On January 7, industry experts and onlookers made their way to the ESA lobby in DC to talk about games and education. The event, presented by the Ed Games Expo and the Entertainment Software Association, featured intimate panel discussions with a group of the country’s premiere learning game developers. Conversations centered on the field of educational learning games, with panelists discussing career challenges and successes as well as what to expect in the future.

The evening started with an informal chat featuring ESA President & CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. The program then moved into its first panel, Women Got Game. Panelists included Kara Carpenter (Teachley), Tory Van Voorhis (Second Avenue Learning), and Maria Burns Ortiz (7 Generation Games) will talk about their experience as women game developers helping shape the industry. Tammie Schrader moderated the conversation, which covered personal experiences as women game developers helping shape the industry.

Finally, the program ended with a discussion involving the Pioneers (Survivors) of Learning Games. Panelists included Tracy Fullerton (Walden, USC), Alan Gershenfeld (eLine Media), and Devin Young (ClassCraft). Mark DeLoura, a veteran technologist, video game advocate, and author who spent 2013-2014 working as Senior Advisor for Digital Media at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, moderated the panel. Panelists provided candid advice on the challenges of creating educational games, including finding audiences and funding, but also optimistic trends for the future.

The fireside chat kicked off the start of the seventh annual #EdGamesExpo, the Department of Education’s annual public showcase and celebration of educational learning games as well as innovative forms of learning technologies for children and students in education and special education. The event marks an exciting time of the year where a diverse mix of experts and developers come together to discuss games and technologies relating to a range of topics including early learning, science, engineering, making, math, reading, social studies, English learning, social skills and to support students with or at risk for disabilities.

The expo, held at the Kennedy Center, will be free and open to the public tonight (January 9th) from 5PM to 8PM. To learn more about how to attend, visit https://ies.ed.gov/sbir/EdGamesExpo.asp.

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