Department of Education wants simulations that help students learn

Department of Education wants simulations that help students learn

Research indicates that engaging, simulation-based learning helps students retain information and skills.

To encourage the development of simulation-based learning and prepare students for the 21st century workforce, the Department of Education has launched the EdSim Challenge, which seeks virtual and augmented reality-based educational experiences that teach academic and technical skills.

The department is calling on the virtual reality, video game developer and educational technology communities to create 3D simulations and multiplayer video games that combine elements of commercial games with educational content.

“This initiative is an exciting example of how virtual reality and game technologies can be applied to give students everywhere the tools to prepare for future success,” said Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education. “We encourage developers from all disciplines to answer our call and help define the future of applied learning.”

The vision for the desired outcome of the challenge is a proof-of-concept simulation that is highly engaging, easily implemented and as easy to use as the internet. Entries will be judged on learning outcomes, engagement, commitment, implementation strategy and scalability. Developers are encouraged to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components.

Five finalists will each receive $50,000 to improve upon their submissions for demo day, after which a grand prize winner will be awarded  $430,000.

Submissions are due 4:59:59 p.m. ET on Jan.  17. More on the challenge is available here.

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