GameMaker for Education
|GameMaker for Education|
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|GameMaker 8.1 for Windows||Learn more|
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|10th–14th Jun 13||Games Britannia Videogames Education Festival 2013 – Sheffield, UK|
|23rd–26th Jun 13||International Society for Technology Education Conference (ISTE) 2013 – San Antonio, TX, USA|
|31st Jul 13||"ON" Ipswich Game Development Conference 2013 – Ipswich, UK|
GameMaker for Education – 21st Century Skills
GameMaker is a creative tool that encourages pupils to be at the heart of the learning experience. It’s easy to use and requires minimal training, and with HTML5 games can be viewed anywhere with an internet connection.
Offering exceptional value, GameMaker empowers schools to create and develop individuality whilst naturally building a community. Students can use GameMaker at home, allowing them freedom to work on projects anytime and transferring work back into classroom.
Making technologies accessible to students within school curriculums to encourage tomorrow's engineers. GameMaker facilitates the learning process and enables pupils of ANY age to experience, understand and use technologies being adopted in both industry and creative sectors.
Targeting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) to promote and develop key skills; experience has shown that games-based software, used in this context, results in pupils getting significantly higher exam results. In addition students attain transferable, usable skills in the real world. The other benefit, not to be underestimated, is that pupils are enthusiastic using it increasing demand for STEM subjects.
- Easy to learn
- Easy to use
- Taught through tutorials
- Engagement of pupils
- Unlimited creativity from basic to sophisticated projects
- Design elements and principles
- Better class results
As a boarding school, we can make far more available to [students] for structured free time than is possible at a day School. Game Design Hobby is consistently fully booked, and it is great to see them eager to learn skills that are also useful in many other situations, usually without even realising that they are learning- breaking a challenge down into individual tasks, logical thinking, problem-solving, persistence and diligence. It is also a great opportunity for pupils to shine who otherwise struggle to reflect their full abilities academically. The visual nature of the program seems to help them come to grips with concepts. The use of a computer allows them to express their ideas without fighting the limits of fine motor skills and word-based language.
Kirstin Darke, Bachelor of Engineering (BEng)
Aeronautics and Astronautics at Southampton University
ICT Tutor and Technician @ Port Regis School, UK
I have been teaching with GameMaker for about 8 years in a variety of educational settings (camps, museums, and schools) with great success. So this year, when a student approached me about doing an independent study project on game programming I knew exactly where to point him. The two of us worked together this trimester making our way through two of the built in tutorials in the program, a few chapters from The GameMaker's Apprentice book, and finally culminating in an entirely original game development project. As we worked our way through those projects the student had an immersive experience in variables, control structures, objects, parent/child inheritance, operator syntax, functions, script execution, new variable declaration and manipulation, sprite design, relative positioning, arrays, and much more! The student was so inspired by our work that he used his skills with GameMaker to contribute to a group project in his Science class by making an original game about fracking and its environmental impact. He has also elected to continue his education in computer science by signing up for robotics and java courses next year
As an educator I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience using GameMaker as a learning environment for basic programming and hope to extend the independent study project into a full course proposal in the future. I am hoping to connect with other educators using GameMaker that have developed syllabi for the 9-12 audience
Kimberly Evelti, Assistant Academic Dean, Math Teacher
The Williston Northampton School (Independent, Co-ed Boarding and Day School, Grades 7-12) Easthampton, MA
Links to teacher resources
GameMaker was originally designed by Prof. Mark Overmars of Utrecht University as a tool for teaching game design to undergraduates.
We've provided a few links below that you may find useful to start with.
- Games in Education – Using games and simulations in the classroom
- Games and Learning Handbook
- Piracy and Copyright Educational Resources
- Game Learning
- Game Studies – A non-profit journal dedicated to games research
GameMaker reference material
Steven Isaacs, Middle School teacher, teaches Video Game Design to 7th and 8th grade students and online professional development web 2.0 technologies. He has been teaching GameMaker for over 10 years and has shared Tutorials (GM 8.0) Blog GM 8.1 Tutorials
The Game Maker's Apprentice, which is a wonderful book written by Mark Overmars (the developer of GameMaker) and Jacob Habgood (Sheffield Hallam University). Essential (and addictive) reading to go beyond the basics.
Jacob Habgood discusses the educational benefits of teaching game design at Gamasutra. Jacob Habgood's site contains information, research and resources concerning the educational use of computer games, including resources for GameMaker and example games.
GameMaker in Education on the GameMaker Community.
Frequently asked questions
A full list of our most common education-related enquiries are availble on our Help Centre.
Case study – Games as visual expression
Jacob Habgood at the Institute of Learning Sciences, Nottingham, has taken a similar approach to integrating learning with computer games. He set up an after-school computer club at a Sheffield primary school, working with 40 students to create their own games in order to explore the educational benefits of authoring games (for example, developing logical thought patterns, mathematical understandings and creative skills) and to discover ways to better integrate learning within a game.
Dr Jacob Habgood is also one of the senior lecturers at the game-based courses at Sheffield Hallam. He has released the book The Game Maker's Companion a hobbyist book on game development, which uses the GameMaker tool. Focusing on creating platform games, it includes the classic 90's Amiga game Zool and new concept called Shadows on Deck with Nana Nielsen.
The book is aimed at pre-university level. Habgood continues to guide students through the concepts of game design and development courses using GameMaker at Sheffield Hallam University.
Habgood's research reports that this allowed children with poor literacy skills to begin creating rich and complex playable environments without the need for lengthy written work. Consequently, the boost in confidence this lent some children meant their confidence in other subjects rose too.
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