Author Archives: Gaming and Education
New Research: Interactive video games help students learn energy conservation better than with traditional pencil and paper methods.
When it comes to learning, interactivity really does matter. Not only did researchers find that students learned significantly more with the interactive game than with pencil and paper methods, they also found that they learned more than with a game which was less interactive.
From the abstract of the research;
“Knowledge associated with energy conservation is important but it may appear difficult and monotonous to students due to the presence of jargon and complex scientific concepts. This research created two digital question-and-answer games and compared them with a traditional paper-and-pencil learning method to explore how different learning approaches would affect college students’ learning for knowledge of energy conservation. This research conducted a between-subject experiment with random assignment to examine short-term effects of the three different learning methods on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes. The results revealed that participants who played the digital game equipped with more cartoon-style, animated, and interactive features scored significantly higher than the lower-complexity digital game group as well as the traditional paper-and-pencil group on the learning outcome tests. Moreover, in contrast to many previous studies, use of these digital games was not found to affect learning motivation and attention.”
Chen, S. W., Yang, C. H., Huang, K. S., & Fu, S. L. (2017). Digital games for learning energy conservation: A study of impacts on motivation, attention, and learning outcomes. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 1-11.
Read the full research article here;
Jon Martindale of Digital Trends writes that “Microsoft and Mojang have been working hard at further developing Minecraft Education Edition, and at the start of 2017, the two firms have announced that this version of the game has now hit 1.0. Minecraft Education Edition is the same Minecraft world you know and love, but with specific features aimed at students and teachers. It has NPCs for tutorials, simple multiplayer server setup, camera and portfolio recording, in-game chalkboards and downloadable lesson plans for educators. While all of those features have been present since the early days of Minecraft Education Edition in late 2016, now that it’s hit version 1.0, there are a number of new features to enjoy, too.”
To read more about Minecraft Education Edition V1.0 click here –
It is great to have a physical copy of what was for so long an electronic file on my laptop. Higher-Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games by Anthony W. Palmer.
My presentation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games got off to a rough start with the sound system, but fortunately they were able to fix the problem. The rest of the presentation went well. I was so happy to have my extended family their to learn more about what I’ve been working on! Once again the audience had excellent questions about games and learning.
My Hooding Ceremony at Azusa Pacific University – Department of Educational Leadership
I presented my research on Higher Order Thinking Skills in 3 iPad Games, at the California Educational Research Association in Sacramento California. My room was full of people who asked many thoughtful questions about games and learning.
The popular game Pokémon Go can be leveraged for learning.
- 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
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
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!
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.
- 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:
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