Monthly Archives: March 2013

YES! Games Give Flow, Fun, and Fiero!

Yes! Flow, fun, and fiero – I love them all! The flow experience in games has been described by Hansen and Sanders (2010), as the optimal state for intrinsic motivation, it is experienced when a person is “fully immersed in what he or she is doing. These peak experiences balance the appropriate amount of challenge in the task and skill in the player. Video games can be perfectly designed to achieve this kind of balance to facilitate the flow experiences, which then catalyzes the intrinsic motivation for active learning (de Freitas, 2006, p.11; Delwiche, 2006, p. 162; Dickey, 2006, p. 246).

References

Delwiche, A. (2006). Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in the new media classroom. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 9(3), 160-172.

de Freitas, S. (2006). Learning in immersive worlds: A review of game-based learning. JISC. 148

Dickey, M. (2006). Game Design Narrative for Learning: Appropriating Adventure Game Design Narrative Devices and Techniques for the Design of Interactive Learning Environments. Educational Technology Research & Development, 54(3), 245-263.

Hansen, L., & Sanders, S. (2010). Fifth Grade Students’ Experiences Participating in Active Gaming in Physical Education: The Persistence to Game. The ICHPER-SD Journal of Research in Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport & Dance, 5(2), 7.

Remixing College English

As mentioned in my last post, I am planning to gamify next Fall’s first-semester FYC course, using Interactive Fiction (IF) and the multiplayer classroom model. The decision to do so came completely independently of a new MOOC that started this past week that focuses on Games Based Learning (GBL). I had not intended to take this MOOC, since I had already signed up for another MOOC that would overlap with it. However, when I saw that the GBL MOOC would be covering IF, I decided to give it a try. The great thing about MOOCs is that they are voluntary and, therefore, you can dip in and out of them as you wish. While many have classified this aspect of MOOCs as one of their weaknesses, I see it as one of their strengths. Not only does it encourage learners like me to give something a try that…

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Good Games Are Hard: in a Fun Way

  • In her article “Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?” Holly Korbey interviewed a few educators who had some bad ideas about computer games;

    “And learning is hard work. The tools children use to manipulate and
    change the world and their own neural pathways should reflect the
    profundity of that phenomenon; we should have some blisters, form
    calluses, break a sweat. Computer games don’t demand that from
    children.”
    No.
    The better games are demanding. That is why they are the best games. There are educational games that are very challenging but they are challenging in the way that good play is challenging. It is counter productive to remind children that they learning not playing. The best learning happens when we are playing.
    Practicing a skill leads to success, but if the practice is boring then students will be less motivated to engage in the requisite practice (James Gee, 2007). The best digital games provide practice that is very compelling, engaging, and challenging, but never boring. Gamers play not because games are easy but because they are hard. But, they are hard in the right way, to the right degree, and most importantly – they are hard in a fun way. The best games provide the balance of challenge and support. To describe learning as “hard work and not play” is one of the worst possible ways to describe it.
    Gee, J.P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (Rev. ed.). New York: Palgrave McMillian.

    To read the full article by Holly Korbey click here;

    http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/03/teachers-students-digital-games-whats-the-right-mix/#disqus_thread

Educating Lotus

You might like to know about two game-based learning MOOCs (massively open online courses) that you can sign up for now. Like all MOOCs they are free and the level of participation is up to you.

Games MOOC III. When you click this link, you’ll see the following overview of the course and can then look around this well-developed site to see if all or parts of the course (and its delivery modes) interest you.

Our topic for Games MOOC III is Build the Game using Apps, AR and ARGs. The focus of this MOOC will be learning about the resources available to create a game or gaming project for your course.This may take the form of using mobile devices to include even augmented reality. Or it may be a highly immersive interactive project that has your students doing live action role-play. Depending on your class, you may choose…

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Investing in Game Based Learning

Schulknabe mit iPad, after Albert Anker

Jordan Shapiro, of Forbes Magazine, writes that;

“At the end of January, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at the Sesame Workshop published a report that aims to understand “the market dynamics for digital learning games in K-12 schools” and identify “areas of innovation that are ready for new investment.”

The “Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis” report, written by John Richards, Leslie Stebbins, and Kurt Moellering, provides “information and recommendations for investors, game developers, and publishers hoping to succeed in the K-12 institutional space.”

Despite the many systemic obstacles to moving new products into the K-12 marketplace–”a few multi-billion dollar players, a long buying cycle, selling costs, a byzantine decision-making process, demand for curriculum and standards alignment, requirements for proof of effectiveness, and a need for professional development”–the game-based learning space, which is still in the formative stages of technological evolution, is clearly a sector fertile for investing.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2013/03/19/how-to-invest-in-game-based-learning/

Mindcraft declared “Ultimate Multi-Tool” for teachers and learners.

PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta, declares Mine Craft to be an “Ultimate Multi-Tool.”  For the past few months me and my 4 year old son have been building amazing worlds in Minecraft.  We both love this game!  It offers so many opportunities for creativity and learning.  Minecraft is “constructivist” in more ways than one.  To learn more about the power of Minecraft for engagement in learning watch the video below.   Thanks to Dr. Christopher Quinn for sending me the link to this video.  Enjoy!

“Start With Engagement”: Games Do This!

When I started watching this video, I did not totally support her premise, by the end, I did.  I encourage you to watch with an open mind and think about it.  Educators tend to start with what “WE” want learners to know.  Too often, “WE” are not as concerned with how they experience the process.  Games can not get away with such an oversight.  If they tried to ignore the player experience, in the same way that we educators – too often  – ignore the learner experience they would FAIL!  Perhaps this is part of the reason why so many teachers and schools fail their students.

A Game to Teach Entreprenuership

Startup Heroes sounds like a game that can give more people the opportunity to explore the world of entrepreneurship in a risk free way. I hope many people will play this game and that many entrepreneurs will be born!

Classroom Aid

Dear Readers,

I am the co-founder and CEO of the Startup Heroes, an online entrepreneurship educational game simulating the process of the startup creation in an engaging, interactive and risk-free real-life 3D environment. We are living an amazing journey!

Most of the students today perceive entrepreneurship as too risky, too costly, too scary and… simply unknown! It is a real black box, and Startup Heroes is a great tool leveraging modern education methods to uncover it and even inspire to become entrepreneurs! According to our recent surveys, more than 70% of our players get a significant increase in their interest and likelihood of creating their own businesses after playing the game!

Did you know you remember up to 9 times better what you experience in a simulation compared to a classic lecture at school? In Startup Heroes, you embark in the journey of a young student passionate for building electronic gadgets. Along your way to develop your entrepreneurial…

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Play This Game to Advance Brain Science

Daniel Berger, a researcher at MIT, traced these neurons using the EyeWire game.

Yes, ordinary people, non-scientist can contribute to science by playing a game

of NPR, recorded a great story on how people playing games can contribute to science and learning.   In the first half of the story, He plays and describes the game EyeWire, in which you can contribute to brain research and learn about the nerves of the eye.  In the second half of the story he describes the game Foldit, in which you can contribute to Scientists understanding of how proteins fold and learn about protein folding yourself.

“People can get pretty addicted to computer games. By some estimates, residents of planet Earth spend 3 billion hours per week playing them. Now some scientists are hoping to make use of all that human capital and harness it for a good cause.

Right now I’m at the novice level of a game called EyeWire, trying to color in a nerve cell in a cartoon drawing of a slice of tissue. EyeWire is designed to solve a real science problem — it aims to chart the billions of nerve connections in the brain.”

This image represents a chunk, or "cube," of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn't easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.

“This image represents a chunk, or “cube,” of brain. Each different color represents a different neuron, and the goal of the EyeWire game is to figure out how these tangled neurons connect to each other. Players look at a slice from this cube and try to identify the boundaries of each cell. It isn’t easy, and it takes practice. You can try it for yourself at eyewire.org.”

Link to text and audio from NPR here;

http://www.npr.org/2013/03/05/173435599/wanna-play-computer-gamers-help-push-frontier-of-brain-research