Learning Loss will thank you.

EXOTREX Summer Learning

Excavate

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