Monthly Archives: November 2013

Research shows that collaborative gaming increases learning.

NDTV notes that;

Playing educational video games either competitively or collaboratively with another player can enhance students‘ motivation to learn, a new study has found.

While playing a math video game collaboratively – as compared to playing alone – students adopted a mastery mindset that is highly conducive to learning, researchers said.

Moreover, students’ interest and enjoyment in playing the math video game increased when they played with another student.

The findings point to new ways in which computer, console, or mobile educational games may yield learning benefits.

“We found support for claims that well-designed games can motivate students to learn less popular subjects, such as math, and that game-based learning can actually get students interested in the subject matter?and can broaden their focus beyond just collecting stars or points,” said Jan Plass, a professor in New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and one of the study’s lead authors.

“Educational games may be able to help circumvent major problems plaguing classrooms by placing students in a frame of mind that is conducive to learning rather than worrying about how smart they look,” added co-lead author Paul O’Keefe, an NYU postdoctoral fellow at the time of the study.

The researchers focused on how students’ motivation to learn, as well as their interest and performance in math, was affected by playing a math video game either individually, competitively, or collaboratively.

Researchers had middle-school students play the video game FactorReactor, which is designed to build math skills through problem solving and therefore serves as diagnostic for learning.”

To read the full article click here,

http://gadgets.ndtv.com/games/news/playing-video-games-collaboratively-competitively-can-boost-learning-study-443517

President Obama on Gaming and Education

 President Barack Obama's Video Game Buyer's Guide

Christina Farr writes that;

“the senior adviser for digital media at the White House, Mark DeLoura, says Barack Obama has taken a personal interest in games and gaming culture.

“I wouldn’t have this job if he wasn’t interested,” said DeLoura on stage at the GamesBeat 2013 conference.

DeLoura is a veteran gamer who has held senior leadership positions at Google, Sony, Nintendo, and others. He’s been working at the White House for seven months, which he describes as a far more formal environment than Silicon Valley.

“Some people do play games in the White House,” DeLoura told our GamesBeat lead reporter Dean Takahashi. “I’m trying to find those people and collect them, Pokémon-style.”

According to DeLoura, it hasn’t been easy task to recruit austere government officials for a gaming session. But DeLoura is dead-set on getting a group together to play Civilization once a week. “I point out that they are playing Candy Crush,” he said.

Educational gaming

Joking aside, the president is deeply concerned with improving education in our country. Games are an essential part of the conversation and strategy.

“I want you guys to be stuck on a video game that’s teaching you something other than just blowing something up,” Obama said at a press conference in in 2011, a few years before the Department of Education launched a grant for the country’s most talented educational gamers. DeLoura helped write the blog post announcing the initiative.

“He [Obama] wants to see Sasha and Malia playing a game that teaches them something,” DeLoura told me. In a 1-on-1 interview after his GamesBeat talk, he told me that the president’s daughters love to dance and play games that help them stay active — like Just Dance.

In recent months, DeLoura and his team have been researching how game dynamics can be applied to education. Can a game help kids learn new languages, make friends, or pickup technical skills?

DeLoura doesn’t believe that the tech industry has done nearly enough to support educational gaming, with a few exceptions. A few Silicon Valley investment firms focus on educational games, and Bill and Melinda Gates have been making large investments through their foundation.

One of DeLoura’s passion projects is to make it easier for parents and teachers to find great games and apps for kids at any age. He hopes that parents won’t dismiss all games, as a result of a few bad apples. “This is a real problem we need to tackle,” he said.

DeLoura’s favorite educational games?

1. DragonBox, a multiplatform math game.

“It’s awesome. After 90 minutes of play, 93 percent of kids could solve algebraic equations in Washington State.”

2. Reach for the Sun from Filament Games, a plant life-cycle sim.

“This game is new but it teaches kids biology. They can start with a seed and grow leave, roots, and petals.”

3. Minecraft, the indie building game sensation.

“Everyone plays this game. Now there’s a Minecraft teacher who teaches computing concepts. Google launched qCraft, which teaches quantum physics.”

Games that teach kids to code

DeLoura and the Obama administration are currently developing new programs to bolster coding education in schools. Games can certainly play a role — particularly those that teach young people to code.

Schools can adopt these games to support their coding curriculum. DeLoura points to a program in the U.K. called “computing,” which teaches digital skills to kids as young as 5.

In the U.S., he’s encouraged by the recent success of a nonprofit called Code.org, which is working with influencers in the entertainment industry, such as Will.i.am, to make programming seem cool to kids. DeLoura is help the organization promote “Hour of Code,” a campaign to introduce 10 million kids to computer science.”

To read the full article by Christina Farr  click here;

http://venturebeat.com/2013/10/29/the-presidents-gaming-guy-tells-us-that-games-fascinate-obama/

APA touts the benefits of Video Games

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From APA Press Release on November 25, 2013;

Video game play may provide learning, health, social benefits, review finds

Authors suggest balancing questions of harm with potential for positive impact

WASHINGTON – Playing video games, including violent shooter games, may boost children’s learning, health and social skills, according to a review of research on the positive effects of video game play to be published by the American Psychological Association.

The study comes out as debate continues among psychologists and other health professionals regarding the effects of violent media on youth. An APA task force is conducting a comprehensive review of research on violence in video games and interactive media and will release its findings in 2014.

“Important research has already been conducted for decades on the negative effects of gaming, including addiction, depression and aggression, and we are certainly not suggesting that this should be ignored,” said lead author Isabela Granic, PhD, of Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands. “However, to understand the impact of video games on children’s and adolescents’ development, a more balanced perspective is needed.”

The article will be published in APA’s flagship journal, American Psychologist.

While one widely held view maintains playing video games is intellectually lazy, such play actually may strengthen a range of cognitive skills such as spatial navigation, reasoning, memory and perception, according to several studies reviewed in the article. This is particularly true for shooter video games that are often violent, the authors said. A 2013 meta-analysis found that playing shooter video games improved a player’s capacity to think about objects in three dimensions, just as well as academic courses to enhance these same skills, according to the study. “This has critical implications for education and career development, as previous research has established the power of spatial skills for achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” Granic said. This enhanced thinking was not found with playing other types of video games, such as puzzles or role-playing games.

Playing video games may also help children develop problem-solving skills, the authors said. The more adolescents reported playing strategic video games, such as role-playing games, the more they improved in problem solving and school grades the following year, according to a long-term study published in 2013. Children’s creativity was also enhanced by playing any kind of video game, including violent games, but not when the children used other forms of technology, such as a computer or cell phone, other research revealed.

Simple games that are easy to access and can be played quickly, such as “Angry Birds,” can improve players’ moods, promote relaxation and ward off anxiety, the study said. “If playing video games simply makes people happier, this seems to be a fundamental emotional benefit to consider,” said Granic. The authors also highlighted the possibility that video games are effective tools to learn resilience in the face of failure. By learning to cope with ongoing failures in games, the authors suggest that children build emotional resilience they can rely upon in their everyday lives.

Another stereotype the research challenges is the socially isolated gamer. More than 70 percent of gamers play with a friend and millions of people worldwide participate in massive virtual worlds through video games such as “Farmville” and “World of Warcraft,” the article noted. Multiplayer games become virtual social communities, where decisions need to be made quickly about whom to trust or reject and how to lead a group, the authors said. People who play video games, even if they are violent, that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively, a 2011 study found.

The article emphasized that educators are currently redesigning classroom experiences, integrating video games that can shift the way the next generation of teachers and students approach learning. Likewise, physicians have begun to use video games to motivate patients to improve their health, the authors said. In the video game “Re-Mission,” child cancer patients can control a tiny robot that shoots cancer cells, overcomes bacterial infections and manages nausea and other barriers to adhering to treatments. A 2008 international study in 34 medical centers found significantly greater adherence to treatment and cancer-related knowledge among children who played “Re-Mission” compared to children who played a different computer game.

“It is this same kind of transformation, based on the foundational principle of play, that we suggest has the potential to transform the field of mental health,” Granic said. “This is especially true because engaging children and youth is one of the most challenging tasks clinicians face.”

The authors recommended that teams of psychologists, clinicians and game designers work together to develop approaches to mental health care that integrate video game playing with traditional therapy.

###

Article: “The Benefits of Playing Video Games,” Isabela Granic, PhD, Adam Lobel, PhD, and Rutger C.M.E. Engels, PhD, Radboud University Nijmegen; Nijmegen, The Netherlands; American Psychologist, 2013.

Full text of the article is available from the APA Public Affairs Office.

Contact: Isabela Granic at i.granic@pwo.ru.nl, cell: 011.31.6.19.50.00.99 or work: 011.31.24.361.2142

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes more than 134,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives.

http://www.apa.org

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
25-Nov-2013

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Contact: Lisa Bowen
lbowen@apa.org
202-336-5707
American Psychological Association

Games Train Doctors

PMLiVE declares that;

“Interactive games are set to be the new frontier in education for healthcare professionals (HCPs) according to a leading expert in e-learning.

Speaking at the European CME Forum in London last week, Prof Peter Henning of Karlsruhe University in Germany explained that making learning “fun” could reverse a declining trend for the use of e-learning as part of continuing medical education (CME).

“Current mainstream CME e-learning courses are nice, but the number of participants is going down,” said Prof Henning, references such examples as an online eye surgery video/text course at the Virtual University of Bavaria that has just 56 participants.

He added: “Do we stick to such types of courses that have to be paid for, updated regularly and you have to be registered to participate? The answer is, of course, no.”

Instead, the use of ‘serious games’ with learning aspects should be considered as an alternative, said Prof Henning, noting that gaming has long been used as a form of education.

“Playing a game was one of the earliest strategies for learning complex patterns,” he said. “Whenever we play we are learning. So the question has to be: Why did we ever take out the fun out of learning?”

To support his point, Prof Henning provided example projects submitted to the European E-Learning Award eureleA, for which Prof Henning is head of the jury

These included the INMEDEA Simulator, which allows HCPs to example virtual patients in an online clinic, and a programme designed by Line Communications that educates doctors on the classification of bone fractures via a goal-based approach that incorporates time challenges and other gaming elements.

The hardware for gaming could also be beneficial in healthcare education, according to Prof Henning, who noted the potential of the Microsoft Kinect – a piece of kit for the Xbox console that recognises body movements.

This technology is already finding uses in healthcare, with Microsoft teaming up with Tokyo Women’s Medical University to devise a non-touch system to control a video camera during surgery.”

To read the full article from PMLiVE click here; http://www.pmlive.com/pharma_news/gaming_to_educate_doctors_520689

Video Game Grant

campus_farm2

“The difference of research focus for this grant, as opposed to the one before it, switches from what students are learning to how they’re learning, said Rajiv Ramnath, an associate professor of practice in computer science and engineering and researcher on the project.”

To read the full article click here; http://thelantern.com/2013/11/video-game-learning-research-program-granted-nearly-250k/

 

SimCityEDU Develops Higher Order Thinking Skills.

of Fast Company writes that;

SimCityEDU: A Video Game That Tests Kids While Killing The Bubble Test

A $10.3 million collaboration between Electronic Arts, Pearson, and a nonprofit yields a simulation game that tests thinking and emotion, not just knowledge. . .

“We have all these high-stakes assessments focusing the majority of their testing on rote learning and not application of skill,” says Seth Corrigan, the Director of Education & Evaluation for Glasslab. “We’re never going to transform education and prepare kids for success if we don’t transform assessment to look at higher-order skills. Everything pointed to games as the way to do that.”. . .

SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge!, the game I’m playing, debuted last week. For those who played SimCity in the 1990s or 2000s, this PC-based game feels familiar; it’s built on the same bits but radically simplified into chunks that take no more than 10 minutes to play, with specific tasks for the player to complete. But what makes SimCityEDU different from other video games, even other video games that have been modded for educational use, is that while middle school players are figuring out how to play this game, the game will be figuring them out right back. As they are zoning neighborhoods or planning school bus routes, the software is gathering detailed evidence about their thinking processes and skills, and whether they’re engaged or bored.

The creators, a multidisciplinary team known as Glasslab, have a wild ambition. They want to use game-based assessments like these to wean our education system off fill-in-the-bubble tests, which are optimized for gauging memorized content knowledge, and instead start measuring what really matters in the 21st century: how well people can think.

“We have all these high-stakes assessments focusing the majority of their testing on rote learning and not application of skill,” says Seth Corrigan, the Director of Education & Evaluation for Glasslab. “We’re never going to transform education and prepare kids for success if we don’t transform assessment to look at higher-order skills. Everything pointed to games as the way to do that.”

Avoiding Chocolate-Covered Broccoli

With its realistic simulations of energy use, pollution, and zoning, SimCityEDU conforms to Next Generation Science Standards recently created by the National Research Council, and includes reading tasks that match the Common Core. Both are voluntary, state-led attempts to create nationwide benchmarks for learning in K-12 schools. But SimCityEDU is not just about teaching content. It’s designed to gather evidence about students’ “systems thinking.”

To See a great video clip about SimCityEDU click here;

To read the full article by click here; http://www.fastcompany.com/3021180/innovation-agents/simcityedu-a-video-game-that-tests-kids-while-killing-the-bubble-test

Video games teach empathy – and many other good things!

https://i0.wp.com/drdavidhamilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/videogameplay.jpg

Video games are often blamed for much of the pathology in modern society, but Nic Fleming, of the BBC writes that;

“A growing body of research is showing the flip side, though – video games can help people see better, learn more quickly, develop greater mental focus, become more spatially aware, estimate more accurately, and multitask more effectively. Some video games can even make young people more empathetic, helpful and sharing. As public debate on the subject is often highly emotive and polarised, and as more and more of us are becoming gamers, researchers say it is important to move beyond the generalisations that characterise much of the discussion.

“We know there are good sugars and bad sugars, and we don’t discuss whether food in general is good or bad for us,” says Daphne Bavelier, a neuroscientist at the University of Rochester, New York. “We need to be far more nuanced when we talk about the effects of video games.”

Douglas Gentile at Iowa State University, US, agrees. “Game research has tended to get sucked down into a black hole of people yelling at each other, saying either games are good or games are bad,” says Gentile, who studies the effects of video games on physiology and behaviour. “I think we are starting to move beyond this inappropriately simplistic idea to see games can be powerful teachers that we can harness.”

Multi-level field

Part of this has stemmed from the fact that 20th-Century video gaming research often failed to distinguish between game genres. Studies lumped together the different brain processes involved when racing cars, shooting baddies, street fighting, and completing puzzles. But with the benefit of hindsight, researchers now recognise they hold only limited insights into the impacts of video games.

Bavelier stumbled upon the particular effects action games may have on the brain by accident. She was designing a test to probe the effects of congenital deafness on visual attention, and while trialling it a young researcher in her department, Shawn Green, and his friends repeatedly scored far higher than expected. Eventually they realised their exceptional performance could be traced to their fondness for the action games Counter-Strike and Team Fortress Classic.

Bavelier and Green hypothesised that this type of game had distinct effects on the brain because achieving a high score requires players to react quickly, while processing information in their peripheral vision, multi-tasking, making predictions and processing the constant player feedback. In research published in 2003, they used a series of visual puzzles to demonstrate that individuals who played action games at least four days per week for a minimum of one hour per day were better than non-gamers at rapidly processing complex information, estimating numbers of objects, controlling where their attention was focused spatially, and switching rapidly between tasks.

Was this cause or effect, though? Were the games improving people’s focus or were people with good attentional focus simply more likely to play action video games?, Bavelier and Green asked non-gamers to play the first-person shooter game Medal of Honor for one hour a day for 10 days, and found their ability to focus on environmental cues improved much more than those in a control group who played the classic puzzle game Tetris. Additional tests from other researchers came to similar conclusions. For instance, Joseph Chisholm, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, Canada, found action video game players were better able to identify distraction and quicker to return their focus to the main task.

Bavelier wanted to pin down more precisely why action gamers appear to have better focus. She placed electroencephalography (EEG) headsets on gamers and non-gamers, and asked them to watch a screen on which three rapid sequences of letters appeared simultaneously. They were told to focus on one of the three and press a button when numbers appeared, while ignoring distractions. The EEG headsets tracked electrical signals in the brain, allowing Bevelier to measure how much attention the volunteer was allocating to the task and to the distraction. Gamers and non-gamers were equally able to focus their attention on the target sequences, but the gamers performed better and had quicker reaction times. “The big difference was action video gamers are better at ignoring irrelevant, distracting visual information, and so made better decisions,” she says.

Her team has also shown that action gamers may have stronger vision. They can better distinguish between different shades of grey, called contrast sensitivity, which is important when driving at night and in other poor visibility situations, and is affected by ageing and undermined in those with amblyopia, or “lazy eye”. They also have better visual acuity, which is what opticians measure when they ask you to read lines of ever smaller letters from a chart at distance.

Bavelier found action video games could also improve the vision of non-gamers. She asked groups of non-gamers to play 50 hours of Unreal Tournament 2004 or Call of Duty 2, or to play the slower, non-action game, The Sims 2, over nine weeks. By the end of the study, the contrast sensitivity of those who trained on action games had improved more than those who played The Sims 2, and the benefits lasted for at least five months. Other researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that adults with lazy eyes who spent 40 hours playing video games with their good eyes patched could improve their ability to distinguish smaller letters on such charts. The higher scores were not seen in those asked to do other visually demanding tasks such as reading and knitting with their good eyes patched.

Power of empathy

Researchers know from years of studies that when men and women are given the task of rotating two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects in their heads, men tend to perform better than women. When Jing Feng, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, in Canada, and colleagues asked a small group of non-gamers to play either Medal of Honor or the 3D puzzle game Ballance for 10 hours over several sessions, they were surprised by the results. They found the action game training boosted the scores of the female participants more than it did the males, and the effect of the training was still apparent five months later.

“We already knew that there are gender differences in mental rotation but it was interesting to see they exist in our ability to effectively distribute attention in space, and more importantly that this is something that can be diminished through playing action video games,” says Feng. “If we could extract the critical training components from first-person shooter games, I could see ways to develop spatial-skills training tools to address gender differences in fields like engineering and information technology.”

So if playing video games can lead to beneficial brain changes, does this positively affect behaviour? Gentile set out to find out by testing the effects of playing “pro-social” games on young people in the US, Singapore and Japan. The children and teenagers in each study were more likely to help others in real life or in simulated tasks if they played the games where the characters co-operated, helped one another, or pitched in to clean a virtual neighbourhood. When American students were asked to select 11 puzzles for a partner to complete and were told their partners would get $10 gift vouchers if they completed 10 of them, the pro-social game players were much more likely to choose easier puzzles than those who played violent games.”

To read the full article by Nic Fleming Click here; http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20130826-can-video-games-be-good-for-you/all

Lies about video games

newsnews

Tic-Tac Bananas! by Evanced Games

In her article “Video games will rot your brain: and other lies”, Lindsey Hill challenges 3 main accusations of video games.
Hill writes;

“Video games have the ability to change a person’s brain, but the myth is that it’s for the worse. It has long been suggested that gaming negatively impacts our children. The press consistently focuses on the negative aspects of video games: the correlation with “rotting” the brain, encouraging aggressive behavior, promoting anti-social behavior and the list goes on. Must we always look at the downside of something we are not altogether familiar with?

For countless reasons, parents and teachers are hesitant to use gaming technology in the classroom. As both a parent and veteran teacher of 14 years, I’ve had numerous discussions with colleagues who consider video games as simply “mindless” fun. But, those critics are unaware that the touchscreen taps, mouse clicks and joystick jiggles can help sharpen cognitive skills.

Edu-gaming—a now-popular concept that integrates games with education—disputes the theory that video games will rot children’s brains. A recent and compelling article by writer Nic Fleming discusses how educational games are proven to help people see better, learn more quickly, develop greater mental focus, become more spatially aware, estimate more accurately and multi-task more effectively.

As the current lead for reading engagement innovation at Evanced Games (a company that designs influential educational mobile game apps for kids), I spend time each week playing edu-games with children in their school environments. This gives me firsthand experience with the benefits of video games. When played with a purpose, video games are important tools for helping kids take the skills they learn in school and build upon them further after the school day ends.

Gaming Lie No. 1: Video games will rot your brain.

Playing video games is commonly thought to taint children’s brains. Yet, gaming is far from mindless entertainment. Several studies suggest that video games unlock different cognitive skills and improve brain function in measurable ways. In fact, a fascinating new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, found that frequent game playing results in a direct increase in the regions of the brain responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning and motor skills.

Gaming Lie No. 2: Video games encourage aggressive behavior.

On the contrary, I have seen video games help redirect aggression and hostility in kids into something much more positive. For example, one of my former third grade students used to act out during reading and math lessons for any reaction from his peers. About mid-year, I began to bring in iPads for continued skills practice in small groups, and, after a couple of days of using these tools, this particular student showed a completely different side of himself. With the introduction of mobile gaming that tied directly to his interests, he discovered something that engaged him more appropriately.”

To read the full article by Lindsey Hill click here; http://www.gamezebo.com/news/2013/11/11/%E2%80%98video-games-will-rot-your-brain%E2%80%99-and-other-lies

New Digital Media Learning Lab Opens at Clemson University

Video gamer control in use.
The Digital Media and Learning Labs will host a grand opening from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at 213 Tillman Hall.

From Press Release from Clemson University

The Digital Media and Learning Labs will host a grand opening from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at 213 Tillman Hall.
image by: Matthew Boyer
Clemson University

CLEMSON — At Clemson University’s new Digital Media and Learning Labs, playing with game systems and smartphone apps is serious business.

Operated by the Eugene T. Moore School of Education, the labs are dedicated to promoting social, participatory and interest-driven learning through the use of digital media, said Dani Herro, co-director of the labs and assistant professor of digital media and learning.

The labs feature digital video, photography, music, podcasting, computer programming and video game and app creation. The labs also include a social and experiential gaming area dedicated to “serious” play and outfitted with two 65-inch displays and gaming systems like the Xbox 360, Wii U and PlayStation 3, Herro said.

“Serious play suggests play can be creative, academic and valuable,” Herro said. “Play (games and media) can inform, engage, teach and ask others for help solving big problems.”

Located in Tillman Hall, the labs will support academic efforts across campus.

“From these spaces, faculty and students can take part in research initiatives, coursework, learning and collaborative works that involve digital media,” Herro said. For example, students can create a video or podcast to support a research paper, or faculty members can create an app for students to use as part of their classes.

The labs will also support School of Education teaching, research and outreach related to the use of digital media in pre-kindergarten to 12th-grade classrooms, Herro said. Initial plans include hosting workshops for educators and inviting educational leaders to the labs to talk about technology leadership and digital-learning initiatives.

The gaming area is open to Clemson students for unfettered game play, with gamers participating in tournaments, online multiplayer games and “exergaming” — using games to get fit.

“This space welcomes feedback regarding game play experiences, and we hope the game play inspires community members to design or prototype their own games in the lab,” Herro said.

In addition to providing access to digital media technologies, the Digital Media and Learning Labs provide participants work places that mimic the layout of professional creative spaces and foster a “culture of participation,” which are beneficial to college students who will enter the workforce and the educators who are preparing them.

Whether the participants are college students, professors or pre-K-12 teachers, labs promote digital media and play as a tool to enhance “learning that sticks,” Herro said.

“Humans have this innate ability to work really hard to learn when they are really interested,” Herro said. “Digital media offers an avenue to connected learning that is interest-based and supported by peers, and it can have great academic value.” A growing body of research on digital learning environments backs up this claim, she added.

Along with Herro, teacher education assistant professor Matthew Boyer is co-director of the Digital Media and Learning Labs. Together with Ryan Visser, director of the Center of Excellence for Digital Media and Learning and a teacher education clinical faculty member, they developed the vision for the labs.

The School of Education will hold a grand opening for the Digital Media and Learning Labs from 5-7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at 213 Tillman Hall. The event will include tours, demonstrations, refreshments and remarks by James Paul Gee, co-founder of the Center for Games & Impact and a professor at Arizona State University.

To Learn more about the Digital Media Learning Labs click here; http://www.clemson.edu/centers-institutes/dmll/

Ron Barnett writes;

“In the upper floors of Clemson University’s historic Tillman Hall, next to a sign that says, “Warning: Please Do Not Feed the Zombies,” a group of students are jamming down with the video game Rock Band.

They’re having plenty of fun trying to keep up with the digital dots zooming toward them on a 65-inch video screen while one of their favorite songs plays.

And when it gets too easy at one level, they step it up a notch to stretch their skills on the game controller guitar, keyboard and drums connected to an Xbox.

They may not realize it, but they’ve just illustrated one of the key concepts here at the university’s new Digital Media and Learning Labs: Games can push students to challenge themselves.

But it’s not just hand-eye coordination that digital games can help develop, according to Dani Herro, co-director of the program and an assistant professor of digital media and learning.

More sophisticated games can spur people to reach heights of learning they may never have been motivated to strive for in a traditional classroom setting, she said.

There are games, for example, in which the players go on a quest that requires them to seek out information, solve problems, collaborate — all the skills that are most important for 21st century college graduates to develop, she said.

“Almost every human being likes to learn through play, but the idea isn’t just we’ll let them play and hopefully something will stick. This is really meaningful play. It’s directive play,” she said.”To read the rest of the article click here; http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20131110/NEWS/311100021/Learning-s-game-new-Clemson-labs

Improve your brain – play a video game!

 

 

Kurzweil AI writes that;

“Playing the Super Mario 64 video game causes increased size in brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills, a new study conducted at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus has found.

The positive effects of video gaming may also be useful in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.

To investigate how video games affect the brain, scientists in Berlin asked 23 adults (mean age: 24) to play the video game “Super Mario 64” on a portable Nintendo XXL console over a period of two months for 30 minutes a day. A control group did not play video games.

Brain regions showing a significant increase in gray-matter volume  post-test (credit: S. Kühn et al./Molecular Psychiatry)

In comparison to the control group, the video gaming group showed increases of gray matter in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum, measured using MRI.”

To Read the full article at Kurzweil AI click here;

http://www.kurzweilai.net/video-game-playing-found-beneficial-for-the-brain