Author Archives: Gaming and Education

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.

A majority of K-8 Teachers Use Digital Games for Instruction

https://i1.wp.com/www.gamesandlearning.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/guts-nuts.jpg

Games and Learning report that;

“A national survey of nearly 700 U.S. K-8 teachers conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the Games and Learning Publishing Council reveals that almost three-quarters of K-8 teachers are using digital games for instruction. Four out of five of those teachers report that their students play games at school at least once a month.

In his introduction to the critical survey of classrooms GLPC Chair Milton Chen observed:

Two fundamental findings should capture the attention of all educators, developers, funders, and policymakers: a majority of teachers are using digital games in their classrooms, and games are increasingly played on mobile devices that travel with their students.

Level Up Learning: A National Survey of Teaching with Digital Games by Lori M. Takeuchi and Sarah Vaala reports that teachers who use games more often found greater improvement in their students’ learning across subject

areas. However, the study also reveals that only 42% of teachers say that games have improved students’ science learning (compared to 71% in math), despite research suggesting that games are well suited for teaching complex scientific concepts.

areas.”However, the study also reveals that only 42% of teachers say that games have improved students’ science learning (compared to 71% in math), despite research suggesting that games are well suited for teaching complex scientific concepts.

The death of ‘Gamification’ – the birth of ‘Games and learning’.

Michael John writes that;

“…as a game designer, it was painful to listen to the education world talk about gamification as if it was a special sauce that can be applied to any existing task in order to improve performance. As a practitioner of game design, I know that this special sauce just does not exist, especially when it comes to  K-12 learning.

Though this frustrating craze led to a proliferation of interactive drill games that incorporate gamification-style scoring and reward systems, we need to move beyond this, to a better definition and understanding of how digital games can impact student learning.

Rather than looking at “gamification of learning” as a process that’s applied to curricula to make school more interesting, we should recognize that learning at its best already has game-like elements that are latent and waiting to be unlocked.”

To read Michael John’s full article at Techcrunch click here;

http://techcrunch.com/2014/10/05/gamification-is-dead-long-live-games-for-learning/

Women significantly outnumber teenage boys in gamer demographics

Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S. according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry.

Charles Pulliam-Moore, of PBS writes that;

“Adult female gamers have unseated boys under the age of 18 as the largest video game-playing demographic in the U.S., according to a recently published study from the Entertainment Software Association, a trade group focused the U.S. gaming industry.”

To read the full article at PBS click here;

 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/female-adults-oust-teenage-boys-largest-gaming-demographic/

Gaming and learning in a Pennsylvania school.

From WQED Learning Innovation;

“Students at Propel Braddock Hills High School may appear to be playing games on their computers, but what they’re actually doing is enhancing their learning. English, civics, math, shop, art, science and engineering teachers all incorporate gaming into their curriculum, making learning fun — and accessible — to their students.”

California School Integrates Games and Learning

 

From PBS – News Hour

“At first glance, it might seem like the students who attend the private K-12 New Roads School in Santa Monica, California, are simply playing video and computer games all day. But these students are actually taking part in a new experiment in educational innovation. The NewsHour’s April Brown reports on one school’s approach to keep students engaged all day.”
PBS – News Hour
playmaker school
GameDesk

13 Principles of Gaming and Learning from James Gee

 

Here is a list of 36 Principles of Learning from James Gee from;

What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, 2003

http://mason.gmu.edu/~lsmithg/jamespaulgee2print.html

 

 

Teaching Social Thinking Skills with Computer Games

Rubin Osnat, of University of Haifa, Israel writes that;

“Current educational policy in many nations encourage emphases within the school curriculum, particularly important in the second millennium: enhancing thinking as an integral part of the school curriculum, and integrating technology. Future learners should not only acquire a predefined constant knowledge, but higher order thinking abilities, enabling them to intelligently analyze and deal with different situations, solve problems and make decisions. In an age where learning resources are changing, incorporating technology into the curriculum has been found to positively affect the development of higher order thinking skills. Thereof we should examine using technology for teaching (ordering and practicing) thinking to be used in the learners’ everyday lives.
In the current college course program, teachers learned how to use computer games to enhance social thinking skills. Participants were required to develop simple computer games, including analyzing situations (e.g., what skills involve social activities like choosing a friend), and building an algorithm of problem solving to be practiced in a computer game, in which children had to solve social issues. Participants reported fostering thinking skills: thinking about alternatives, considering consequences, comparing and analyzing steps. The program has increased the awareness of teachers to the significant potential of computers for teaching thinking, which can be applied to the learners’ everyday lives.”

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/