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3rd Annual Games in Education Symposium

Discussing the use of games in the classroom on August 5th and 6th at Hudson Valley Community College, Troy NY.


July 22, 2009

Press contacts listed below

The third annual Games in Education Symposium, two days of workshops and presentations about the use of computer and video games in the classroom, will take place August 5th & 6th on the Hudson Valley Community College campus in the Bulmer Telecommunications Center.

The symposium is FREE to educators from early childhood to post secondary education interested in the use of games and technology to promote learning in the 21st century. This year’s symposium will explore the practical application of interactive technologies like video games, social networks, blogs and other media to inspire and promote learning in this generation of “digital natives.”

Leading educators and experts from across the nation will discuss how they have applied video games to all curricular areas, and offer teachers a glimpse into new and exciting ways to reach their students, many of whom thrive on this technology outside of the classroom.

"We are living in a technological age in which even the very youngest of our children are being exposed to technology at home and in school at an early age,” explains Professor Nancy T. Cupolo, whose Teacher Preparation Department at Hudson Valley Community College is hosting this year’s event.

Jennifer Goodall, Assistant Dean of the College of Computing and Information at The University at Albany adds, “Games are one of the technologies our kids use everyday and we should capitalize on that in any way we can. If we can capture the spirit kids have for games and use that for learning, we not only enhance their education, we also teach all kinds of kids at a young age they can be part of the future of technology. They are tomorrow's technology leaders.”

This exciting professional development opportunity offers educators throughout the greater Capital Region two days of free presentations, panels, hands-on workshops, and round table discussions related to games and technology in the classroom. Topics range from the exploration of virtual worlds like Second Life and World of Warcraft and how teachers are using the games successfully in schools, to Social Robotics experimentation aimed at getting kids interested in Computer Science, to analyzing the real world pressures teacher’s face when attempting to straddle two cultures of instruction.

“During my attendance at professional conferences related to games, I have been most inspired by the sessions on how games are being used by educators to engage and motivate children to learn,” explained Tobi Saulnier, CEO of 1st Playable Productions. “We wanted to bring this experience to the local community, to educators who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to hear about these exciting developments.”

Says Ilene Frank, Director of Public Programs & Education at the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium, who has sponsored this event 2 years in row, “Inspiring a sense of wonder about extraordinary scientific and technological developments is what we do everyday and the Museum views this event as one way to inspire today’s educators on how to incorporate technology including video games into their curriculums. Through inspirational and innovative education, our youth will receive the motivation they need to pursue science and technology education and careers.

The 2009 Games in Education Symposium is presented by 1st Playable Productions, WMHT Educational Telecommunications, the Teacher Preparation Department at Hudson Valley Community College, the Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium, and the College of Computing and Information at The University at Albany.

“WMHT is pleased to be a major sponsor of Games In Education,” says Katherine Jetter, Director of Education at the station. “For over 40 years, PBS has provided educational content in multimedia platforms for learners of all ages. The use of high quality educational digital media can support and accelerate learning both in and outside the classroom. This symposium provides local educators resources for teaching and learning in the 21st century classroom.” WMHT has sponsored the event since its inception in 2007, and hosted its inaugural symposium that same year.

Admission to the Games in Education Symposium is FREE for all educators from early childhood to post secondary education. The event will run 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 5 and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, August 6. For more information or to register, please visit Hudson Valley Community College is located at 80 Vandenburgh Ave, Troy NY 12180. Lunch and door prizes will be provided!

Keynote Speaker

Makeda Mays Green, Director of Education & Research, Digital Media, Sesame Workshop

Makeda Mays Green is the Director of Education and Research for Digital Media at Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit children educational organization behind Sesame Street. Green is responsible for researching and developing content for various interactive platforms including online, mobile devices, and video game consoles. She supports Sesame Workshop’s mission by focusing and examining the potential of current and emerging digital media platforms to deliver quality educational material to children and families.

Most recently, Green was instrumental in the development and launch of Sesame Workshop’s re-designed website ( She has created content for Sesame Street Games, an interactive game service available on Cablevision, Panwapa, a website and outreach initiative to help increase children’s awareness of the wider world, and numerous games including the Parent’s Choice award-winning V.Smile title Bert & Ernie’s Imagination Adventure. Green also co-authored the study The Use of Mobile Phones to Support Children’s Literacy Learning.

Previously, Green was a Senior Curriculum Specialist, who oversaw the development of content for various Outreach initiatives, including Talk, Read, Write; Happy Healthy Ready for School and You Can Ask. She also served as a Curriculum Specialist for Program Research and developed content for Workshop programs such as, Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat and Dragon Tales. Green holds a B.A from Wesleyan University and a M.A. and Ed.M in Counseling Psychology, from Columbia University. She currently resides in Stamford, C.T.

Panelists & Workshop Presenters

• Brock R. Dubbels, PhD, Educator at the Minneapolis Public Schools and Research Associate, Center for Cognitive Sciences, University of Minnesota

• Silvia Lovato, Director, PBS Kids Go! Interactive

• Bill Shribman, Executive Producer, Kids' Projects, WGBH

• Scot Osterweil, Creative Director, Education Arcade

• Peggy Sheehy, Instructional Technology Facilitator and Media Specialist, Suffern Middle School, and Founder, MetaVersEd Consulting Ltd

• Carla Engelbrecht-Fisher, Children's Technology Developer & Doctoral Candidate, Teachers College, Columbia University

• Mark Petersen, Instructional Designer, Hudson Valley Community College

• Katherine Jetter, Director of Education, WMHT Educational Telecommunications

• Lucas Gillispie, Instructional Technology Coordinator, Pender County Schools, North Carolina, and Author of the Blog

• Andrea Lauer Rice, CEO & Founder, Lauer Learning

• Lenore Horowitz, Information Science PhD student in the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany

• Matthew Jager, Information Science PhD Candidate in the College of Computing and Information at the University at Albany

• Elizabeth King, Doctoral Candidate in Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison

• Marianne Malmstrom, Technology Instructor

• Michael Tomaino, Game Design Teacher at Mildred Elley College of Albany, NY and Project Lead of Kids Software Platinum Arts Sandbox Free 3D Game Maker

For more on the speakers, please go to


1st Playable Contact: Zhenelle Falk & Nicole Plummer

Call (518) 271-8172 or email at &

HVCC Contact: Eric Bryant

Call (518) or email at

WMHT Contact: Katherine Jetter

Call (518) 880-3444 or email at

CCI Contact: Jennifer Goodall

Call (518) 956-8245 or email at

Schenectady Museum Contact: Erin Breslin

Call (518) 382-7893, ext. 223 or email at


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