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Educational Services

Gold Bug Interactive offers a range of services for schools, school districts, and organizations, including professional development, instructional and curriculum design, and workshops and events for kids and students. Our innovative approach leverages the principals of game-based learning, gamification, and game design to cultivate 21st century competencies and catalyze meaningful change. Our vision is shaped from work in K12 classrooms, academic research, teacher training, and ongoing collaborations with practitioners, schools, universities, and organizations around the world.

We believe:

Learners must be active, engaged, and emotionally involved.

Games can help us build better schools.

We learn best by doing

Dynamic environments can nourish passion and curiosity through play, production, and design.

Technology does not equal innovation.

Educators are designers

Students must have choice and voice

Media literacy and digital literacy are crucial skills.

Learning must be connected to the real world.

Learning must adapt to a rapidly changing world.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN/CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

Guided by our participatory vision, our instructional designers create effective and meaningful learning experiences with a vast array of digital and analog resources, assessment strategies, and interactive artifacts. We design customized, standard-aligned curriculum for online, in-person, and hybrid learning environments.

Our approach engages learners with:

Choice and differentiated instruction

Gameful elements

Innovative assessment strategies

Multimedia

Production and artifact oriented assessment

Collaborative learning

Simulations, role-play, and real-world connections

Judicious use of digital games and simulations

Educational Services

Museum of Me

The Museum of Me unit was created by iThrive Game in partnership with expert teachers Dr. Paul Darvasi (Gold Bug Interactive/University of Toronto) and Dr. Matthew Farber (University of Northern Colorado's School of Teacher Education), and tested by teachers and students across the U.S. This high school SEL-focused language arts unit was designed with a universal design for learning (UDL) framework and includes an array of 21st Century assessment strategies. The unit was featured in EdSurge.

Gone Home

Gone Home

This groundbreaking curricular unit pioneered a model of how to incorporate a commercial digital game in high school curriculum. This exemplary unit for the digital age affords student agency, voice, and choice while reimagining how to engage learners and approach communications instruction in the 21st Century. The unit was featured in KQED’s Mindshift.

Identifying Leaves to Grow Knowledge, Skills, and Community

Identifying Leaves to Grow Knowledge, Skills, and Community

This STEM unit combines a leaf identification app called LeafSnap with Google My Maps. High school science students identify trees by their leaves and create a map-based neighborhood inventory to better understand the benefits of trees in urban centres, and how concerned community groups contribute to their welfare. The unit was featured in the Smithsonian’s Science Education Centre’s Citizen Science day.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

We offer a range of in-person and online professional learning programs to energize educators and inspire them to reimagine what is possible. Our interactive workshops encourage participants to adopt 21st century mindsets, unlock creative potential, and invigorate their practice. Our design-centred approach is informed by our cutting-edge work with educators at the University of Toronto, UNESCO, and classrooms around the world. Participants will learn to:

Adopt a design mindset

Design dynamic and engaging instructional environments

Develop innovative and relevant standard-aligned curriculum

Enhance lessons and curriculum

Enhance lessons and curriculum

Develop novel and relevant assessment practices

Effectively integrate technology

Better engage students in meaningful learning activities

Integrate game-based learning and gamification

Develop skills to find interactive tools and games onlinen

Every educational culture is unique, so we tailor our programs to meet the individual needs of each organization, school, and district. Contact us to discuss how we can help you meet your objectives.

WORKSHOPS & EVENTS FOR KIDS AND STUDENTS

We offer interactive digital and media literacy workshops for children and adolescents. Through our programs, participants will learn how to distinguish fact from fiction, prioritize information on the web, understand the consequences of data sharing on the Internet and social media, explore issues of privacy and surveillance, and learn how computers and the cloud work. We can also tailor workshops for specific needs using our playful design methodologies.

Blind Protocol

Blind Protocol

Co-designed with John Fallon, Blind Protocol is an embodied cyber-warfare simulator that pits two schools against one another in a series of international cyber engagements. While contending with a rogue AI, two parallel groups of young recruits explore issues of privacy and surveillance while building artifacts, collecting bitcoins, and launching protocols to unmask the identity and location of their opponents.

Electronic disobedience

Electronic disobedience

A series of gamified workshops to create art and robotic installations. We encouraged youth to reflect on problematic aspects of electronics such as how computers and mobile phones are physically closed, enigmatic, and often un-repairable devices, whose destiny is to rot when the new model appears. We exhibited their works of art in three museums in Mexico City: CCD, Fabrica El Rule, and CNA.

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