Genomics Digital Lab (GDL) is an award winning, integrated on-line learning environment where users experience the world of biology through immersive discovery-based learning. Unlike textbooks, GDL takes an integrated, hands-on approach to help learners understand the big picture of cell biology and its importance in our lives.
Fully accessible online, accessible through a web browser, no downloads or installation necessary!
Genomics Digital Lab (GDL):
BEGINNER LEVEL: WHAT PLANTS NEED!
For Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
For Grades: 10, 11, 12, C/U
For Grades: 10, 11, 12, C/U
WHY GAME-BASED LEARNING?
"...Our students have changed radically. Today's students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach." - Marc Prensky, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants
We are highly adaptive social animals who live to "play" and our discoveries are limited only by our own imagination. As we all arrive, develop, and learn in a bright, noisy, interactive world, our brains are wired to explore, question, and solve within that context. Educational tools should be designed around the way our brains learn.
GDL's Game-based learning APPROACH
The Genomics Digital Lab Learning Environment uses game theory to encourage students to learn from their mistakes and build on their successes. Because it tracks student performance through each challenge, progression through the activities helps indicate their level of understanding. GDL's stunning and dynamic graphics allows educators to:
Summit on Educational Games 2006, published by the Federation of American Scientists
"...The success of complex video games demonstrates games can teach higher order Thinking skills such as strategic thinking, interpretative analysis, problem solving, plan formulation and execution, and adaptation to rapid change. These are the skills U.S. employers increasingly seek in workers and new workforce entrants..."
Does Game-Based Learning Work? Results from Three Recent Studies
Richard Blunt, Ph.D., Advanced Distributed Learning
"...The data analysis found classes using the game had significantly higher means than those classes that did not use the game. There were no significant differences between male or female scores, regardless of game play, while both genders scored significantly higher with game play than without. There were no significant differences between ethnic groups, while all ethnic groups scored significantly higher with game play."
Video Games in Education
Kurt Squire, Comparative Media Studies Department, MIT
"In this paper, I argue that video games are such a popular and influential medium for a combination of many factors. Primarily, however, video games elicit powerful emotional reactions in their players, such as fear, power, aggression, wonder, or joy. Video game designers create these emotions by a balancing a number of game components, such as character traits, game rewards, obstacles, game narrative, competition with other humans, and opportunities for collaboration with other players. Understanding the dynamics behind these design considerations might be useful for instructional technologists who design interactive digital learning environments. Further, video game playing occurs in rich socio-cultural contexts, bringing friends and family together, serving as an outlet for adolescents, and providing the "raw material" for youth culture. Finally, video game research reveals many patterns in how humans interact with technology that become increasingly important to instructional technologists as they become designers of digital environments. Through studying video games, instructional technologists can better understand the impact of technology on individuals and communities, how to support digital environments by situating them in rich social contexts."
History of Biology and Genomics Digital Lab have been moved to the current Spongelab Biology platform. Both games are free to play, and there are a number of options available to older Spongelab Biology users: