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Meaningful Play 2018 at Michigan State University

Session Information

TitleThe Promise of Games for Personalized Learning

Diana HughesDiana Hughes is the Director of Adaptive Games at Age of Learning, Inc., a leading education technology company and creator of, a comprehensive digital learning resource for children ages 2-8. At Age of Learning, she helps create adaptive, game-based learning systems that personalize instruction to keep players in their optimal zone for learning. Prior to joining the company, she worked as a Game Designer and Producer with indie studios Codename Games and Psychic Bunny. Her past work includes an empathy game for children on the autism spectrum, a graphics-free game for blind and low-vision players, and training games for the United States Military. She holds a B.S in Multimedia from Bradley University and an MFA in Interactive Media from the University of Southern California.

TimeSaturday, October 13, 9:00a-10:00a
LocationMSU Union Ballroom
DescriptionIn the United States today, 60% of 4th graders test below grade level in both math and reading skills (National Assessment of Educational Progress, 2017). The numbers only get worse as they progress through the school system. What happens to those kids, and how could we do better by them? The answer may lie in personalized learning - an approach that gives each student the right challenge, at the right time, and lets them go at their own pace to master material.

As video games backed by big data become increasingly sophisticated, we can modify games to suit their players. We can see when a player is frustrated or in the zone, and tune the game to be easier or harder. We can accurately assess a player's skill level, and pair them with opponents of similar skill levels. Skill assessment, dynamic difficulty tuning, gauging engagement level and responding•those are the kinds of things a skilled teacher does, and they are the building blocks of personalized learning.

This talk will discuss a games-and-data approach to personalized learning, and why I believe games are the best way to give every child the education they deserve.

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