Trend: Educational Serious Games
an educational game design company, responsible for the DimensionM online multiplayer math game series, has been hosting MEGABOWL events bringing elementary and middle school students against their classmates and students from other schools to compete in game tournaments. Tabula Digita has staged tournaments in New York City, Austin, Texas, and other locations where students compete to solve problems that are part of the video games. These Multiplayer Educational Game Tournaments (MEGs), have been taking place both virtually and live, and have been receiving great response from educators and students. They are positioned as a great way to generate student engagement and motivation, leading to greater achievement and confidence. They also compare the atmosphere they promote to sporting events, complete with with screaming fans, cheer squads and serious competition.
Recently, twenty schools from all five boroughs competed in the tournament after over 80 schools and 3500 students vied to qualify for a coveted spot in the New York event
. Schools were excited to support their students' academic achievements and the hall was packed with over 700 cheering supporters. Schools showed up with custom-designed t-shirts and posers, and some schools even brought marching bands, cheerleaders and a mascot! This video
shares highlights from the 2010 MEGABOWL that was hosted in Alfred Lerner Hall at Columbia University in NYC.
Additional support for these MEGs posit that they provide a structured learning arena where students can comfortably compete and collaborate, all while improving their academic skills, building school spirit and teamwork.
You can find complete tournament guidelines here
Such events have created buzz and their local growth has sparked other educational technology companies to get on board. According to this article,
Pearson a major educational technology company announced their stake and partnership with Tabula Digita. Together they have offered 3rd to 8th grade classrooms a special line of Tabula Digita's award winning DimensionM math series for the past year. Additionally Pearson and Tabula Digita have agreed to deepen their partnership and develop new educational games across key content areas that align with Pearson curriculum in the new phase of the relationship.