Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Play and Learn Weekly – Apr.14th, 2013 (#GBL)

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


Serious Game Award Competition

learning game, game-based learning

Games for Change

17 – 19 Jun 2013 | New York
Fee: Yes
Open to public: Yes

The Games for Change Festival is the largest gaming event in New York City and the leading international event uniting “games for change” creators with those interested in accessing the positive social impact of games.

Games In Education symposium to be conducted in August

The 2013 Games in Education Symposium will be held Aug. 6 and 7 in at HVCC’s TEC-SMART campus in Malta.

Free to educators, Games in Education features ideas, discussions and examples on how video games can be incorporated into classrooms to make learning dynamic and exciting.

Attendees will hear how educators from across the U.S. have successfully used video games and will get a hands-on experience with new games and video game platforms.

Learning Java by Playing Video Games

Computer scientists at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) have created a video game that teaches students how to program in Java by casting spells and saving the world.

The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. They detailed their findings in a paper they presented at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver. Computer scientists found that within just one hour of play, the girls had mastered some of Java’s basic components and were able to use the language to create new ways of playing with the game.

Seventh European Conference on Games Based Learning, Porto, Portugal

The Seventh European Conference on Games Based Learning will be held from 3 to 4 October 2013 in Porto, Portugal. The event will be a forum for researchers to exchange ideas and best practices as well promote a wider adoption of Game-Based Learning (GBL) in Europe. For further information, please visit:

Coming April 29 Re-Mission 2: Serious Games To Fight Cancer And Win

The gameplay parallels real-world strategies used to successfully destroy cancer and win. Each game puts players inside the human body to fight cancer with an arsenal of weapons and super-powers, like chemotherapy, antibiotics and the body’s natural defenses.  The games are designed to motivate players to stick to their treatments by boosting self-efficacy and positive emotions and by shifting attitudes about chemotherapy.

All the games can be played free online at
Game based learning


Weaving Literacy and Assessment into Game-Based Learning

….But we started to realize that you can actually tie digital games across all subject areas into English Language Arts (ELA) using assessment.

In one of my favorite student challenges, I ask the class to create a “cheat sheet” or walk-through. This involves the kind of 21st-century skills the CCSS focus on, both in terms of ELA and literacy in the content areas. Quality digital games are a powerful way to teach the formulation of evidence-based arguments, for example. They allow students to demonstrate their knowledge of a content area situated in a meaningful experience. For a math game like Lure of the Labyrinth: Employee Lounge, from Maryland Public Television/MIT Education Arcade, in which no directions are presented to the players, teachers might challenge students to write a set of rules for the game….


Unlike gamification, which I would class as being entirely behavioral, gamefulness encompasses more of the playful features said to make games into more exploratory and reflective exercises. Gamefulness involves elements of role play, story, and agency. Evangelists like Jane McGonigal suggest that it is in being game-like in our approach, not in our feedback mechanisms, that engagement lies. Injecting wit, humor, or emotional context isn’t easy, but it does represent another side to games that we can learn from.

Gamification doesn’t have to be fun or emotional; it really can be “pointsification.” But when done well, gamification can be used to shape user interactions and to push people to go further, to build up streaks of learning, and to condition behavior.

Gamefulness is almost the opposite; capturing the playful elements of games that make them light hearted, fun, or emotionally compelling. It brings delight, playfulness, and deep engagement—all qualities we often seek in our learning experience designs.

Gamification versus Serious Games (infographic)

In this case the “rhetoric/simulation against facilitation” frame seems to provide a quick classification tool to distinguish between the two systems, in addiction to current classifications that (very roughly) identify gamification with game design elements and serious games with immersion.


Game-based Learning Market Reviewed & Forecast by Infiniti Research in New Report Now Available at

Title: Global Game-based Learning Market 2012-2016
Published: March, 2013
Pages:    40
Price:    US$ 2,000.00


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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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