Monthly Archives: March 2014

EdGamer Celebrates Three Years of PodCasting about Games and Learning!

Congratulations Zach and Gerry, keep up the good work!

From the EdGamer show notes;

EdGamer 129: Our 3 Year Manniversary

This week on EdGamer 129 we celebrate our 3 year manniversasy! Relive all the good times  from our past as we go through our favorite shows and guests. We have 128 shows and we have learned so much from our work, our guests, and our FOE’s (friends of EdGamer). Tune-in and level-up!

Olympic Snowboarding Cross

 

Niilo Interview with Zack

 

our favorite episodes…

 

An Open Letter to STEAM: If You Build It, ED Will Come

 

Minecraft Episodes – Joel Levin

 

Games & Learning with Jim Gee

 

EdGamer 86: Jeremiah McCall and the Learning Games Network

 

EdGamer 81: John Hunter Brings Us World Peace

 

EdGamer 74: Magicians – A Language Learning RPG

Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James  


 To browse the EdGamer archives click here;

http://edreach.us/channel/edgamer/#

 

 

Video Games Build Critical Thinking Skills

Jordan Shapiro, gave a great talk on “Critical Thinking And Video Games: Scalable Pedagogy For The Future.”

Jordan Shapiro, author of FREEPLAY: A Video Game Guide to Maximum Euphoric Blisssays that; “Video games teach critical thinking, problem solving skills, and perseverance while building metacognitive skills.  Game-based learning can provide systematic, data driven teaching in a way that forces creative problem solving rather than rote memorization.  And video games can do that in a way that is replicable, scalable, and increasingly affordable enough that we can distribute it globally and equitably.”

To read more click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/03/19/heres-why-we-need-video-games-in-every-classroom/

“The best gaming experiences stimulate the mind and encourage creative thinking”

Ian Livingstone writes that;

“But there is strong evidence to suggest that games skills equal life skills, and that playing games is actually good for you.  Human beings are playful by nature. We enter this world as babies, interacting with everything around us. We learn through play and trial and error, both fundamental to games. Humans love solving puzzles which is central to games like Tetris, Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds. We love to build and share, the very essence of Minecraft, which can be described as digital LEGO. Whether it’s playing activity games like Wii Sports (burning calories at the same time), simulation games like Sim City, strategy games like Civilisation, or social games like Words with Friends, the experience is likely to be enjoyable and beneficial. Think about the cognitive process of what is happening when games are being played. It’s a case of hands on, minds on. Interactivity puts the player in control of the action, and that is very engaging and powerful.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/10695869/Playing-video-games-wont-turn-your-kids-into-zombies-its-good-for-their-brains.html

Deconstructing Donkey Kong

WiiU_DKCountry_scrn01_E3resized

Jordan Shapiro challenges parents, teachers, and academics to train their children and/or students to think critically about video games as you would a text.  This is a good admonition which may help parents and educators to teach higher order thinking skills to a generation in desperate need of these skills. 

Shapeiro writes;

“Most importantly, when I talk to my kids about a video game, I’m teaching them that after they get lost in the experience of game play, they should also stop, back-up, and think about the game as if it were a text. Hopefully, in the long term, my kids will learn to think critically about the underlying messages in commercial games and how we might use video games for their ability to provoke conversation.

This is not just about kids. In my opinion, there is far too little critical examination of video games happening even among adults, especially in academia.

Video games represent a shift in the way we construct narrative. Video games might be the new mythology. I personally believe that with video games, we are writing what will eventually become scripture in the hyper-connected centuries to come.

I’m troubled when I consider how few of the brilliant academic thinkers in the humanities are forcing us to ask difficult questions about the kinds of stories we want to tell through video games specifically. These video games are shaping the next generation. These video games are teaching them how to think about the world, how to make meaning. And we’re letting it happen by accident. That’s crazy.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/02/28/how-to-think-critically-about-video-games/

 

EdGamer Explores a Virtual Tour of a California Mission in Minecraft

Edgamer-280

From the EdGamer shownotes;

EdGamer 128: Humble Bundle

This week on EdGamer 128 we have some catching up to do! After calling in sick last week, we come right back at you with a plethora of gaming and learning news. From game packs for under 10 bucks to conferences for kids run by kids.  This week’s EdGamer has everything you need to satisfy your  edugaming needs. Tune-in and level-up!

Humble Sid Meier Bundle (pay what you want and help charity)

Someone Made A New Portal 2 Campaign… Without Portals

Moving at the Speed of Creativity | 4th Grade Virtual Tour of a California Mission in Minecraft

Interview with Woz: To innovate, get personal | Consumerization Of It – InfoWorld

Fun, Friends, and Feedback with Student Response Systems

Gaming with the Histocrats: January 2014 Games of the Week

Meriwether

Unfazed, Houston Pushes Ahead on 1-to-1 Computing – Education Week

Lenovo Aims New Rugged ThinkPad 11e Laptops at Students

Chromebooks can now run Windows desktops, via VMware

Be Smart On Air with Niilo

Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James  


 To browse the EdGamer archives click here;

http://edreach.us/channel/edgamer/#

 

“Stealthy Assessment” of Learning through Games

Sixth grader Jackie Blumhoefer, middle, reacts as she takes over first place during a game of SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge at Valleyview Middle School in Denville, N.J.
—Emile Wamsteker for Education Week

“SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge, an educational version of the popular city-building video game, is a known quantity in a fresh wave of serious learning games that bridge the gap between instruction and assessment.

Released last November, the game—in which students acting as mayors must balance the growth of their cities with environmental impacts—tracks, analyzes, and feeds back to teachers through dashboards more than 3,000 different data points showing how well each student understands systems thinking.

“If a student builds one bus stop, then waits before strategically building other bus stops, he has an eye for problem-solving that I would not have gotten with a multiple-choice or written test,” said Matt Farber, a social studies teacher who beta-tested SimCityEDU with 6th graders at the 650-student Valleyview Middle School in Denville, N.J. “We used to try formal assessments every day, and then do a summative assessment at the end of a unit every two weeks and pretty much move on, but you don’t get a lot of reflection with that. Now, there’s iteration, which I hadn’t planned on. Students get competitive for their personal best.”That is the double benefit of games with embedded assessments, say those who develop and use them. They not only provide a deeper insight into understanding, allowing educators to more quickly identify students’ strengths and weaknesses, but they also thwart a growing disengagement from traditional forms of evaluation. Teachers commonly report that games with embedded assessments encourage students to look at failure as opportunity—a way of thinking that will serve them well as they grow up.

Expect to see more assessment-embedded video games in classrooms soon, experts predict.

GlassLab, a digital learning game-development studio based in Redwood City, Calif., and the creator of SimCityEDU, plans to develop five more serious learning games with embedded assessments over the next three years with grant money from the Bill & Melinda Gates and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundations. “We’re on track, but frankly, we don’t think that’s enough,” said Jessica Lindl, the general manager of GlassLab, a project of the New York City-based nonprofit Institute of Play. “We want to empower and accelerate the entire market. At the end of our grant, we don’t want just six games. We want thousands of other games to be created.”

To read the full article by  Robin L. Flanigan, click here;

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/03/13/25games.h33.html

Panel Discusses Games and Assessment at SXSWedu

 Lee Banville writes;
SXSWEdu panel

Chris Curran to developers seeking funding: “Even if it is small-scale and anecdotal, you should have evidence of efficacy.”

On Tuesday, March 4, Lee Banville moderated “Lost in Translation: Applying the Latest Research” at SXSWEdu with Bjorn Jeffery (Toca Boca), Chris Curran (Education Growth Partners), and Sujata Bhatt (The Incubator School). This post originally appeared in gamesandlearning.org. There are research reports that highlight the efficacy of games as assessment tools, studies that show certain games can help students suffering from dyslexia and market analyses of the projected overseas learning games market. But how much of this research actually makes it into games you find in the App Store remains a mystery.

Representatives of three different sectors – game developers, investors and teachers – weighed in on the matter at a session Tuesday at SXSWedu and their answers raised as many questions as they likely answered.

The designer dilemma
Björn Jeffrey, the CEO of youth app powerhouse Toca Boca, stressed that one of the major problems is that “the bar is extremely low” to be considered an educational app in the App Store and so discerning between claims and actual educational value is impossible.

“There is no way to gauge if it is really educational,” he said, adding that many apps promote what he called “faux assessment.”

But the solution, Jeffrey said, is not as easy to identify.

He said he hoped a third party rating firm could offer parents, teachers and others a better sense to what products actually have some research and evidence behind them.

The danger, he said, is without more efforts to create a qualitative measure the battle for the trust of parents may be lost.

bjeffery_quote

The investor’s questions
For those deciding whether to sink their money into a given educational technology, the question of research is often answered by the simple question: how much money is at risk?

Chris Curran, managing partner at Education Growth Advisors, stressed that private equity firms that are considering a major investment will scour thousands of pages of reports or conduct their own research, “to identify every possible risk or opportunity before they make the investment” of what could be tens of millions of dollars.”

To read the full article by Lee Banville click here;

http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/2014/03/05/panel-highlights-uneasy-relationship-between-learning-games-research/

iPads in the Digital Classrooms

Tom Sullivan writes that;

“Two-year-old Mia traces out a letter on the screen with her forefinger, then claps with joy when the computer chants “wonderful!” and emits a slightly metallic round of applause.

The preschool group at Tanto International School in central Stockholm is just getting used to a new batch of iPads — one for every two children — and it’s a noisy, chatty affair.

“They really enjoy playing this app. It’s really good for learning pronunciation,” said their teacher Helena Bergstrand.

Bergstrand, along with nearly 90 percent of teachers polled by the city council, believes that iPads and tablets help motivate children to learn.

– ‘More interactive’ –

“There’s an instant appeal with an iPad … they love it!” she says, raising her voice over the din as she moves around the table to help the children.

“It’s more interactive (than pen and paper).”

Petra Petersen at Uppsala University has researched the rapidly growing use of tablets in preschools — recording children when they interact with the technology and each other.

“In the schools I’ve looked at, they usually sit together in a group and its very collaborative, there’s a lot of body contact and verbal communication,” she said.

“These tablets are very multi-modal — they have colours, sounds, spoken words, and things that interest the children — that’s part of what makes them so popular. A large part of learning is about having fun, and the children have a lot of fun with them.”

In Sweden, like in many countries, small children often play games on tablets and laptops long before they encounter them at school.

According to the national media council, close to 70 percent of Swedish two- to four-year-olds play video games.

Nearly a half (45 percent) of children aged two have used the Internet — perhaps unsurprising in a country with one of the world’s highest mobile broadband penetrations.

“It’s more or less prioritised in schools now, to bridge the gap between schools and the environment children are living in,” said Peter Karlberg, an IT expert at the National Education Agency, referring to the thousands of tablet computers bought by public and private sector schools in the last few years.

And that has put increasing pressure on teachers to get up to speed — one in every two surveyed have said they need special training.

– ‘Still a taboo’ –

Felix Gyllenstig Serrao, a teacher in the western city of Gothenburg, has taken computer-aided teaching further than most, using the popular Swedish game Minecraft to teach children with behavioural and concentration problems, including Attention Deficit Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome.

“I bring something to the classroom that they like — that they do in their spare time — to make them want to be in school,” he said.

“Minecraft is very good because it’s so open and creative … I usually use it to make a topic more alive.”

Serrao — a games enthusiast himself — teaches 12- to 15-year-olds subjects like mathematics and history, using the game’s building blocks, often called “digital lego”, to make maths problems tangible or to illustrate scenes from history books, building them in the game after the formal part of the lesson has ended.

“It reinforces what they learn — when they return to the game later and see there’s a pyramid there or a town we built they remember the lesson.”

He said Sweden has a long way to go before schools can exploit the full potential of digital classrooms.

“There’s still a taboo around games. When I talk to older teachers about this they usually frown — thinking that video games have nothing to do with learning,” he said.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gVyfCvjc0cDbrWrVeOdymBqmwK7A?docId=49c2368b-2691-4a06-abf4-380f80c822b3

FastForward Radio Explores Games and Learning

This is one of my favorite podcast related to the future and technology.  I was so happy to hear them talk about games and learning.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldtransformed/2013/09/05/games-conquer-the-universe

From the FastForward Radio show notes;

What’s more fun than playing games?

One possible answer: systems that let you build your own games! Especially if you have to become something of a hacker to get the games going.

How about building your own computer for playing games?

There’s an interesting connection between gaming, education, and learning to build one’s own technology. What does this connection have to say about the future of work (and play)?

Tune in to explore.

EdGamer Discuss MinecraftEdu

 From the EdGamer Show notes;

EdGamer 127: Orange Is the New Zack

EdGamer 127 brings you the latest in gaming and education news featuring discussion about the Oculus Rift, Chromebooks in the classroom, MinecraftEdu, science games, and Apple TV as a gaming device. Plus, an entire hour of our witty banter…for that we apologize. We also have an update on Zack’s student Eric and his battle with leukemia.  A dodgeball tournament will be played to support Eric and his family. Tune-in and level-up!

Eric Update- Dogin for Dolan- Dodgeball Tournament

Lord of the Rings War in the North

Where RPGs Can Improve

The Oculus Rift Put Me In Game of Thrones and It Made My Stomach Drop

Source URL:http://gizmodo.com/the-oculus-rift-put-me-in-game-of-thrones-and-it-made-m-1510809083

Apple TV graduates from hobby/accessory to product line ahead of major changes | 9to5Mac

Source URL:http://9to5mac.com/2014/01/28/apple-tv-graduates-from-hobbyaccessory-to-product-line-ahead-of-major-changes/

Private school’s Chromebook program explains why Google’s laptops have captured nearly 20% of the educational market – TechRepublic

Source URL:http://www.techrepublic.com/article/private-schools-chromebook-program-explains-why-googles-laptops-have-captured-nearly-20-of-the-educational-market/#.

To Inspire Learning, Architects Reimagine Learning Spaces | MindShift

Source URL:http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/01/to-inspire-learning-architects-reimagine-learning-spaces/

MinecraftEdu Winter 2014 Newsletter

Source URL:http://www.teachergaming.com/sendy/w/2AxghuZAD6EMBNOaE8922HpA/TwB0ebR8Lr9MMdcHcyNjIw/q892ueLSbpREUvSbPZvPI6yw

Home – Interact Simulations

Source URL:http://www.interact-simulations.com/

5 Tips For Making Your Class As Addictive As A Game – Edudemic

Source URL:http://www.edudemic.com/game-class-tips/

How online gamers are solving science’s biggest problems | Technology | The Observer

Source URL:http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jan/25/online-gamers-solving-sciences-biggest-problems

For Supporting Eric-

St. Jude

Donate to St. Jude

Ronald McDonald House

Donate to the Ronald McDonald House

Go Fund Me – Eric’s Fight

Show Host: Zack Gilbert

Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James 

To browse the EdGamer archives click here;

http://edreach.us/channel/edgamer/#