Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Dec.2nd, 2012

What’s happening in the convergence of play and learning (game-based learning) ?


California State Schools Approve Game-Based Learning Provider Wowzers® for School Purchase with State Funds

As an approved program, California’s more than 10,000 public schools can now incorporate Wowzers’ adaptive, game-based math and science Common Core instruction as a supplemental resource in their classrooms.


Minecraft In Education: How Video Games Are Teaching Kids

MINECON 2012: Some enterprising teachers are using Minecraft to teach subjects like physics, geography, and English language, and with promising results.

“teachers can look at the tools and encourage learning from them regardless”

Reid pointed to the millions of Minecraft tutorial videos uploaded to YouTube, many of which have been created by children. “Self learning is more powerful than listening to what any teacher has to say”, he quipped.

minecraft in classroom

GSummit 2013 (SF, April 16-18)

GSummit 2013 (SF, April 16-18) is the only global event that brings together top experts in engaging design. In 2013 Gamification will continue its meteoric ascent, becoming a key executive strategy for the enterprise, human resources, loyalty and marketing. Over the next year in the gamification space, we’ll see many more acquisitions, thousands of new certified gamifiers, hundreds of new startups, and even more dramatic innovations across all industries.

Gartner Says by 2014, 80 Percent of Current Gamified Applications Will Fail to Meet Business Objectives Primarily Due to Poor Design

STAMFORD, Conn., November 27, 2012 — As gamification moves from the leading edge to more widespread use by early adopters, now is the time to understand and evaluate this important trend, according to Gartner, Inc. Gamification is currently being driven by novelty and hype. Gartner predicts that by 2014, 80 percent of current gamified applications will fail to meet business objectives primarily because of poor design.

Serious Games Seek Slice Of  Health-Care Market

Speaking at the Games for Health conference in Amsterdam last week, Dr. John Harrison, a psychologist at Imperial College, London, said that on current trends, “by 2050 the cost of direct health care in just the U.S. for Alzheimer’s is going to be $1 trillion.” Caring for sufferers of the disease is already a $200 billion market in the U.S. he said.

For at least a decade, so-called serious, or applied, games have sought to take a slice of the health-care budget, offering the promise that rich interactive games can be used to help patients and clinicians. But so far, with very few exceptions, they have failed to make any kind of impact. With a slice of a trillion-dollar market at stake, what is going wrong?

Active video games discouraged by child fitness experts

Physical activity experts at Active Healthy Kids Canada reviewed more than 1,300 published papers on active video games like those that combine consoles with wands on Nintendo’s Wii and the Kinect device for Xbox.

“Active Healthy Kids Canada does not recommend active video games as a strategy to help kids be more physically active,” they conclude in a position statement published Monday.

Video gaming addiction can control your thoughts, recommendation for further study

A psychology researcher from Canberra has collected some of the first scientific evidence that video gaming can be addictive in a way similar to gambling and alcohol. “People who spend an excessive amount of time playing video games are powerless to stop themselves from thinking about gaming,” says Olivia Metcalf, who did the research for her PhD at the Australian National University. “This is a pattern typical of addiction,” she says.


Games for Health pavilion: It’s not just fun and, well, you know

Together with fellow Maine native Beth Bryant and funding from the Bryant Portfolio, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Sawyer has developed Games for Health into what he calls a “sustaining, strategic force in healthcare.” The project brings together gaming entrepreneurs, researchers, healthcare experts and others to discuss such topics as exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehabilitation, epidemiology, training, cognitive health, nutrition and health education.

Jane McGonigal Explains Why We Should Be Grateful For Games

Her blog, Show Me the Science, provides research on various ways games are beneficial; there is even an article on how violent games help with cooperation skills.


Attributes and Motivation in Game-based Learning: A Review of the Literature (KANG-MASTERS-REPORT , by Jina Kang, B.S.; M.S., The University of Texas at Austin, August 2012)

Since the mid-1980s, various educational games have been developed, and their popularity has implications for the use of games in the classroom. Although research over many years has shown games to be effective in enhancing motivation and improving learner performance, studies that connect specific elements of games and learner motivation are lacking. This report is a literature review of relevant articles on motivation and attributes in game-based learning, including empirical studies and theoretical articles from 2009 to present. Based on the attributes presented by Wilson et al. (2009), the game environments in these studies are reviewed, with a focus on recent studies and trends related to game-based learning. This review also presents an examination of how the recent studies conducted their experiments in order to investigate game attributes and motivation. The relationship between the attributes and learner motivation is discussed. Because of the current lack of research on the relationship between attributes and learner motivation in game-based learning, the results of this literature review can provide insight into the potential use of game attributes.


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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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