Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Jan. 20th, 2013


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

News

GlassLab Partners With EA to Build SimCityEDU

Today, during a panel discussion on the future of connected learning at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C., GlassLab and Electronic Arts announced that they are developing a new online platform for educators based on the popular series of games.

The platform, called SimCityEDU, will serve as an online community to create and share learning tools that support use of the game in the classroom. SimCityEDU’s curricular resources will be aligned to Common Core State Standards for a wide range of subjects, from math and science to civics and economics. These learning tools will also focus on developing key 21st century skills, like collaboration, time management and systems thinking.

game-based learning

Global Game Jam Announces New “Games For Change” Locations

For the Global Game Jam event happening next weekend (Jan. 25–Jan. 27), there will be 9 locations around the world dedicated to making games for change. Here is the full list:

USA:
Games for Change @ DSI (New York, NY) – Organizer: Ben Johnson
George Mason University – G4C (Fairfax, Virginia) – Organizer: Trey Reyher
MIT Game Lab – G4C (Cambridge, Massachusetts) – Organizer: Richard Eberhardt
The Art Institute of Portland w/ PIGSquad and G4C (Portland, Oregon) – Organizers: Will Lewis & Jeffrey Sens
International:
GameIS – Israeli game developers’ association & G4C (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Organizer: Hagai Reuveni
Games for Change Warsaw (Warsaw, Poland) – Organizer: Michal Jakubowski
Global Game Jam Cologne & G4C Jam (Cologne, Germany) – Organizer: Katharina Tillmanns
Toronto G4C Jam (Toronto, Canada) – Organizers: Sarah Chu & Una Lee
University of São Paulo – G4C (São Paulo, Brazil) – Organizer: Ricardo Nakamura & Francisco Tupy

E-Line Media Opens Game Development Studios in Seattle and Phoenix

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – January 15, 2013) – E-Line Media, a pioneer in games that engage, educate and empower youth, announces today the launch of two new E-Line game development studios, E-Line Seattle and E-Line Phoenix.  E-Line Media’s mission is to harness the power of games for learning, health and social impact. E-Line Seattle will be focused on consumer games that fire the imagination, inspire curiosity and empower youth to deepen their interests across informal and formal learning channels. E-Line Phoenix will be focused on highly engaging, research-based educational games and game-infused curriculum developed in collaboration with the ASU Center for Games and Impact and other leading universities and foundations.

Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning – iGBL2013

The third Irish Symposium on Game-Based Learning iGBL2013 will be hosted at the Dublin Institute of Technology between the 6th and 7th June 2013.

Important Dates:
8th March:       Abstract submission deadline
8th April:          Notification of abstract acceptance
19th April:      Earlybird registration deadline
3rd May:         Registration deadline
31st May:        Final submission of presentations

Game-based learning boosts Belle Sherman test scores

Last spring, Belle Sherman partnered with Imagine Learning, an award-winning language and literacy software program, to provide game-based activities to assist those learning English, struggling readers, students with disabilities and early childhood education students. For three months, select students in pre-K to fifth grade participated in a pilot program, using the software an average of 20 minutes a day.

Belle Sherman Principal Dan Breiman wrote about the program’s success in this month’s January-February issue of National Elementary School Principals Magazine.

Bookmarks

Some serious games studies & examples

A collection og serious game reports, publications, and Intel project reports

Mining Minecraft, Part 2: Brilliance when students drive the learning

What it looks like when students teach too

Children are teaching themselves and each other what they need to know to maximize game play, as clearly demonstrated in the discussions among students posted on our classes’ Minecraft wiki. They are also using mobile phones, IM, Skype and Twitter to communicate during play and manage their community beyond the game.

What I’m observing demonstrates the need for us to rethink how we design learning spaces in school. If we’re going to prepare our children for success in their world (not ours) we need to let go of our pre-conceived notion of what school looks like. There is a growing disconnect between the content-driven curriculum we spoon-feed children and the vibrant collaborative learning that is happening in their digital play spaces. By becoming partners in learning (and playing) with our students or children in these spaces, we better understand their world – which allows us to make better decisions about what’s relevant in preparing them for success.

Mining Minecraft, Part 3: Safety & citizenship in games (do try this at home!)

Students as curriculum co-creators

Working with students in virtual spaces has been an invaluable resource for us at the Elisabeth Morrow School. It is helping us better understand how kids navigate, connect, work and play online. We are constantly discovering new things that surprise us and challenge some of our preconceived notions. The knowledge we are gaining is allowing us to design programs that are more relevant and effective in addressing our students’ needs.

Learning Simulations, Retention and Neuroscience

The Learning Pyramid (Mororola University, 1996) shows how learning simulations can greatly enhance long-term knowledge retention.  It explains how participatory learning such as practising by doing (learning simulations) and teaching others are far superior to passive learning such as lecturing or reading.  In fact, practising by doing is fifteen times more effective, in terms of retention, than lecturing.  The research suggests that people retain 75% of what they are taught when practising by doing.  Similar figures are present for studies looking at experiential learning, learning by doing and so on.

learning simulation

An Interview with Richard Bartle about Gamification

To start the year with a nice bang, I present an interview that Richard Bartle was kind enough to do with me. You may know the name, without him games like World of Warcraft would never have existed. He also gave us the Player Type Theory. Here I ask him a few questions about his thoughts on Gamification.

Girls and Games: What’s the Attraction?

Game developers and academics who have been studying the elements that go into making games more attractive to girls found that those very same qualities are also important components of learning. For instance, girls are more drawn to games that require problem solving in context, that are collaborative (played through social media) and that produce what’s perceived to be a social good. They also like games that simulate the real word and are particularly drawn to “transmedia” content that draws on characters from books, movies, or toys.

One of the biggest draws for girls to gaming are the passionate communities that spring up around the games. Affinity groups, or what’s sometimes referred to as the meta-game, often involve users creating their own story lines, interacting with each other and sharing. Jayne Lammers, a professor at the University of Rochester, spent extensive time studying affinity groups of girls that play SIMs, the game that allows users to simulate real life through the game, and watched girls go from consumers to creators in the space. They wrote stories, solicited feedback from peers, demonstrated self-awareness, and even learned elements of programming and design through their creations.

The Benefits of Education Games in Elementary School

Language Arts

Rather than feuding with time spent on virtual games, several educators have developed programs to target language arts topics, within popular activities.

Mathematics

While Starcraft 2 is being incorporated into some college mathematics courses, younger students may benefit from this practice as well.

Physical Education

study completed recently by George Washington University suggests that video games can motivate some children to move more.

The GAMES we play……………. (Pt 01 of ???)

I have also always been more interested in LEARNing that “makes a difference” to the lives of LEARNers – and I push this little “envelope” of mine a little further and actually“define” LEARNing as anything that:

game-based learning (interesting illustrations, read the full post by yourself)

Publications

Knowledge Development through Constructionism Game-Based Learning Application: An Evaluation of Students’ Performance (International Journal of Future Computer and Communication)

Creating e-games learning environments for educators and students may help the future of education evolve in meaningful ways. This research applies constructionism learning theory in e-games application to improve the student’s level of knowledge.

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  1. Gamification | Pearltrees
  2. Play and Learn Weekly – Jan. 20th, 2013 | Classroom Aid | www.seriousgaming.co.za | Scoop.it

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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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