Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly Aug.25th, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn? This is the briefing of this week.


IGN Partners With The University of Iowa to Kick Off Video Game Journalism Program

IGN Entertainment is getting in the education game, partnering with The University of Iowa’s prestigious School of Journalism and Mass Communication to lend its expertise to the university’s first video game journalism course. The course, “Specialized Reporting & Writing: Video Games & Communication,” kicks off today(Aug.21), and will feature input and production assistance from IGN Entertainment to prepare undergraduate journalism students for exciting new career opportunities.

gamificationA Free Online Class From Wharton To Get You Started On Business School

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the world’s top business schools, is offering it’s first free online course this year. Starting on August 27, Wharton’s Kevin Werbach will teach a course on Gamification Techniques in the Business World via Coursera.

Werbach is also known as an avid World of Warcraft player whose All I Really Needed To Know I Learned In World Of Warcraft talk went viral in 2009. In the lecture, Werbach extracted business lessons on everything from virtual economies to statistical analysis and teamwork from the popular adventure game.

So this week in Games (from Center4Edupunx)

immersive environment field trip, #gamemooc tweetchat, and panel discussion online

Notes Taken from Serious Play Conference 2012

Overall, this was a timely event that brought together leaders in the gaming industry with individuals interested in educational games and a limited number of actual educators. In the future, if GBL is to become a reality, events like this will need to draw a larger number of educators from both K-12 and higher ed. The venue represents an excellent opportunity for collaboration that would help to better align the serious games movement with the needs and objectives of practicing educators and educational researchers.

The 2011-2016 Worldwide Game-based Learning Market: All Roads Lead to Mobile – Key Findings from Recent Ambient Insight Research

ambient insights

Ambient Insight’s Free Resource Library at:

Spend on Serious Games Growing Steadily; Now a Multi-Billion Dollar Industry

Research Debuted at Serious Play Conference Shows Growing Acceptance

Key finds in the Ambient Insight report:

— Mobile education games are already outselling non-mobile (PC/web/console)

— In 2011, China was the top buying country in the world, followed by Korea, the US, and Japan.

— By 2016, the top buying country will be China (by far), although the U.S. will displace South Korea for second place.

— Latin America sales are growing at the highest rate at 29.1%, followed by Eastern Europe and Africa at 25.7% and 20.7%, respectively

Key finds in the Interpret study:

— Recognition is growing that traditional education methods are under-performing — New research shows learning outcomes are improved by the use of games-based learning

— Students respond positively to games as a learning tool

— The stigma of “game” is vanishing

— Powerful technology and tools for development exist

— Games are being used for an ever-expanding array of training applications, in the corporate, healthcare, government/military and education markets

— Key inhibitors holding the industry back include: — Awareness

— The economy

— Inertia/hesitance to trying new things

— Lack of proved assessment tools

An Alternate Reality Game Needs Your Story about Education

Debates, critiques or discussion on education are often seen on internet, but not much is from students. It’s interesting to witness that game-like interactions can bring us different perspectives and mash-ups on a stale topic. It’s an alternate reality game called Ed Zed Omega.


Games get serious in education and corporate training (interview)

Sue Bohle built a public relations agency (The Bohle Company) that handled tech and game PR for more than 25 years. But before that, she was a high school journalism teacher, and she was always intrigued by the idea of using games to teach. She helped the Game Developers Conference grow into a huge show, and within that, she helped promote the Serious Games Summit, a mini-conference about using game technology for educational and training purposes. Years later, she is now the executive director of the Serious Games Association, which staged the Serious Play conference this week in Seattle.

Join The Journey of 12 Educator Bloggers Gamifying Learning

Do you like to connect with educators who already pilot game-based learning in classrooms for years? These educator bloggers have put down meaningful amount of experience and resources in their blogs or wikis. They chronicled the endeavor or organized useful knowledge online, which is the most efficient way to share the real lesson learned.

Gamify your classroom! (from Graham Stanley)

What’s the Difference Between Games and Gamification? (MindShift)

Defined another way, “Simulations are re-creations of systems,” says Scott Traylor, who frequently speaks and writes about learning games and is the CEO of digital kids’ content and tech developer360KID. That simulation can be of a chemistry lab, gravity or even disaster response. “You are dropped into a situation and the only way you succeed is through trial and error, learning the correct ways of thinking to succeed in a particular role. Does learning occur in a well-designed simulation? You bet. Is this a game? You tell me.”

“As people race to develop learning games, only thoughtful and solid collaboration (between gamers and teachers) guided by good research, game development expertise and content expertise will succeed. Learning games could become the latest fad if the market becomes flooded with really bad learning games. That is something I worry about.”

Can ‘serious games’ be an effective tool for workplace learning? (

Researchers from UCL(University College London) are analysing a serious game called TARGET to see if it could help workers develop skills such as negotiating and trust-building in the workplace.

Why Gamification Supports Business Learning

The effective relationship between games and learning has been studied in educational circles for years. Even though most of these studies pertain primarily to school-age children, human nature makes these same principles very applicable to adults.

Determining Gamification’s Influence on User Motivation (

  • There is nothing inherently motivating about a badge—it’s what the badge means. And this means that motivation and user experience considerations are of the utmost importance when designing a badge program.
  • Context is key. Sometimes monetary motivations trump social and psychological rewards, and sometimes not. (Consider Wikipedia’s staggering success compared with Google’s defunct Knol, a crowdsourcing competitor that cut volunteer editors in on ad revenue.)
  • Online identity management is only going to get trickier…..

Torah Games and the Future of Learning

Rabbi Owen Gottlieb believes that the future of Jewish education is in games — both video and analog, like card and board games. Gottlieb, 38, is a doctoral candidate in education and Jewish studies at New York University and is the director and founder of ConverJent, which designs and develops games for Jewish learning and is incubated at Clal, the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, based in New York City.


Call for expressions of interest to join the review panel for the international journal of game-based learning


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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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