Blog Archives

The Bound Copy of my Dissertation has Arrived!

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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.

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/

Good Games Are Hard: in a Fun Way

  • In her article “Teachers, Students, Digital Games: What’s the Right Mix?” Holly Korbey interviewed a few educators who had some bad ideas about computer games;

    “And learning is hard work. The tools children use to manipulate and
    change the world and their own neural pathways should reflect the
    profundity of that phenomenon; we should have some blisters, form
    calluses, break a sweat. Computer games don’t demand that from
    children.”
    No.
    The better games are demanding. That is why they are the best games. There are educational games that are very challenging but they are challenging in the way that good play is challenging. It is counter productive to remind children that they learning not playing. The best learning happens when we are playing.
    Practicing a skill leads to success, but if the practice is boring then students will be less motivated to engage in the requisite practice (James Gee, 2007). The best digital games provide practice that is very compelling, engaging, and challenging, but never boring. Gamers play not because games are easy but because they are hard. But, they are hard in the right way, to the right degree, and most importantly – they are hard in a fun way. The best games provide the balance of challenge and support. To describe learning as “hard work and not play” is one of the worst possible ways to describe it.
    Gee, J.P. (2007). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy (Rev. ed.). New York: Palgrave McMillian.

    To read the full article by Holly Korbey click here;

    http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/03/teachers-students-digital-games-whats-the-right-mix/#disqus_thread