Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Oct.28th, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learn?

To have a more complete gathering of information, this weekly will be posted on every Sunday afternoon instead of Saturday from now on. Sorry for the change and thanks for your reading.


Educating Players: Are Games the Future of Education?

At Technology Review‘s Emerging Technologies (EmTech) conference here on October 25, a panel of technologists and educators posited that it’s time to embrace students’ use of such technologies and rethink learning in both developed and developing countries.

“The fork in the road is the difference between knowing and understanding. We test people on what they know, but they might not understand a thing.”

OLPC in April delivered boxes containing more than a dozen tablet computers loaded with books, games and other apps—in English—to an isolated village in the Ethiopian highlands. No instructions were given to the village children regarding what was in the boxes or what to do with them…

“Beyond Serious Games” – our next seminar on Oct 31st (University of Sydney)

Join us on the 31st of October for a CoCo-CHAI-LATTE seminar by Professor Michael J. Jacobson titled ‘Beyond Serious Games: Computational scientific inquiry with agent-based virtual environments for learning’.

More information: Beyond Serious Games
This seminar will be available live online at

Lyon expo shows serious side of video games

According to exhibitors at the Serious Games Expo in Lyon, video games are an increasingly important component of professional life. One exhibitor, KTM Advance, has developed a game designed to train engineers on complex machinery without the expense and risks involved in using the real thing.

Also on display was Symetrix’s new computerised touch-screen game ‘Smart Memory’, a hi-tech version of old-fashioned card memory tests. The game encourages workers at both ends of the age spectrum to bond and co-operate, according to its programmer Corentin Saux.

Layercake are targeting executive travellers with their game Mr Travel, whose lead character circles the globe virtually, learning suitable models of behaviour. Users are taught to avoid extreme hazards, like kidnapping and theft, as well as more mundane problems like causing offence by flouting local customs.

But it’s not just businesses that gamer firms are targetting. CCCP’s LudoMedic is aimed at helping parents demystify trips to hospital by their children.

serious game expo

Games for Change Australia and New Zealand

Founded in 2004, Games for Change International facilitates the creation and distribution of social impact games that serve as critical tools in humanitarian and educational efforts. Unlike the commercial gaming industry, we aim to leverage entertainment and engagement for social good. To further grow the field, Games for Change convenes multiple stakeholders, highlights best practices, incubates games, and helps create and direct investment into new projects.

games promoting positive change

The Complicated Truth Behind Games That Want To Change The World (

If you listen closely to those who advocate for games as a worthwhile medium, you can sense the hope that games will change the world… (a great analysis on “games for change”)

Introducing Mission: Admission, a Game That Teaches Students the Process of Getting Into College

The University of Southern California will officially launch Mission: Admission Oct. 29 on Facebook. The free Facebook game is designed to help high school students in underserved communities learn the process of applying for college and financial aid in a fun and engaging way.


5 School Technologies To Watch: Personalized Learning Is Here (Forbes)

Gamification: Interest in using game design and mechanics to increase engagement in learning has advanced considerably in recent years – from social and goal-oriented games, to everyday tasks containing gamified elements. One example is ClassDojo, a company that providers behavior management software. By taking standard processes, making them interactive, and applying game mechanics, students become more aware of their achievements and in turn better understand the behaviors and needs required to succeed in a classroom setting.
Game-based learning is even one of the priorities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which earlier this year helped launch the Games, Learning and Assessment (GLASS) Lab. According to the organization, GLASS Lab is “based on the understanding that digital games and simulations can support student learning by providing immediate feedback for students, teachers and parents on students’ progress toward established learning goals.”

Reflecting a major shift in the way students learn and acquire knowledge, GLASS Lab will research and develop digital games to engage students and measure learning. The Lab is backed by $10.3 million in grants from the Gates Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. It is also supported by Electronic Arts and the Entertainment Software Association and is a project of Institute of Play, a non-profit design studio that works at the intersection of games and learning.

Probing question: Can games be more than child’s play? (

Remember backyard games of Red Rover, Mother May I, and Red Light Green Light? How about playing Monopoly or Chutes and Ladders? Games like these figure into the pleasant childhood memories of many, but can games serve a larger purpose? Are games more than “child’s play”?
Provided by Pennsylvania State University

The Gamification of Education and Training Is Here

In 2011, video game sales fell by 8%. And in the first 8 months of 2012, retail sales of video games have plummeted an additional 20% in the United States…and they’re going down in many other places around the world. Why the decline? One reason is the rapid increase in people (young and old) who are using the latest smart phones, and they are finding that the new models make great gaming machines, thus offering a less expensive alternative to traditional gaming systems…. This opens a big door of opportunity for anyone who wants to profit from the Hard Trend of the gamification of education and training.


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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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