New Digital Media Learning Lab Opens at Clemson University
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
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