” Gamification is a major buzzword in learning. Now, thanks to the support of AT&T, it has a marquee national initiative that will truly test the proposition of whether video games can motivate at-risk students to stay in school, raise test scores, and actually enjoy learning. “We decided we were going to aim for exponential change in education,” explains Beth Shiroshi, AT&T Foundation’s vice president for sustainability and philanthropy. With this reboot of its Aspire education initiative launched four years ago, AT&T has made a big bet on GameDesk, a nonprofit startup that grew out of the University of Southern California. They’re committing $3.8 million for GameDesk first to build a brick-and-mortar hub in Los Angeles, a “classroom of the future” where new, game-based curricula and processes can be demonstrated, observed, and evaluated. Then the company will broadcast that data through an online educational content portal for parents, students, and educators”

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