Blog Archives

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

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/#

 

 

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

https://i1.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

The Neuroscience of Game-Based Learning

Paul Howard-Jones, of Bristol University, addresses the topic of Learning Games and “…using uncertain reward within computer games to make learning engaging.  There is a clear theoretical basis and laboratory-based evidence for a classroom-based approach and so me exploratory research in classrooms that may be helpful in informing pedagogy, but evidence of impact on improved engagement and enhanced academic achievement is limited to young adults” (p.5).

He goes on to write that;

“Mental rotation skills are strong predictors of achievement in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and results from a single study show that improving mental rotation does lead to improvement in attainment. However, this has only been tested with undergraduate students. Another way of improving these skills might be through video games” (p.6).

Howard-Jones adds that;

“Popular games provide rapid schedules of uncertain reward that stimulate the brain’s reward system. The brain’s reward response can positively influence the rate at which we learn. Beyond just the magnitude of the reward, a range of contextual factors influence this reward response” (p.11).

To read the full report by Paul Howard-Jones,

Neuroscience and Education: A Review of Educational Interventions and Approaches Informed by Neuroscience Full Report and Executive Summary,

Games Can Help Struggling Students Learn

More educators are using online games to supplement teaching, and are seeing positive results.

, of US News, writes that;

“It seems like kids do everything online these days – and school is no exception.  More and more, educators are taking advantage of digital advances to supplement their teaching in the classroom, and are seeing encouraging results. This is especially the case for certain subgroups of students that typically struggle academically, such as English language learners and special education students.

“The classroom you went to school in is almost the exact same classroom you’d walk into today, but the level of engagement our kids get outside of the classroom has changed dramatically,” says Jessica Lindl, general manager of the digital gaming company GlassLab and a spokesperson for the game SimCityEDU. “Teachers are almost the entertainers trying to find whatever tool they can to try to engage their kids.”

Lindl says the SimCityEDU game helps engage kids by helping them improve basic cognitive functions and critical thinking. In the game, students serve as the mayor of a city and are immediately faced with challenges – they must address environmental impacts on the city while maintaining employment needs and other relationships.

Although Lindl says it’s important to use games as a supplement to classroom-based learning, such digital outlets have added benefits.

“There is continuous positive feedback,” Lindl says. “Learners are way more likely to feel comfortable with a video game than taking a standardized test and that’s really powerful.”

Additionally, video games in the classroom provide teachers, administrators and parents with a plethora of data to give assessments on students’ performances that Lindl says is invaluable, not just because of the granularity of the data, but also because it shows student achievements in real time. Other times, parents and students may have to wait weeks or months, depending on the test, to see their results.

“When you think of learning games, engagement and game mechanics is exciting, but there’s a critical value proposition around game-based assessments that we’re seeing,” Lindl says. “Teachers, students and parents can have in the moment understanding of what the child is learning, how they arrived at that learning and accelerate what the learning is, as opposed to waiting weeks down the road.”

Another valuable aspect of using games in the classroom is the competition (and hence reward) mechanisms built into some games.

At Mario Umana Academy in Boston, students from kindergarten through eighth grade have been using a program called First in Math since 2010.”

To read the full article by, of US News, click here;

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/11/26/how-virtual-games-can-help-struggling-students-learn

Senate bill encourages learning via video games

“…create a committee to examine how interactive gaming can boost student involvement and achievement, and create a pilot program for integrating games into K-12 curriculum.

The bill was heard Wednesday in Olympia by the Senate Committee on Early Learning & K-12 Education.

Sen. Sharon Brown, R-Kennewick, one of the bill’s co-sponsors, said interactive video games could add to the diverse learning styles of today’s classrooms.

“We have all different types of learners,” Brown said. “We need to address that, and this is one of those ways.”

Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, thinks interactive gaming will give students the opportunity to learn while enjoying a game, something she experienced while visiting students of Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA), an online K-12 curriculum program used by the Monroe and Omak public school districts.

Studies from the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science show interactive games can promote creativity and enhance knowledge of science and technology-based fields among students.

“I think we have to bring that technology into the classroom (and) into our schools,” McAuliffe said, “because kids are way ahead of us in that right now.”

Seattle attorney Matthew Hooper testified about academic-based gaming in schools. A report from the Entertainment Software Association indicates 95 percent of American children — and 97 percent of teenagers — play video games, he said.

By the time an average person reaches age 21, he of she has spent more than 10,000 hours playing video games, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

“Their brains are learning, from a very early age, differently than we did,” Hooper told the committee. “It’s no longer absorbing passive information; it’s now absorbing interactive information.”

Hooper also cited a brain-based research study by Stanford University professor and neuroscientist Brian Knutson that analyzed the effects of educational video games on youths.

The study used MRIs to monitor student brains in two groups: those engaged in playing interactive games, and those passively watching the games.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2014/01/23/2789806/state-senate-bill-encourages-learning.html

SENATE BILL REPORT
SB 6104As of January 22, 2014Title
: An act relating to the interactive gaming in schools public-private partnership.
Brief Description
: Establishing the interactive gaming in schools public-private partnership.

Sponsors
: Senators McAuliffe, Litzow, Hargrove, Hill, Billig, Fraser and Brown.

Brief History:
Committee Activity: Early Learning & K-12Education: 1/22/14.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON EARLY LEARNING & K-12 EDUCATION

Staff
: Eric Wolf (786-7405)

Background
: Advances in interactive gaming technology have spurred a recent scholarly focus on how interactive games may be used to engage students and improve academic achievement. For instance, the Center for Game Science at the University of Washington has published several studies on the application of interactive games in education, specifically how interactive games can promote creativity among students; enhance student knowledge of science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) fields; and improve critical thinking skills through cognitive skill training games.

Summary of Bill: Interactive Gaming in Schools Public-Private Partnership (PPP). PPP is established, composed of the following members to be appointed by August 1, 2014: four legislators, one member from each caucus of the House and Senate, appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber; four experts in the integration of interactive technology or gaming into education, one expert to be appointed by each caucus of the House and Senate, and appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber; a representative of the Department of Early Learning (DEL), appointed by the director; and a representative of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The chair of PPP must be selected from among the legislative members. To the extent funds are appropriated, PPP may hire a staff person who must reside at OSPI for administrative purposes. Additional technical and logistical support is to be provided by OSPI, DEL, and
–––––––––––––––––––––

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

Senate Bill Report
SB 6104

the organizations participating in PPP. Legislative members of the partners hip must receive per diem and travel expenses, and nonlegislative members may be reimbursed for travel expenses.

Purpose of PPP.
PPP is tasked with examining how interactive games may be integrated into primary and secondary education to increase student involvement and achievement. PPP must consider how interactive games and advances in technology may be integrated into curricula from early learning through grade 12, and develop a proposal for a pilot program to integrate interactive gaming in schools to be submitted to the Legislature by December 1,2015. The statute authorizing PPP expires on January 1, 2016.

Appropriation
: None.

Fiscal Note
: Available.

Committee/Commission/Task Force Created
: Yes.

Effective Date
: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony

: PRO: Games are al ready being integrated into curricula in order to engage students. Students love the games and are excited to even use the games at home each night. Ninety-five percent of children play video games, and the average time of play is over two hours each day. A scientific study from Stanford showed that educational, interactive video games engaged regions of the brain associated with motivation, learning, and memory. In 2012 the Clark County, Nevada school district tested a program in which interactive video games were integrated into low-performing schools. The schools using the games more than doubled their improvement on assessments compared to schools that did not use the assessment. In San Jose, there is a school that integrated interactive media and video games and has particularly notable success with English language learners. Most of the interactive game systems are set up in computer labs in schools, so students do not always require a computer or iPad of their own to participate.

Persons Testifying
: PRO: Senator McAuliffe, prime sponsor; Matthew Hooper, attorney.
Senate Bill Report
SB 6104
– 2 –

Learn Algebra in Minutes with a Video Game

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Jordan Shapiro writes that;

“On average, it took 41 minutes and 44 seconds for students to master Algebra skills during the Washington State Algebra Challenge using the DragonBox App.

The Challenge, co-sponsored by Washington University’s Center for Game Science and the Technology Alliance included 4,192 K-12 students. Together, they solved 390,935 equations over the course of 5 days in early June. According to the Challenge’s calculations, that’s 6 months, 28 days, and 2 hours worth of algebra work.

What’s even more impressive, “of those students who played at least 1.5 hours, 92.9% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 1 hour, 83.8% achieved mastery. Of those students who played at least 45 minutes, 73.4% achieved mastery.”

Jean-Baptiste Huynh, creator of DragonBox

To read more click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2013/07/01/it-only-takes-about-42-minutes-to-learn-algebra-with-video-games/

Educational Gaming favored by Fed Grant Competition

 

Leila Meyer writes that;

“The United States Department of Education (ED) has overwhelmingly favored educational gaming in its annual Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awards. This year, 12 of the 20 awards went to educational game and game-related projects.

According to an ED blog post, the fact that so many of this year’s SBIR award recipients are in the field of educational gaming reflects the increasing use of games to motivate and engage students in the classroom and the growth in popularity of mobile devices, which provide an expanded market for educational games. The ED also references “a growing base of evidence indicating that games can be an important and effective component of our strategy to prepare a highly skilled 21st century American workforce.”

Many of this year’s SBIR games winners feature adaptive technology that automatically adjusts difficulty based on the player’s ability, story-based narratives, rewards and competition, an instructional component, and a teacher dashboard that provides teachers with formative assessment results.

The SBIR contract awards provide up to $1.05 million of funding to small businesses that are conducting research and development on commercially viable educational or assistive technology, science, or engineering projects. The SBIR program is managed by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the research division of the ED.”

To read more click here;

http://thejournal.com/articles/2013/05/14/federal-grant-competition-favors-educational-gaming-projects.aspx

New research on game-based learning shows that games can impact positively on problem solving skills, motivation and engagement.

In a new study, conducted by The National Foundation for Educational Research in England and Wales (NFER) found that game-based learning shows that “games can impact positively on problem solving skills, motivation and engagement.” The researchers from (NFER) write that;

“The role of video games in teaching and learning is a source of debate among many educators, researchers and in the popular press. Detractors and advocates have been discussing the influences and the potentials of video games for quite some time, and we feel that sound evidence and informed advice on these topics is still very much needed. Against this background, Futurelab at NFER felt that it was timely to provide practitioners, industry and researchers with an up-to-date account of what the evidence tells us about game-based learning and its potential impact on learning and teaching. The review aims to bridge academic and non academic domains, to provide insights that will be of interest to educators, educational researchers, industry and others seeking to engage in a more thoughtful debate about the types of educational values that can be attached to gaming. In particular, we provide accessible advice for practitioners, in the belief that innovation in education is always underpinned by informed and critical teaching.

We carried out a rapid review of key literature to identify relevant theoretical contributions and evidence. This involved systematic searching and a consistent, best evidence, approach to the selection of the literature. We focused on a range of sources, including empirical, practice-based evidence and more speculative literature, published from 2006 onward.

The main findings are as follows:

  • The literature was split on the extent to which video games can impact upon overall academic performance.
  • The studies consistently found that video games can impact positively on problem solving skills, motivation and engagement. However, it was unclear whether this impact could be sustained over time.
  • Despite some promising results, the current literature does not evidence adequately the presumed link between motivation, attitude to learning and learning outcomes. Overall, the strength of the evidence was often affected by the research design or lack of information about the research design.”

Perrotta, C., Featherstone, G., Aston, H. and Houghton, E. (2013). Game-based Learning: Latest Evidence and Future Directions. Slough: NFER.

To a download a free copy of this research click here;

http://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/GAME01