Marc Prensky
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Marc Prensky is an internationally acclaimed speaker, writer, consultant, futurist, visionary and inventor in the critical areas of education and learning. Marc is the founder of Games2train, an e-learning company whose clients include IBM, Bank of America, Pfizer, Nokia the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Florida and LA Virtual Schools. He is the author of the critically acclaimed Digital Game-Based Learning (McGraw-Hill, 2001), and the upcoming Don't Bother Me, Mom - I'm Learning! The POSITIVE Guide for Parents Concerned About Their Kids' Video and Computer Game Playing. He is the creator of the sites and

Marc's professional focus has been on reinventing the learning process, combining the motivation of video games and other highly engaging activities with the driest content of education and business. He is considered one of the world's leading experts on the connection between games and learning. His innovative combination of educational tools and game technology - including the world's first fast-action videogame-based corporate training tool - is being accepted throughout schools, government and corporate America.

Strategy+Business magazine called Marc "That rare visionary who implements." Marc has designed and built over 50 software games in his career, including world-wide, multi-user games and simulations that run on all platforms from the internet to handhelds to cell phones. Marc has created the most advanced and engaging technology for education, business training and e-Learning.

Marc's presentations inspire audiences by opening up their minds to new ideas and approaches to technology and education. Marc's products and ideas are innovative, provocative, challenging, and clearly show the way of the future.

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Time and Fortune all have recognized Marc's work. He has appeared on MSNBC, CNN/fn, PBS's Computer Currents, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC. In 2000 Marc was named as one of training's top "New Breed of Visionaries" by Training. Marc also writes a column for On the Horizon, a publication for leaders in academia.

Marc's background includes masters degrees from Yale, Middlebury, and The Harvard Business School (with distinction). He is a concert musician and has acted on Broadway. He has taught at all levels from elementary to college. He worked in Human Resources and in Technology at Bankers Trust Company, and spent six years as a corporate strategist and product development director with the Boston Consulting Group.

Marc is a native of New York City, where he lives with his wife Rie Takemura, a Japanese writer. For further information, see


When and How Can Game-Based Learning Eliminate The Need For Teachers In Certain Areas?
Individual Presentation, Thursday (10:45 - 12:15) in Hall of Ideas F

Many academics, not surprisingly, see game-based learning only as an adjunct to traditional teaching and classrooms, to be used by teachers as just another teaching tool. They see learning games as forever requiring explanation, integration, debriefing and other interventions by a human instructor.

While this may be the case today with many learning games, does it have to be? Using all the techniques that the game industry has evolved (and will evolve), is it possible to build learning games that accomplish large, non-trivial learning tasks (such as teaching reading, or algebra, for example) without the need for any intermediate between the game and the student?

As we continue to evolve parallel systems of education (school and after-school) is it possible to off-load some of the more elementary tasks in a variety of areas to games, in a similar way that the military offloads much of its flying simulation teaching to COTS games?

This talk will discuss in what situations such "disintermediation" may be possible, and why games might do it better than failed "programmed learning," "elearning," and "edutainment" products. It will use the games world as a model of what other parameters (such as a strong peer-to-peer community) might be necessary to support this type of learning, and how such learning might be evaluated, both by the learner and the school system.

I will also discuss Games2train's upcoming curricular game "The Algebots: Beat The Game, Pass The Course" in this context.

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