Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly Aug.18th, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn? Here is the briefing on game-based learning news, publications and articles of this week.


Serious Play Conference

Aug 21 – 23, 2012, Redmond, Washington

Highlights for this year include new research on the market and growth trends for the serious games industry and presentations of the latest measurement and assessment strategies.

DevLearn 12 Conference & Expo. 

October 31 – November 2, Las Vegas , NV

207 Understanding the Value of Games and Gamification for Serious Learning
311 Using Storytelling and Gamification for Better Problem-based Learning
407 Super-charging Google Sales Readiness with Gamification and Social Media
607 Methods for Designing Serious Games from Indie to AAA Titles

iED Europe 2012 Paris Summit

Registration open!

Paris, France; 26-27 November 2012

The DSSH Lustrum Congress – Call for Content

The DSSH Lustrum Congress will be held in the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands on the 20th of March 2013 ! This year’s theme will have a firm focus on innovation and implementation of Simulation and Serious Gaming in Healthcare: “‘ Medical Simulation, what is next ?”

Professor Mary Flanagan Participates in White House Consortium

Can video games be a tool for addressing national problems? How might games improve workforce preparedness, or educate consumers about saving energy? These were some of the questions Professor Mary Flanagan and 19 other academics discussed at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) inaugural “Academic Consortium on Games for Impact” in Washington, D.C. The July 26 consortium was attended by nearly 50 government and corporate gaming and software representatives.

Dr. Gentile Goes to Washington

Next week Iowa State University psychology professor Douglas Gentile will be at the White House to discuss how video games can be used to enhance and improve education. He will lead the discussion on a special policy conference to be held at the White House on Wednesday, August 22. The policy conference will examine how games can be used effectively in the broadest sense to improve health, education, civic engagement and the environment.

The Oregon Immersive Education Days – AERA ARVEL SIG – Call for Presentation (press from University of Oregon)

The Oregon immersive Education Days will host researchers, designers of immersive learning environments, educators, and supporting organizations to present and collaborate on games, virtual worlds, augmented realities, and emergent technologies in learning contexts. The Emergent Learning Commons (ELC) and the Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning Special Interest Group (ARVEL SIG) of the American Educational Research Association invites you to present your teaching and learning innovations either live, in person or remotely at the Oregon Immersive Education Days (OiED)

Khan Academy to Launch Creative Computer Science Education Portal (

Khan Academy is rolling out a brand new education portal that will teach the basics of computer science through interactive drawing.

game-based learningThe interface is a simple text editor with an adjacent drawing output field that updates in real time. Students can opt to follow a video step-by-step through a lesson, but also pause and fiddle with variables at their own pace, underscoring the pedagogical approach of contextual, idiosyncratic learning.

ClassDojo scores $1.6M from top investors for gamified classroom management

Teachers spend a significant amount of their time managing student behavior but, they don’t have many tools to help them out. Since launching last year, San Francisco-based ClassDojo has shown that game mechanics (and cutesy avatars) can go a long way in helping teachers not only keep their students on track but encourage positive behavioral skills.

Toolwire and Leeds Metropolitan University to speak at Association for Learning Technology (ALT) conference – UK

Get immersed in games!  Toolwire announced a plans to host the presentation “Bringing reality to learning through Immersive Learning Environments and Serious Gaming” at the Association for Learning Technology conference.


Top 10 Online Communities for Educators of Game-Based Learning

Education Secretary Arne Duncan declared August Connected Educator Month. For those educators who are interested in using game-based learning might like to join a community and connect with others already are endeavoring in the journey. Especially in the same subject, the exchange of experience will be very valuable for specific targets. This post is focused on online communities.

game-based learning

Teaching Games: Faculty member promotes using gaming, technology (from Indiana State University)

Farnsworth, who is enrolled in the instructional technology and library media master’s program at Indiana State, learned about a variety of computer programs and technology in a course taught by Yadi Ziaeehezarjeribi, a faculty member in the department of curriculum, instruction and media technology. Before she enrolled in classes at ISU, Farnsworth was unaware of many different programs she could use as a school librarian for grades ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade. After the class taught by Ziaeehezarjeribi, her familiarity with technology, which includes the Internet digital world Second Life, left several of her colleagues “ready to fall over.”

This fall at the International Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) conference in Louisville, Ky., Ziaeehezarjeribi will present two emerging theoretical pieces a co-developed: a teaching model called the CAIR model, and Video Games as Social Tools for Teaching and Learning, which “allows students to go one step at a time by ‘leveling up’ instead of overwhelming students with sets of actions that they cannot accomplish.”

How Would Steve Jobs Do Training and Education?

The New Old Education  is a complete reversal of the current industrial model.  Education systems (K through College) should be dedicated to helping students:

  • find out at what skills they are better than almost everyone else, and
  • identify what their personal missions are (what problems in the world they find most motivating).

Any functioning education system would then help students connect their unique gifts with their mission by:

  • enabling authentic opportunities to hone and test themselves and finally
  • identify pathways to an appropriate career.

New Trends in Elementary Game Based Education

Levin discussed his time in the classroom working with Minecraft, a game many elementary school age children already know and love. What’s unique about Minecraft is that it is not inherently educational, nor was it designed to be. It was created to get kids to play and have fun, and it’s classroom adaptation has proved much more successful than Levin predicted.

Gaming and Motivation Lessen Plan

For my current class, Game Strategies and Motivation at Full Sail University, we were asked to design a lesson plan that had to focus on the gaming research we were doing, but have the information delivered in a gaming format.

In the past, lawmaking was a rather dry subject to teach… (check out this lesson plan and game critique on using

7 Space Simulators That Let You Explore the Universe (

A handful of excellent space simulators use real astronomical data to re-create the known universe in three dimensions. Fly through the galaxy at ludicrous speeds, map out humanity’s best hope for extrasolar colonization, or mess with physics to create your own cosmic recipes.


International Journal Of Game Theory And Technology ( IJGTT) – Call for Papers

Submission deadline : 31 August, 2012


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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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