Pokémon Go and potential curriculum links

https://i1.wp.com/www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/07/25/103846353-Pokemon-Go-news_1-large_trans++bMR798aWDZck9uDQFumyM6LVobgUGC4FoVT7JGNuBBk.jpg

 

The popular game Pokémon Go can be leveraged for learning.

write that some of the; “potential curriculum links are:

  • whole-class discussions of how the movement of tectonic plates has affected GPS readings in Australia (science, geography, English)
  • photographing both real insects and virtual Pokémon and then writing up Pokédex entries for the insects they have collected (science, media studies, ICT, English, art)
  • designing classification flowcharts for Pokémon as a lead-up to classification of animals (science, English, maths)
  • assigning students the job of Pokéstop tour guide (Pokéstops are often positioned in front of historical locations), requiring them to research and report on the history of the area (history, art, English)
  • framing maths problems around the data available for each Pokémon such as height, weight and strength. For example, if I have 3,700 stardust, what combination of Pokémon can I power up that will use up all my stardust? Or Asha’s house is 600m from school. The only time she plays Pokémon Go is as she walks to and from school every day. How many days will it take her to hatch a 5.0km egg?”To read their full article at The Conversation click here
  • http://theconversation.com/gaming-in-the-classroom-what-we-can-learn-from-pokemon-go-technology-63766

I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation!

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Now that I have successfully defended my doctoral dissertation I want to post my dedication and acknowledgements page.

Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games

Dedication
I dedicate this dissertation to my loving and patient wife Jeni and to my persistent son Caleb who often asked me to add more games to my research. Thank you Jeni, for all you have done to support me during these many years. Thanks for giving me the time, space, and encouragement to do what I needed to do to finish. I love and appreciate you more than you will ever know!

Acknowledgements
First, I would like to thank the students of Orangevale Montessori who participated in this research. With out your contribution this project would not have been possible. I would also like to thank the administration, teachers, and staff who went out of their way to accommodate me and the students during the research. I would like to thank Dr. Randy Fall, the chairperson of my dissertation committee, who helped me to narrow the scope of my research and set realistic goals. Thanks to Dr. Yau for teaching me so much about learning theories and approaches, and the important role of motivation in learning. Thanks to Dr. Gilbreth for helping me to learn more about educational technology and for challenging me to start a web log on games and learning. Thanks to my committee as a whole for encouraging me to change the original design of my study to include participants – you were right – the students made it better. I also want to thank Dr. Christopher Quinn who helped me lay the foundation of this study with my literature review. And finally I want to thank my mother for giving me my first computer. On that Commodore 64, I wrote my first programs and my first computer games. That gifted helped to open up my mind to analyze, evaluate, and create. That gift helped to open up my world. Thanks Mom.

Anthony W. Palmer Ed.D.

Gaming in the classroom

The Gamification of Education
Source: Online-Education-Degrees.net

DiscoPets: a new learning game on Kickstarter

 

  • From the Kickstarter page for this new educational game

Diskopets is a cartoon based, educational, online game world for kids. They see a comical, animated and fully interactive multiplayer game, while behind the scenes they are actually learning from customizable educational materials.

Cartoon Based Interactive Learning Game World

  • Diskopets is a funny, animated, educational multiplayer online game. Like TV cartoons, it has comical and whimsical characters as well as a vast, ever changing world to explore.
  • The characters are small, cute, funny pets living high above us in the sky, on a floating island world. Kids take care of and raise these pets, as they play and learn with each other in the multiplayer world
  • There are many different areas to explore , within the Diskopets world for children, Most containing educational activities disguised as fun games and puzzles.
  • Parents can actually customize and add new learning material to the world. It’s the perfect educational game world for any child in your life.
  • The game is completely multiplayer, so kids get the benefit of social interactions and working together with as well.
  • Each pet’s personality changes over time and adapts to the player. The pet’s behaviour and emotions will change based on how the player interacts with them.

We started with a desire to create something that would teach science and math to kids. We soon realized that kids learn best through fun, discovery and play.

Learn by Playing:

  • Kids learn by playing games.
  • They gain physical skills by playing physical activities. They gain social skills by interacting with one another.
  • They learn learn best when they are having fun.

Fun with cartoons:

Growing up as kids, we loved cartoons and games. We learned our ABCs from watching our favourite characters on cartoons and television shows.

Sadly, today’s cartoons and games have moved away from the simple, fun and loveable characters we knew on Saturday morning cartoons. Today kids are bombarded with fast, more action based games and shows.

We want to create an interactive game that teaches and encourages learning through funny, cartoon based, character and simple play.

We don’t want the kids in our families to play non-educational, non-constructive games. We want there to be a choice for parents, brothers & sisters or uncles & aunts when it comes to what games to give the kids in their family.

Experimenting = Learning:

Kids learn best when they learn on their own through play and interaction. Kids listen more to subtle suggestions rather than forced rules.

We are creating a world that nudges them in the right direction and uses real educational techniques disguised as funny characters and games.

While television is passive and most educational games are played individually, Diskopets offers a unique opportunity to involve parents in multiple ways, with cooperative and multiplayer gameplay, in-game chats, and customization of educational material

We wanted to make a game that helps build a digital bond between kids and parents, one they can play together. Parents and siblings can even interact within the game, playing and chatting with each other and visiting the homes of their pets, all while learning useful educational material.

Customizable By Parents:

Parents can customize and even add to many areas of the game.

  • They can change fruits and vegetables in the garden.
  • The art room has drawings that can be uploaded to colour or chose drawings based on learning.
  • There is even a quiz show area where questions can be added and customized. It gives parents complete control over what their child will see and learn.
  • Many more customizations …

Kids today play many games which are purely for entertainment and don’t have any educational value at all. With Diskopets parents can rest assured that their kids are engaged in something they’ll find fun and entertaining, but they’re also learning as they play and experiment.

Track And View Progress:

Parents might not be aware of what benefit or value their child is getting from a game, if any.

To keep track of and reward achievements, the Diskopets world would include a trophy room.

For kids, it’s a showcase where they can see everything they’ve accomplished and gain status within the world.

For parents, it’s a way to keep track of what games your kids are playing, how much time they’ve spent playing in different activities, and how much progress they’ve made.

Everyone can benefit from Diskopets:

  • Kids are entertained, interacting and learning
  • Children learn together in a social environment as they play
  • Parents know their children are in a educational online game environment
  • Parents can customize content and take part in their child’s education
  • Teachers can suggest customizations to help with current school needs
  • Friends and family members can take part in the multiplayer game fun

 To learn more about Discopets click here for the Kickstarter page https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/diskopets/397258373?token=93b92d35

or click her for the website

http://www.diskopets.com/

 

Higher Order Thinking Skills in Minecraft

Minecraft-Pocket-Edition blooms

I have uploaded my first video to YouTube (please be kind interwebs).

I Identified all three Higher Order Thinking Skills in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy – analyzing, evaluating, and creating.  In the future, I plan to upload a walk-through  of Bad Piggies and Dragon Box.  These were the games I asked my participants to play for my dissertation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in iPad Games.

Thanks to all! 72 Participants in my dissertation on learning games.

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Yesterday I interviewed participant number 72 for my dissertation on learning games and Higher Order Thinking Skills.

I appreciate all the helpful students at Orangevale Montessori who participated in the research, all the parents who consented to have their children join the study, all the teachers who invited me into their classrooms, and the secretaries and administrators who shared their office space with me.

Thanks to all!

Now, I have much writing to do.

Yay! Today I started interviewing participants for my dissertation!

Higher Order Thinking Skills
in iPad Learning Games

Anthony W. Palmer Ed.D. (Candidate), Researcher
 Institutional Review Board Identification: #94-14

Diagram of the levels within Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle

 

 

It has been a very long journey toward my dissertation.

 

I have completed all the courses for my doctorate.

I have completed my literature review on learning games and higher order thinking skills.

My research committee has approved my dissertation proposal.

The internal review board at my university has approved my application to  conduct the research.

The principal and the teachers have granted me permission to conduct my research at the school.

Over 30 parents have returned their consent forms.

So today…

three students assented to participate in my research on Higher order thinking Skills in iPad learning games!!!

Yay ! ! !

They all did a great job, playing the games and answering my questions.

There would have been more students participating today, but I quickly used up all of the memory on the iPad recording the first three students.

Many students asked if it was too late to turn in their consent forms.  I told them that they still have time.  It seems that many more will join the project before the end of the school year!

It is so good to have passed the necessary bureaucratic hoops and finally be conducting research with students!

So now, more observations, interviews, analysis, synthesis, writing and rewriting.

Yay!

6 Game Resources for learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

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Monique Liles recommends the following Games for learning STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), in an article for E School news;

1. Glass Labs:

2. Cell Craft:

3. Pandemic II

4. ChemGame Tutor:

5. Ayiti The Cost of a Life:

6. Ellen J. McHenry’s website:

Liles writes “In my classroom, we play a lot of games, frequently as the lesson. We then discuss what the students experienced in the game and make content connections via whole-group discussion. I often create a graphic organizer or worksheet for students to use to organize their thoughts about the game. When I have my biology and life science students play Cell Craft, for example, I demonstrate gameplay and features for the whole class using my laptop and projector. Students complete the organizer while we go through the game as a group and discuss the content. Then, students get a chance to play the game and really immerse themselves.”

Monique Liles is a teacher at Babb Middle School in Forest Park, GA. She is a member of Discovery Education’s Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a global community of educators that are passionate about transforming the learning experience with digital media.

To read the full article at E School click here;

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/17/gaming-stem-813/?

Neurology finds that video games are good for your brain

Dr. Mark Griffiths summarizes recent research on video games and the brain;

“…there is now a wealth of research which shows that video games can be put to educational and therapeutic uses, as well as many studies which reveal how playing video games can improve reaction times and hand-eye co-ordination. For example, research has shown that spatial visualization ability, such as mentally rotating and manipulating two- and three-dimensional objects, improves with video game playing.

To add to this long line of studies demonstrating the more positive effects of video games is a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Vikranth Bejjanki and colleagues. Their newly published paper demonstrates that the playing of action video games – the sort of fast-paced, 3D shoot-em-up beloved of doomsayers in the media – confirms what other studies have revealed, that players show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition.”

To read the full article from The Conversation click here;

https://theconversation.com/playing-video-games-is-good-for-your-brain-heres-how-34034

The Neurology of Gaming Read the rest of this entry

Mastering Math with Your Body by Using Kinect for Windows

Here is new research to challenge the notion that video games have to be mindless and sedentary.

A new study reveals how students can learn geometry through movement using the Kinect for Windows.

 

“Carmen Petrick Smith, assistant professor of mathematics education (second from left), works with undergraduate education majors on movements that are used to help elementary school children learn geometry (credit: Andy Duback)

University of Vermont assistant professor of mathematics education Carmen Petrick Smith has found in a study that elementary school students who interacted with a Kinect for Windows mathematics program while learning geometry showed significant gains in the understanding of angles and angle measurements…

Smith and her research team engaged 30 third- and fourth-grade students in a series of tasks that involved moving their arms to form angles projected on a large Kinect screen.

The screen changed colors when the students’ arms formed acute, right, obtuse and straight angles. A protractor helped students measure and refine their movements. Students were asked to figure out the hidden rules that made each of the four colors appear on the screen.”

– from http://www.kurzweilai.net/mastering-math-through-movement-using-kinect-for-windows

References:

  • Carmen Petrick Smith, Barbara King, Jennifer Hoyte. Learning angles through movement: Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity. The Journal of Mathematical Behavior, 2014; 36: 95 DOI: 10.1016/j.jmathb.2014.09.001

Learning angles through movement:

Critical actions for developing understanding in an embodied activity

“Highlights:

Pre- and post-tests showed gains in understanding of angle and angle measurement.

Connections between physical and abstract representations can support learning.

Exploring a variety of physical representations is associated with learning.

Connections between movements and personal experiences can support learning.


Abstract

Angle instruction often begins with familiar, real-world examples of angles, but the transition to more abstract ideas can be challenging. In this study, we examine 20 third and fourth grade students completing a body-based angle task in a motion-controlled learning environment using the Kinect for Windows. We present overall pre- and post-test results, showing that the task enhanced learners’ developing ideas about angles, and we describe two case studies of individual students, looking in detail at the role the body plays in the learning process. We found that the development of a strong connection between the body and the abstract representation of angle was instrumental to learning, as was exploring the space and making connections to personal experiences. The implications of these findings for developing body-based tasks are discussed.

Keywords

  • Learning;
  • Geometry;
  • Embodied cognition;
  • Elementary;
  • Motion-controlled technology”

– From http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0732312314000522

Faculty Biography | Carmen Petrick Smith

Carmen Petrick Smith

Carmen Petrick Smith, Ph.D.

Contact Information:
Waterman 405
(802) 656-1307
Carmen.Smith@uvm.edu

Carmen Petrick Smith is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Vermont. She received her Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from the University of Texas at Austin where she studied the effects of embodied actions on learning geometry. Her research interests center on embodied cognition, games for learning, and STEM education. She is also a former high school mathematics teacher, and in addition to her work in education, she can solve a Rubik’s cube, is a former Guinness World Record holder for dancing the Thriller, and won the 2008 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships.