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Microsoft introduces Xbox Field Trips - educational podcasts based on Game Pass titles

Xbox has partnered with the UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) trade association’s Digital Schoolhouse initiative in order to release a series of Xbox Field Trips, educational podcasts based on popular Xbox Game Pass titles including Sea of Thieves and Minecraft.

The podcasts, which are described as “audio learning journeys”, are available for free on Spotify and focus on the development of important soft skills such as decision-making, teamwork, and strategy. They were created by a team of teachers, game narrative designers, educational technology specialists, and child psychologists.

Each Xbox Field Trip can also be downloaded in an e-book format via the Xbox website, in order to cater to more visual learning styles and individual accessibility requirements. There are currently seven to experience, each targeting a set of different skills and a specific game available via the Xbox Game Pass subscription service.

The full list of the games and their associated skills is as follows:

  • Grounded - Problem Solving and Analytical Thinking  
  • Sea of Thieves - Teamwork and Delegation  
  • Minecraft - Creativity and Innovation  
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator - Focus and Diligence  
  • PowerWash Simulator - Motivation and Prioritisation  
  • Age of Empires 4 - Strategy and Decision making  
  • Cities: Skylines - Planning and Adaptability

Regarding the initiative, Ollie Bray, the co-author of the European Games in Schools Handbook who was also involved in the development of the program, said that “there is increasing evidence to suggest that play is one of the most powerful ways to learn. These interactive "Field Trips” allow young people to immerse themselves in both popular and culturally relevant video games while developing important skills and exploring a variety of learning outcomes.”

It follows a series of campaigns aimed at highlighting the “positive impact video games have on people’s lives.” This includes Beyond Generations, which aimed to help combat loneliness in older people by improving relationships with younger familiar members through gaming, and Beyond Xbox: A Player Like Me which utilized gaming in therapeutic settings.

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