Category Archives: STEM Games

New Research: Interactive video games help students learn energy conservation better than with traditional pencil and paper methods.

“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;

http://srhe.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14703297.2017.1348960?scroll=top&needAccess=true

 

Pokémon Go and potential curriculum links

https://i1.wp.com/www.telegraph.co.uk/content/dam/news/2016/07/25/103846353-Pokemon-Go-news_1-large_trans++bMR798aWDZck9uDQFumyM6LVobgUGC4FoVT7JGNuBBk.jpg

 

The popular game Pokémon Go can be leveraged for learning.

write that some of the; “potential curriculum links are:

  • 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
  • http://theconversation.com/gaming-in-the-classroom-what-we-can-learn-from-pokemon-go-technology-63766

Yay! Today I started interviewing participants for my dissertation!

Higher Order Thinking Skills
in iPad Learning Games

Anthony W. Palmer Ed.D. (Candidate), Researcher
 Institutional Review Board Identification: #94-14

Diagram of the levels within Bloom's Taxonomy Triangle

 

 

It has been a very long journey toward my dissertation.

 

I have completed all the courses for my doctorate.

I have completed my literature review on learning games and higher order thinking skills.

My research committee has approved my dissertation proposal.

The internal review board at my university has approved my application to  conduct the research.

The principal and the teachers have granted me permission to conduct my research at the school.

Over 30 parents have returned their consent forms.

So today…

three students assented to participate in my research on Higher order thinking Skills in iPad learning games!!!

Yay ! ! !

They all did a great job, playing the games and answering my questions.

There would have been more students participating today, but I quickly used up all of the memory on the iPad recording the first three students.

Many students asked if it was too late to turn in their consent forms.  I told them that they still have time.  It seems that many more will join the project before the end of the school year!

It is so good to have passed the necessary bureaucratic hoops and finally be conducting research with students!

So now, more observations, interviews, analysis, synthesis, writing and rewriting.

Yay!

6 Game Resources for learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)

https://i2.wp.com/www.janetsmcginn.com/icons/game_cellCRAFT.jpg

Monique Liles recommends the following Games for learning STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math), in an article for E School news;

1. Glass Labs:

2. Cell Craft:

3. Pandemic II

4. ChemGame Tutor:

5. Ayiti The Cost of a Life:

6. Ellen J. McHenry’s website:

Liles writes “In my classroom, we play a lot of games, frequently as the lesson. We then discuss what the students experienced in the game and make content connections via whole-group discussion. I often create a graphic organizer or worksheet for students to use to organize their thoughts about the game. When I have my biology and life science students play Cell Craft, for example, I demonstrate gameplay and features for the whole class using my laptop and projector. Students complete the organizer while we go through the game as a group and discuss the content. Then, students get a chance to play the game and really immerse themselves.”

Monique Liles is a teacher at Babb Middle School in Forest Park, GA. She is a member of Discovery Education’s Discovery Educator Network (DEN), a global community of educators that are passionate about transforming the learning experience with digital media.

To read the full article at E School click here;

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/02/17/gaming-stem-813/?

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.

Game Worlds facilitate Collaborative, Inquiry-Based, and Self-Directed learning

https://i0.wp.com/www.boston.com/business/innovation/state-of-play/radix.jpg

Jason Haas, of MIT, writes that;

“Commercial massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, like World of Warcraft offer a number of features common to great learning environments. These games are, to varying degrees, collaborative, inquiry-based, and self-directed, all of which make them a prime place to explore aspects of math and science learning. Having a “world” in which to situate problems also means that players can solve something that feels meaningful to them; and see the consequences of their individual and collective actions. The massively multiplayer nature of these games also creates an opportunity for students to address problems with colleagues. Problems too large for any one of them to solve by themselves can be solved collectively by gathering data together, comparing notes, and acting decisively, confident in their evidence-based decisions.

At their best (and, frankly, even at their worst), these games function as a kind of society.

So, if you can combine these existing practices with engaging math and science content, imagine the learning experience you could provide. Thanks to a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, we’re doing just that.

Our game, The Radix Endeavor, is a massively multiplayer online learning game, designed by our lab, The Education Arcade at MIT, and developed by Filament Games in Madison, Wisc. The game places thousands of players in an Earth-like world with a technical and social situation similar to our 1400s.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.boston.com/business/innovation/state-of-play/2014/02/mind_games_new_adventures_in_l.html