Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Great Ideas for Integrating Game Design in Your Curriculum


by , Moving at the speed of creativity

These are my notes from Josh Hughes and Trevor Hughes breakout session, “Getting Your Game On,” on August 6, 2012, at the Blackfoot Educational Technology Conference in Missoula, Montana. MY THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS ARE IN ALL CAPS.

The official session description was:

Members of Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company show how the exciting world of video games can be combined with S.T.E.M. learning for an unstoppable 1-2 punch!

LEARN MORE ABOUT JOSH ON THIS IdeaMensch post: “Josh Hughes – Co-Founder of Add-A-Tudez Entertainment Company
– their website is: http://teamkaizengames.com
– follow Josh on Twitter: @zookeytk

THE 7 JUNE 2010 ARTICLE “LOCAL VIDEO GAME DEVELOPERS LAND $40,000 CONTRACT” IS NO LONGER ON www.greatfallstribune.com.

learning games

Intro video about us and our game development: Shattered Soul 2012 Update

We used music from Love and Death Music in the video

Little Big Planet is a game that gives you tools to create your own levels (from Sony)

We won a contest and got a grant to develop a digital theme park online
– they took us to the “Games for Change” conference in NYC
– over and over we heard they want more game designers involved in the conversation about developing next-generation educational games

When you empower people with the ability to create their own content, that can work in almost any content area.

This led to “Little Big Planet Clubs” in schools

How video games and education can meet:

1- Find an existing game and build a curriculum around it
– Oregon Tail
– Carmen San Diego

2- An environment where kids can create content in their own game, like “Little Big Planet”
– they have to educate the audience, students take more ownership over their knowledge

Gamestar Mechanic is: (from the FAQ)

…a game and community designed to teach kids the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment. It is designed for 7- to 14-year-olds but is open to everyone. We’ve included features in Gamestar that make it useful for kids playing the game on their own or with family members at home, as well as in moderated and educational settings.

GameDesk is group we are friends with based out of LA

“Safe to Fail” environments are really important in video game development
– video games give you a rewind button and challenge you to try again / you don’t have to get it right the first time

Still under development: Code Hero: A Game That Teaches You To Make Games (Kickstarter campaign)

Schools now making students fill out job applications to join after school club for Little Big Planet
– want kids to understand they are working in this, not just playing games
– working to make the club district-wide now

We are developing a new game now called “Burst”
– for mobile platforms
– trying to start a new conversation in games
– there is not a lot of chatter / discussion between people developing educational games and those creating non-educational games
– trying to integrate STEM concepts
– you setoff fireworks and unlock elements from periodic table

Official website for “Burst”

Like AAA for Gamers: Entertainment Consumers Association
– this was the group which helped organize Internet blackouts against SOPA

Learn more on their official YouTube channel: Team KAIZEN TV

Video gaming is the industry of this generation
– give your students opportunities to work and play in this world!

MY COMMENT: GOOD CONVERSATIONS IN THIS SESSION ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO CHANGE PERCEPTIONS ABOUT COMPUTER SCIENCE IN SCHOOLS, I AGREE 100% – THAT’S A MESSAGE FROM MY “Deepening our Learning Through Storytelling: creativity, STEM and stories” SESSION AND SCRATCH CAMPS!

I INTERVIEWED JOSH AND TREVOR AFTER THE SESSION AND WILL POST THAT VIDEO SOON AFTER SOME QUICK EDITING.

(Note: This post from Wesley Fryer is licensed under creative commons CC-BY.)

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  1. Video Game Building Tools for Kids, Really! | Classroom Aid
  2. Fun Is Learning through Interesting Challenges – about Gameful Design | Classroom Aid
  3. Educators Are Well Positioned to Be Game Designers | Classroom Aid

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“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).
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