Judy Crawford writes;
“It might resemble the hokey pokey, but these students doing arm circles, jumping jacks and dance steps are actually learning about nutrition and physics using whole-body movements shown to help knowledge retention. Such “mixed-reality” games that merge the digital with the physical are being developed and tested by Mina Johnson-Glenberg in Arizona State University’s Embodied Games for Learning Lab.
“ASU is already at the forefront of games and learning,” said Johnson-Glenberg, associate research professor in ASU’s Learning Sciences Institute, T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics and Department of Psychology. “But our lab is really the only one in the country pushing hard on the principles
behind this kind of embodied learning and also creating games for K-12 classrooms.”
Johnson-Glenberg also is creating games for ASU faculty to use with their college-aged students, either in class or as homework modules. These new role-playing games focus on research methods and how to retain first-generation students. The games will be released to faculty online in spring 2014. For more about the lab, visit http://egl.lsi.asu.edu/.
Trained as a cognitive psychologist, Johnson-Glenberg began her career working in academia on one of the first computer tutoring programs to remediate students with dyslexia. She then turned entrepreneur by starting a small educational technology company funded by several small business grants from the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Education. Six years ago, Johnson-Glenberg moved to ASU where she could focus on creating serious games for learning.
“We have found that students retain knowledge better when they learn it with their bodies,” she explained. “And these motion-capture gesture-rich games have the added benefit of getting students out of their seats and moving.”
Johnson-Glenberg noted that in 2010, more than one-third of U.S. adolescents were considered overweight or obese. She decided to create the “Alien Health Game” to address the wellness of middle school student players on two fronts. First, it is an “exergame” that requires active physical engagement in order to play, and second, the game’s content promotes healthful eating choices. ASU’s Obesity Solutions Initiative awarded the game a seed grant in spring 2013.
To play the Alien Health Game, students must work in pairs while the rest of the class is encouraged to throw out suggestions. “There’s a lot of discourse going on,” Johnson-Glenberg explained.
Before game play starts, the players are instructed, “You have just woken up to find an alien under your bed. It is hungry and it is your job to figure out what makes it healthy.” As students make rapid food choices, they deduce through trial and error which foods make the alien healthier and which foods make it more tired due to poor nutrition. Students not only discover how the five main nutrients interact to create a balanced meal, but they also gain experience with the new U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate nutrition guide that recently replaced the familiar Food Pyramid.
With each food choice, players are asked to perform brief cardiovascular activities – jogging, arm circles, dance moves and jumping jacks – that elevate their heart rate and help the alien metabolize food. The game gives them practice in selecting nutritional foods in real-world situations, such as going through a school cafeteria line or grabbing snacks at convenience stores.”
To read the full article by Judy Crawford click here;
From Press Release from 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
- The Digital Media Studies Lab (theuhclcommguide.wordpress.com)
- WVU president Clements hired away by Clemson (post-gazette.com)
- Clemson among top 35 U.S. colleges revolutionizing online learning (independentmail.com)
- Strategic Hire in Digital Media, Learning and Games (hastac.org)