If you keep up with IFTF Newsletter you have already heard the news, but we’re excited to formally announce that IFTF has formed an Education Committee! Our mission is to increase awareness of IF within the gaming world and outside of it.
We’ll do that by promoting the use of IF in teaching, and the teaching of IF programming and design. We understand IF in the educational context most broadly as game, literature, art, non-fiction simulation, or interactive narrative interface, and in its parser-based, hyptertext, and hybrid formats. We are also committed to a wider social goal — advancing digital literacy and inclusivity by fostering the writing/programming of IF across multiple disciplinary fields and within racially, culturally, economically, and gender-diverse populations. We’ll support educators teaching all across the academic spectrum, those who teach kids, undergraduates, graduate students, adults, educators, and the general public.
I’m excited to have the opportunity to chair this committee. I’ve been on the IFTF Board of Directors for a little less than a year now, but I’ve been teaching IF for decades. I am currently the Director of the Electronic Literatures and Literacies Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The new IFTF Education Committee has been populated by an equally experienced group of game designers and educators. Fellow board member Chris Klimas, creator of Twine and I will be joined on the committee by Brendan Desilets, who utilized IF for many years in Middle School classrooms and now teaches in the English Department at UMass@Lowell, Jeremiah McCall, author of Gaming the Past, who employs IF to teach High School history at Cincinnati Country Day School, Anastasia Salter, who teaches Digital Media at the University of Central Florida, Matthew Farber, who teaches in the Technology, Innovation, and Pedagogy program at University of Northern Colorado, and Stuart Moulthrop now in the Media, Cinema and Digital Studies Department at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
The committee’s activities will include identifying, curating and sharing existing pedagogical materials on an IFTF Educational Resources Website, as well as developing new materials, curricula, and media for use in classrooms or as part of online IF courses. We’ll seek grants to help us make these materials available to educators working at all with all levels, but particularly in underserved public school settings. We’ll promote our educational initiatives through social media, and wherever we may travel. Look for us soon on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll be out in force at IFTF’s first annual conference slated for June 2019.