BOSTON, MA – January 28, 2007 – Maryland Public Television (MPT) has selected FableVision, Inc., an internationally- acclaimed educational media producer and publisher, as the new development team for a groundbreaking online math and literacy game. FableVision is collaborating with MPT and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to produce the online software game. The game, focused on pre-Algebra skills, will serve students in upper elementary and middle school grades and support state and national standards. "We are thrilled to work with such an outstanding group whose mission in creating innovative educational media aligns so closely to ours," said Gail Porter Long, Senior Vice President, Chief Education Officer, MPT. "FableVision´s award-winning team will help make this innovative game a cutting- edge tool both in and out of the classroom."
The game is part of MPT´s Learning Games To Go initiative, the centerpiece of a $15 million grant awarded from the U.S. Department of Education Star Schools program. Tasked with using games as a gateway to improving math and literacy skills, MPT and FableVision are joined in this project by game designers and theorists from MIT´s renowned Education Arcade, which includes director of MIT´s Comparative Media Studies Program, Professor Henry Jenkins, III, and Creative Director Scot Osterweil (of Zoombini´s software fame).
MPT´s dynamic K-12 educational supersite Thinkport.org will serve as the online entry point to the game, which will invite students on an interactive quest. Students will embark on an interactive journey through a challenging maze full of mythical creatures, adventures and puzzles. Leveraging the best in game theory research, the online software is being designed to engage today´s digital-native youth with rich graphics, storytelling, and compelling interactivity. Plans also include adaptations of the game for the most popular mobile technology and gaming devices.
Teachers from several Maryland school districts and a distinguished advisory board of education experts will provide active participation throughout the production and testing process. A rigorous longitudinal research study is also being conducted by independent research group ORC Macro International to measure the efficacy of this gaming-meet-classroom approach. Additional production under MPT´s Learning Games to Go initiative are the creation of simulations using virtual reality technology created in partnership with Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education and the Applied Physics Lab.
MPT and its partners will support this project by providing research, training, technical facilities and expert consultation, the delivery of digital resources on Thinkport.org and broadcast of reading and math programs totaling $9,073,353 thereby contributing 38% to the total project cost with the U.S. Department of Education contributing 62% to the total project cost.
FableVision (www.fablevision.com) is a on a 200-year mission to bring the world to a better place through media, storytelling and technology. With new headquarters at The Boston Children´s Museum in Boston, and offices in Portland, Oregon and London, the FableVision team enjoys an international reputation for its unique brand of innovative, technology-delivered storytelling and learning, which include K12 software product offerings (Stationery Studio, BrainCogs, Essay Express, Get A Clue) distributed around the globe. FableVision´s partners and clients include PBS, Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, Nickelodeon/Noggin, the Jim Henson Company, KCET, Carnegie Hall, National Academy of Sciences, WGBH, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Pearson Education, the Research Institute for Learning & Development, and Boston University.
Follow the progress of the Learning Games to Go initiative at the project website Got Game? http://www.thinkport.org/technology/gotgame/default.tp Catch podcasts with creators from MIT and FableVision at http://www.thinkport.org/technology/gotgame/doandview/podcast.tp