The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jul 21, 2011

Games for engagement: Huffington Post says "put down your pencils and play"

Posted by Andries Vaisman

A recent article in the Huffington Post cited the importance of using interactive games to strengthen youth education.  Central to the argument was the idea that creative, digital teaching methods are part of learning in the 21st Century.

As a strong supporter of games for engagement, Knight, too, believes in the potential of games.  It’s important that we take advantage of the tools that are being developed, and with all the activity taking place in the field, we’re glad to be involved.

“Video games have become central to our social fabric,” wrote author Michael Levine, executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, a Knight grantee.  “They are ubiquitous in children's lives and as such, deserve a new start in the eyes of policymakers and teachers as a potential boon, not a burden, to learning and healthy development.”

Just last week we announced a new initiative to support the use of Globaloria in San Jose schools, community centers and clubs.  The initiative will use the game to promote digital literacy and civic engagement by having kids design their own educational video games.  

We also recently wrote about Community PlanIt, an interactive game that lets participants plan for the future of their communities.  The platform has just completed its first test run in Lowell, Massachusetts, and so far, it has proved to be quite useful.  New versions will soon serve Boston, Philly and Akron.

The conversation around games for engagement is key to our mission of promoting informed and engaged communities.  If you have any thoughts or comments, we’d love to keep the conversation going.  Reach out to us here or visit for more information.

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