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Now's the time to submit talks for the GDC 2019 Educators Summit!

Now's the time to submit talks for the GDC 2019 Educators Summit!

September 10, 2018 | By Staff




Next March the Game Developers Conference returns to the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and organizers want to remind you today that they're still accepting pitches for Summit sessions!

Officials are accepting talks that would be a good fit for the Virtual Reality Developers Conference (aka VRDC), the GDC Summits, and the Game Career Seminar through Friday, October 5th at 11:59 pm Pacific Time! 

Organizers are especially keen to accept talks that would fit in well at the Educators Summit, a GDC Summit dedicated to bringing forward the most innovative and exciting ideas in game education today. Summit attendees will discover new experimental and inventive educational approaches as well as best practices that they can bring back to their faculty and classrooms.

The summit brings together educators from established game development programs with new game course creators that want to understand the challenges they'll face in the next few years. It is a great professional development opportunity that will explore how new areas of game education will advance the field for the next generation of students.

So who should be submitting? You should, if you're an inspired educator with some great ideas to share with others about teaching game design/development, to improve everyone's practice.

You've done some ground-breaking work on your curriculum or research that we can all use to improve what we are doing with students. You have a unique point of view on teaching game design/development that you haven't seen anywhere else, that you know could add value. You have an idea for a panel, and can assemble some great speakers from various schools to speak to a particular topic.

We are looking for new voices, so if you haven't submitted before, please consider doing so. There is probably something amazing and unique about how YOU do things that we would all benefit from hearing about. We are particularly interested in hearing from programs/people who may not be regular attendees.

The audience for this Summit consists of educators of game development and studies (working in the context of community college, four-year college/university and graduation education programs).

Most attendees are at schools that already have well-established game programs and courses of study (or else they will be in a few short years, once they work the kinks out of a newly-developed program).

We are soliciting the following topics for the 2019 program:

  • Inspired approaches to teaching any aspect of game development or game studies.
  • Novel ways to fund or publish games research, student game projects, etc.
  • Proven best practices for successful programs, courses and research structures.
  • Strategies for encouraging and teaching diverse student communities.
  • Teaching game design/development online.
  • Annual lecture themes:
    If you're interested in submitting a talk to one of our annual lecture themes, be sure to note that in the "Summary for Advisors" section of the submission form. These themes include:
    • Course case studies - Short presentations (30 min) on the design of a specific course with strong proven results.
    • Soapbox - Short presentations (7-10 min) with sharp, pointed commentary on current issues in the state of game education.

Tips for submissions, based on some common mistakes we've seen:

  • The Educators Summit is not about serious games, it is about how to teach people about games (how to make games, how to analyze and understand games, issues around graduate research in games, etc.) A talk about teaching serious game development, or a game that helps teach about games, would be appropriate for the Educators Summit. Case studies of serious games that have nothing to do with game education are not.
  • Don't focus the proposal too much on the speaker and their contributions to the field. If you have an interesting project or case study to share, that's great, but be clear about the audience takeaways. How will attending your talk help hundreds of other educators do their job better?
  • Speakers vs panels: Single speaker sessions are the most successful structure. It is difficult to justify two or more speakers for a lecture format, so please consider that. Panels should be considered if your topic would benefit from multiple perspectives, and each speaker on a panel should represent a distinct aspect or point of view of the topic, typically from different institutions as well.
  • Make sure your topic isn't a beginner-level topic, such as "How to start a game development program", that has been covered many times before. When writing your proposal, it may be useful to look at session names and descriptions for the last three years (and watch talks related to your topic on gdcvault.com). In this way we can build up our collective understanding of the theory and practice of game education.
  • Takeaways and topics should be immediately clear from the initial read. Make it obvious why your peers would want to watch your proposed talk. This isn't the time to conceal information. A proposal titled "Five Things You Can Do to Improve Student Retention" should list what those five things are. Give us enough information to evaluate your talk.

So if you want to speak at GDC 2019, submit your talk now! For more details on the submission process or GDC 2019 in general visit the show's official website, or subscribe to regular updates via Facebook, Twitter, or RSS.

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