Scheduled Maintentance

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Educade will be down for scheduled maintenance beginning today, April 21st, 2016. The site should be available again no later than Tuesday, April 26th, 2016. If you need to contact us, please reach out to Thank you for your patience.

-The Educade Team


The future of learning spaces is open ended

The spaces we inhabit have a profound effect on how we inhabit them. Space induces a particular way of feeling, of being. What are we saying to our children with we line them up in 5×8 rows facing the same direction toward a voice of authority? What do we say about desks that lock us in place, where the majority of movement within our gaze is eyes forward, eyes down? I remember my surprise when I walked into first grade for the very first time. The change from kindergarten to first grade was extreme. I looked at the arrangement of desks and thought, “what game is this?” It was a game I would play for the rest of my developing years. I was disappointed. I knew it could be better than this.

We look inside current learning spaces and look at the world; there is a big disconnect. It’s not reflective.We as a society have agreed by doctrine that our children will come together in a building and learn, and yet we allow our kids to be behind desks for a majority of their developing years. We evolve behind desks. Think of that! Students don’t need places to sit, listen and write. Instead, they need places to connect, explore, discover and relate. They need places of support. We spend over a decade being conditioned to receive and compete, imagine if space invoked us to support each other, everyday and in every way.

We need environments that help realize that within us there are unbounded treasures. We need environments that shine a light on our potential and provide opportunities to express ourselves. Schools at their heart should be human potentiality incubators. We need to think about what type of environment supports our own individual greatness. They come first, before college, before careers, before testing. The cultivation of the student, the child, the learner is all that matters. So the question becomes: What kinds of spaces naturally lend themselves to drawing out, rather than pushing in? How does one draw out what is within? And how do we enable one to feel confident enough to draw out from oneself all the magic that is inside. These are the questions of an educational space designer.

A few years ago, I found myself designing learning spaces for new school models of learning. The Playmaker school in Los Angeles became a canvas to explore these ideas. The school model was to make every day interactive, playful and creative. The space created needed to be versatile and functional for experiential learning across a broad spectrum of approaches: role-play, making and building, digital simulations, games, mobile apps, ideation and collaborative exploration. I thought about what experiences could happen in those spaces, extracting the qualities and characteristics of technology, space and teaching methods that could be applied to each space. We experimented with three rooms and asked ourselves, “What kind of room would provoke this way of being?”
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GameDesk and Time Warner Cable Present “EduPalooza” at IndieCade Festival 2013

STEM education showcase uses games and hands-on activities to help the Los Angeles community and at-risk youth learn about science, technology, engineering, and math.

GameDesk, named one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education” and Time Warner Cable are presenting EduPalooza at the 2013 IndieCade Festival, the annual and International Festival of Independent Games in the nation on October 5-6, 2013 in Culvcr City, CA. EduPalooza invites a diverse audience of kids and families from all over Los Angeles to come participate in a weekend of educational play.

“We are very excited to be back at the IndieCade Festival and bring a hands-on, game-based education showcase the whole family will enjoy,” said Lucien Vattel, founder and chief executive officer of GameDesk. “EduPalooza at IndieCade is a world of play where kids and adults explore concepts like physics and engineering. Our goal is to inspire and unite a community to reimagine the way people learn, and ultimately make serious learning fun.”

GameDesk will create an interactive outdoor space to showcase playful learning experiences pulled from PlayMaker at New Roads School and GameDesk’s new free portal of interactive learning tools called Los Angeles Job Corps will help to bring at-risk and disadvantaged youth from other areas of the city as part of this integrated cultural experience. According to Jacquelyn Honore, Center Director, “Job Corps is pleased to partner with GameDesk to introduce interactive, hands-on learning opportunities to our students.”

“We believe one of the most powerful ways to engage children in any kind of learning, especially STEM, is to make it fun, and that is why we are thrilled to support GameDesk and EduPalooza at the IndieCade Festival,” said Kim Latour, director of community investment for Time Warner Cable. “At Time Warner Cable our Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) initiative is a five-year, $100 million cash and in-kind commitment to address America’s declining proficiency in STEM. This event is very aligned with what we’re all about.”

This STEM education-focused space features an elaborate cardboard arcade factory where both kids and adults will be able to build their own cardboard arcade games while also exploring learning through design; they will be able to build both virtual and physical roller coasters and extract physics knowledge from a digital to physical learning experience. Also featured is a virtual aerodynamic simulation, created by Bill Nye and GameDesk, that takes students through motion and forces, along with a Tinker Tavern filled with simple circuitry and inventions for exploration and deconstruction.

“We are thrilled to be hosting EduPalooza at our annual IndieCade Festival,” said Stephanie Barish, chief executive officer of IndieCade. “IndieCade Festival transforms downtown Culver City every year into a gaming paradise – from videogames and board games to big, physical games, night games and eSports. EduPalooza complements our mission our commitment to producing an environment where people of all ages can converge to learn about the design, technology, and science through gaming.”

A significant donation from Time Warner Cable helps support STEM education and outreach to at-risk communities. A big thank you to the IndieCade organization for hosting EduPalooza and for supporting playful learning in Los Angeles.

More information on the event can be found below:

Dates: Oct 5-6, 2013 (Sat-Sun)
Time: 10:00am – 6:00pm
Location: The IndieCade Festival Village, 9300 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232


About GameDesk 
Named one of Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Education”, GameDesk is a transformative 501(c)(3) nonprofit education ecosystem with a mission to develop the next generation model of education, revolutionizing the way students learn by embedding academic content and assessment into hands-on experiences, digital games, and simulations. Using the most advanced learning tools and methods, GameDesk transforms the learning environment and increases academic success with a mixture of cutting edge R&D, user and evidence centered design, content creation, curriculum development, professional development, and engaging popular technology. As a dedicated team of innovators, educators, game designers, engineers, inventors, administrators and students seeking a better tomorrow, GameDesk aims to catalyze a major shift in the way society thinks about education and inspires everyone to become part of the movement to make serious learning fun.

For more information, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @gamedesk.

About Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds 
Time Warner Cable’s (TWC) Connect a Million Minds (CAMM) is a five-year, $100 million philanthropic initiative to address America’s declining proficiency in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which puts our children at risk of not competing successfully in a global economy. Using its media assets, TWC creates awareness of the issue and inspires students to develop the STEM skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow. Program highlights include: original PSAs that challenge public perceptions of STEM; a unique website,, and “The Connectory”, a one-of-a-kind online resource that makes it simple and easy for parents and students to find informal science and technology learning opportunities in their communities. Local TWC markets have activated CAMM across the country with community-specific programs and partnerships.

About IndieCade 
Applauded as the “Sundance of the videogame industry”, IndieCade supports independent game development globally through a series of international events highlighting the rich, diverse, artistic and culturally significant contributions of indie game developers. IndieCade’s programs are designed to bring visibility to and facilitate the production of new works within the emerging independent game community. Annual events include IndieCade East, IndieCade’s Showcase @ E3 and IndieCade Festival, the largest gathering of independent game creators in the nation.

About Job Corps 
Job Corps is a no-cost education and career technical training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 improve the quality of their lives through career technical and academic training. The Job Corps program is authorized by Title I-C of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.


Come Play, Make, and Learn at EduPalooza!

GameDesk and Time Warner Cable have teamed up to host EduPalooza, a STEM education showcase filled with games and learning for the whole family. The event will take place October 5-6 in Culver City, CA as a part of IndieCade, the annual International Festival of Independent Games.

During this weekend of science play and community-based STEM learning, kids and families from the Los Angeles area can enjoy multiple gaming and making activities from PlayMaker at New Roads School and the newly launched Educade online portal. Explore physics and aerodynamics as you construct your own arcade, design your own roller coaster, and fly like a bird with six foot wings!

Join us for an invasion of fun, games, and learning that you won’t soon forget. Make sure to get your tickets today! SAVE $20 on a family 4-pack of tickets pack when you use the promo code GAMEDESK13 – register here!

Dates: Oct 5-6, 2013 (Sat-Sun)
Time: 10:00am – 5:00pm
Location: The IndieCade Village, 9300 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232


Learn More about Content Creation for Educade beta

Educade is a free website that pairs standards aligned lesson plans with 21st century teaching tools like games, apps, and maker kits. These are ready to use and effective resources that have been thoroughly vetted by the GameDesk curriculum team comprised of teachers, content specialist, researchers, artists, and developers.

Educade is also a platform where you can create and share your own content. We want to feature you and the exciting work you’re doing, from lesson plans, to innovative teaching tools, to organizational materials and worksheets, Educade Content Creation allows you to upload and share your original work with others. It is a system that is for teachers, by teachers, with a mission to ignite a community of thought leaders and education visionaries to take action in creating and sharing new education best practices.

Interested in being a part of the Educade Content Creation beta? Here’s how to join:

  1. Go to and create a profile by clicking the following button at the top right corner:Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 4.11.42 PM
  2. Fill out your name, email, and create a password. Finish by selecting “Sign Up.” Now you have your own Educade profile!
  3. Already have an Educade profile? Then skip the sign up process and log in at the top using: Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 4.11.59 PM
  4. Once you have accessed your profile, select the following button at the top right: Screen Shot 2013-08-07 at 12.55.04 PM
  5. A window will appear asking if you would like to be added to the content creation beta list. Select YES, and your name will be added to the list for approval.
  6. Upon approval you’ll receive an email confirming your new content creation status. Then you can begin creating and sharing content!
  7. Questions? Comments? Need further help? Reach out to us at and one of our team members will respond promptly to your request.

Thank you for your participation and help! We look forward to your creations!

~ The Educade Team AF_EducadeCircle

Teacher of the Week: Tedd Wakeman


We’re introducing our Teacher of the Week series! Meet Tedd, one of the Playmaker School teachers with a quirky sense of humor and a fresh teaching perspective that helps him relate to the sixth graders in his class. Tedd believes that education is about making connections and helping students create meaning. Tuning into what his students like, he uses digital games such as Reach for the Sun to teach photosynthesis and DragonBox to introduce algebraic equations. Teaching through games is one of Tedd’s biggest superpowers, but his ability to connect with students through laughter and excitement is what makes him the offbeat superhero.

You can follow Tedd at @tedducation, and check out more of his superhero adventures on his blog here!

Interested in how he used Reach for the Sun in the classroom? Find it here.
Interested in how he used DragonBox in the classroom? Find it here.


“History Is Boring!” …not so fast.

Originally posted by PlayMaker School at New Roads and the Center For Effective Learning

Throughout the year, we addressed engagement as we explored ancient civilizations through a series of authentic experiences where kids role-played, collaborated, negotiated, created rules, and navigated toward individualized and team goals.  Content became valuable as it was useful to students in completing tasks and achieving these goals.  Here is just a glimpse of their feedback about our last exploration in Mesoamerica:

“This was the best out of them all!!!.  I think that I put so much more work into MesoAmerica.  This really put a lot more into my head and I was really cooperating and really being there for my team.  For example, I had a vision of a great priest costume and had my grandma help me bring it to life.  It was one of the coolest things I have ever done!”

“As a priest, I felt that I had a very important role in the game. I had to do a lot of research for my group such as translating English to Nahualt and finding facts about ancient rituals and sacrifices.”

“The whole process taught me a lot. You have to know what you’re doing, put effort into your work, and don’t procrastinate. If you do, your whole experience will be bad. Once you put effort into what you’re doing, it actually becomes really fun, because if you’re just slacking off, you’re not doing or learning anything.”

“First of all I, want to say that I LOVED this experience. It was my absolute favorite game ( out of Survive and Thrive, Greece and MesoAmerica ). I loved how, in the game, you got to “apply ” for the role/job that you wanted and make a speech about why you should get the job and what you would do in that role.  I also feel that when I got  the role that I wanted it was a better experience. Not just by having more fun but really digging into information when I was cooking. For example when I made the cacao tamales I learned that the Aztecs didn’t have sugar, so for a sweetener, I used agave nectar.”

“I thought that this way of learning about Mesoamerica is amazing.”

“The “Mesoamerican” experience was very interesting and I am so happy that I was able to enjoy it. Being here for of all of the games with Playmaker and everything that we did this year in sixth grade has been an awesome learning experience.”

“This Mesoamerican experience was probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in school.  Not only because it was fun, but it combined learning, fun, and responsibility all into one game.  Through the ritual, trading session, flowery war and feast, I learned a lot.”

Big Bang

Geoscience: STEMulating the Classroom Through Play

In a 6th grade science class, Lianne holds an iPad close to her face, her eyes focused on something moving across its screen. With a flick of her fingers, a loud sound erupts and a grin spreads across her face. Through a marriage of technology and learning, Lianne just experienced the Big Bang Theory in a way that no other student has before. She made it happen, watching her actions unfold through a game.

With education reform at the top of our government’s agenda there is a renewed emphasis on Science Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in public schools. Yet, there is a disconnect between the subject matter and the student. The challenge is finding an avenue for students to connect, discover, and identify interest in STEM. This is where the intersection of technology and games in education prove to be beneficial.

GameDesk’s mission is to shift consumers away from passively absorbing information to actively participating with it. Games provide educators with more ways to personalize learning opportunities and adjust to different learning styles. Since STEM concepts are heavily integrated, exposure to powerful learning experiences at an early age lay the groundwork for understanding STEM subjects later on in a student’s academic and professional career.

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National Day of Civic Hacking

National Day of Civic Hacking

Description: The White House has announced a National Day of Civic Hacking that will take place June 1-2, 2013 in cities across the nation. The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs from all over the nation to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions. They will use publicly-released data, code, and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, and our country. National Day of Civic Hacking will provide citizens an opportunity to do what is most quintessentially American: roll up our sleeves, get involved and work together to improve our society. Continue reading…


Solutions Not Answers

“Instead of being trained to ask questions and to cultivate the means to find answers, we were just collecting information.”

Inevitably when you work in education you reflect on your own educational experiences. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about a high school course I took called “Tech Lab.” Much like the missions of GameDesk and other ed-tech start-ups, this course was an attempt by the school district (and whoever created the curriculum) to excite kids about STEM subjects through experimentation with hands-on activities and technology. We completed computer-based exercises, manipulated digital interactives, played digital games, and performed experiments and recorded the results.

But above all we cheated. A lot.

We—and by “we” I am referring to a core group of about a dozen out of a class of twenty five—devised sophisticated, collaborative systems for recording and distributing answers, and fabricated ways to look like we had done the work in earnest. We completed assignments in record time and received good scores on quizzes and tests. This surreptitious and devious criminal network was our great innovation and it freed up time for us to do what we really enjoyed: goofing off.

We used the lab’s kits and tools for purposes definitely beyond their curricular intentions. And instead of playing the digital edu-games, we spontaneously designed our own in-class games—chair races and pranks targeted at the auto shop class next door.

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