Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly May 5th, 2012

What’s happening in the Convergence of Play and Learn…


DARPA seeks game developers to build medical training app

“We are not seeking standard computer-based learning systems, but game-based interactive systems that are engaging and challenging to use,” according to solicitation documents. The open call highlights the Pentagon’s push to challenge game developers to create more tools with real-world and educational purposes. Early last year, DARPA launched a grant program called Engage to create educational games to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Miami-Dade to launch new video game-themed magnet

The gaming industry is projected to generate $115 billion a year by 2015, according to research firm Gartner. While the industry is moving away from traditional packaged games sold at retailers, mobile games are hot. Programs, like Miami-Dade’s magnet, that focus on the building games are geared to technical skills and jobs for the 21st Century.

The report conducted by Bond University, Digital Australia 2012, found that four in five parents with children under 18 years old play games and of these parents, 88 per cent play with their children.  Furthermore, 9 in 10 of these parents say games are educational and seven in ten parents actively use games as an educational tool with their children.

Teachers reject ‘educational’ video games claim

Head teachers have rejected an industry report (from iGEA) which suggests video games have educational benefits. The NZ Secondary Principals’ Association has warned that video games can cause more harm than good to educational development.

U.S. Schools Unprepared for Digital Learning ( study from 150 teachers)

93% of teachers would assign online games in class if the subject matter matched their curriculum. The problem is that 67% of teachers – both in public schools and supposedly computer-ready private schools – feel their schools have too few computers or tablets for their students to use digital learning tools effectively.

Teaching with Digital Games in the Classroom

A survey of over 500 K-8 teachers documenting their attitudes about using digital games in the classroom, teachers believe digital games are a boon to students who need to engage more deeply with learning, and provides some important baseline metrics for gauging teacher usage and attitudes about digital games over time, according to a survey by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. A summary of the findings can be downloaded as a PDF.

MIT and Harvard announce edX

The universities will work to develop further the online learning platform already begun with MITx and to populate the edX website with courses from the MIT and Harvard faculty.  A first set of courses is scheduled to be announced in early summer and to start in fall 2012. EdX will release its learning platform as open-source software so it can be used by other universities and organizations that wish to host the platform themselves.

Articles to read

Why Games Don’t Teach (from ASTD)

We have recent experimental evidence that narrative educational games lead to poorer learning and take longer to complete than simply displaying the lesson content in a slide presentation. Adams et al (2012) compared the learning outcomes of two carefully designed serious educational games to learning outcomes from a slide show that displayed the content embedded in the games…

Stuck on this level? – is the educational system ready for games in the classrooms? – from Ireland

“I recently conducted a pilot study on the use of GBL in Irish education and got 103 respondents,” he reveals, adding that the results showed a majority of the educators who took part felt video games “can bring many improvements to teaching and learning”. He added that his survey indicated “they would be ready to use this medium, provided they have proper training, and have access to evidence (of its effectiveness) and guidelines on GBL.” These results reflected international education trends he said, quoting a survey conducted with 25,544 European teachers which showed 78% were keen to use games more frequently in their lessons.

How Online Gaming Can Teach Kids About the Economy (Forbes)

There are numerous educational games designed to teach children about various financial practices. For example, there is the education-based economics simulator, Beat the Market Online or the World Game of Economics simulator that teaches about exchange rates and economic policies between countries. The most valuable tool is actually more nuanced, and lies within games that children are already interested in playing. Sites like Neopets or Gaia Online attract millions of users of all ages, and popular multi-player online games like World of Warcraft have a massive draw for kids and adults alike.

Gaming: Online Education’s Next Frontier?

Bill Gates gave a third of the $20 million he invested in online learning to the educational game industry. Approximately $2.6 million went to Quest Atlantis for the creation of video games that emphasize literacy, math, and science skills, while $2.6 million went to iRemix and $2.5 million went to Institute of Play for similar purposes. Even the United States government has taken notice. Government officials hope to harness the potential of games for the purpose of education.

game-based learning, gamification of education

Are You Using Gaming for Learning?

According to Xerox research, consumers see about 3,000 media messages a day, pay attention to 52 and only remember four. With those stats, odds are slim that learning messages will make it to the employee’s final four. For this reason, many learning organizations are embracing gaming as a way to break through the clutter.

Gamification is not manipulation, it’s motivation

Bunchball, which entered the gamification realm in 2007, offers gamification solutions to some of the largest consumer and B2B companies in the world — including Warner Bros., Comcast, NBC Universal, ABC Television, and Stella & Dot. CPO at Bunchball explains how gamification can educate as well as engage people with a product. What motivates: autonomy, mastery, relatedness, purpose, progress.



The strategy of quest-driven learning created a positive cycle, which suggested that the strategy could enhance and transform the learning process by skillfully interweaving learning and gaming to create a new environment.

Blended Learning: Is Game-Based Learning an Effective Instructional Strategy to Engage Students in Higher Education in Singapore? A Pilot Study – Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Vol 8, No 1 (2012)

Findings indicate that game-based learning can be a useful strategy to motivate students, because the challenge of a game fosters competition between groups and collaboration within groups.

Heuristic Evaluation of Digital Game Based Learning: A Case Study – 2012 IEEE Fourth International Conference on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning (DIGITEL)

Research results indicate that the highest-point indicator is the game interface which provides immediate feedback to solve related missions or problems. The second-highest is game rules which appropriately provide missions or constructive feedback icons to students, enabling them to know what is happening. The lower-point indicator is the social interaction feature, experts consider that if students have different media and the best communication tools, they will achieve the best learning effect.

Application of Game-based Learning (GBL) on Chinese Language Learning in Elementary School – 2012 IEEE Fourth International Conference on Digital Game and Intelligent Toy Enhanced Learning (DIGITEL)

The main conclusions of this study are: 1) the application of GBL on Chinese language instruction has a positive influence on the learning attitude of learners, 2) the influence of the application of GBL on Chinese language instruction on the learning attitude of learners is not restricted by gender, 3) the application of GBL on Chinese language instruction influences the learning attitude of learners transcending usage experiences, 4) for teachers, GBL is beneficial to Chinese language instruction.

photo credit: Juushika Redgrave via photo pin cc


Tagged as: , ,

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
%d bloggers like this: