Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Nov.11th, 2012

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


Games Sessions at the Global Education Conference

global education conferenceThe third annual Global Education Conference will be held next week November 12-16th, and BrainPOP is sponsoring the many game-based learning and game design sessions. This year’s entirely virtual conference has an ambitious schedule filled with over 300 sessions, presented over the course of five days in all the time zones around the world!


Our two day festival on 15-16 November 2012 will launch our chapter of Games for Change Australia New Zealand and content is being curated to reflect local challenges in a global context using games a medium for change.

Serious Games and Social Connect 2013 (Singapore)

The second edition of the Serious Games & Social Connect conference will be held from 26 – 28 August 2013. This event is now an international platform for serious games developers, government agencies and more important for individuals keen in the applications of serious games in their daily lives. Our theme for SGSC 2013 is: “Subconscious Learning via Games and Social Media”

“History Is Our Playground”—Using Assassin’s Creed III and other videogames for education

October 30th marks the release of Assassin’s Creed III, the fourth console installment of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed videogame series. A blockbuster game that tosses players into the American Revolution, AC III is sure to spark serious discussion about validity of videogames as educational tools, a discussion held here by two Albion professors of History.

history game for education

Skema Education teaches Icelandic kids to code

Icelandic startup Skema Education runs courses teaching both kids and adults to code, combining technology with psychology. Sölvadóttir argues that most people get exposed to technology too late — she wants to spark an interest in programming much earlier. As such, the objective isn’t just to teach coding but also to change perceptions towards coding in society.

Mindblown Labs’ Educational Game Scores Over $75K on Kickstarter

Based in Oakland, California, education technology startup Mindblown Labs found the recipe to that “sauce,” surpassing their Kickstarter goal of $75,000. The startup raised $77,522 for the company’s financial literacy game, Mindblown Life (MBL). Set to debut in 2013, MBL merges life-simulation elements and wit to teach young Americans money management and financial literacy skills.


Are Games Really That Persuasive? (TechCrunch)

Beyond the levels, badges, reward points and promised engagement increases, there are many behaviourist game designers who see games as persuasive tools for social change. They see a very wide range of possible benefits from games, such as education, health and awareness of social or political issues and so they want to use games to persuade players. But….

Want to help someone learn? Have them assume a role (Kapp Notes)

Note: Some of these thoughts are based on a paper by John Rice, a school technology director in Texas. John has spent several years researching instructional gaming and his doctoral dissertation focuses on predictors for student success in educational video games. Since 2007, he has chronicled research in the field on his blog at, presented at major conferences on the topic, and has written several intriguing papers including the paper “Assessing Higher Order Thinking in Video Games,” which appeared in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education and which is used for some of the thinking of this post.


This case study describes how a group of Chief Information Security Officers successfully used crowdsourcing and game mechanics to improve knowledge sharing and develop a profitable mobile application in less than 2 hours.


What’s the future for educational games? (from Manchester Metropolitan University)

game based learningTEACHING in schools, colleges and universities could be enhanced with the use of ‘cheap and simple’ educational games, according to researchers from the Faculty of Education.

Rather than mimicking big budget games, Nicola Whitton, Research Fellow at the Education and Social Research Institute believes that teachers and lecturers can integrate ‘games for learning’ into their teaching using simple purpose-built games, and gaming techniques,  without great expense.

In her blog, Nicola recently posited that the future of game-learning centred on low-cost game development tools such as GameMaker, that don’t require vast amounts of technical knowledge or expertise.

She continues that argument in her new book co-authored with Alex Moseley ‘Using Games to Enhance Learning and Teaching, a handbook to arm teachers and lecturers with the theories and tools to create their own game-based approaches.

Investigating the impact of video games on high school students’ engagement and learning about genetics

North Carolina State University researchers Annetta, Minogue, Holmes, and Cheng shed light on why it is believed that educational video games hold great potential for enhancing student learning, and attempt to generate empirical evidence to support or refute this belief.

Motivational Factors for Mobile Serious Games for Elderly Users

This survey was based on a literature review and also on a case study with a group of seniors who evaluated five serious games for smart phones. From the data collected we compiled a list of guidelines for developing mobile serious games that meet the needs, interests and motivations of older players.


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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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