Blog Archives

My Presentation and Hooding at Azusa Pacific University

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My presentation on Higher Order Thinking Skills in Digital Games got off to a rough start with the sound system, but fortunately they were able to fix the problem.  The rest of the presentation went well.  I was so happy to have my extended family their to learn more about what I’ve been working on!   Once again the audience had excellent questions about games and learning.

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My Hooding Ceremony at Azusa Pacific University – Department of Educational Leadership

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My family!

 

Pokémon Go and potential curriculum links

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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

Thanks to all! 72 Participants in my dissertation on learning games.

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Yesterday I interviewed participant number 72 for my dissertation on learning games and Higher Order Thinking Skills.

I appreciate all the helpful students at Orangevale Montessori who participated in the research, all the parents who consented to have their children join the study, all the teachers who invited me into their classrooms, and the secretaries and administrators who shared their office space with me.

Thanks to all!

Now, I have much writing to do.

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/

Gaming and learning in a Pennsylvania school.

From WQED Learning Innovation;

“Students at Propel Braddock Hills High School may appear to be playing games on their computers, but what they’re actually doing is enhancing their learning. English, civics, math, shop, art, science and engineering teachers all incorporate gaming into their curriculum, making learning fun — and accessible — to their students.”

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
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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/#

 

 

“The best gaming experiences stimulate the mind and encourage creative thinking”

Ian Livingstone writes that;

“But there is strong evidence to suggest that games skills equal life skills, and that playing games is actually good for you.  Human beings are playful by nature. We enter this world as babies, interacting with everything around us. We learn through play and trial and error, both fundamental to games. Humans love solving puzzles which is central to games like Tetris, Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds. We love to build and share, the very essence of Minecraft, which can be described as digital LEGO. Whether it’s playing activity games like Wii Sports (burning calories at the same time), simulation games like Sim City, strategy games like Civilisation, or social games like Words with Friends, the experience is likely to be enjoyable and beneficial. Think about the cognitive process of what is happening when games are being played. It’s a case of hands on, minds on. Interactivity puts the player in control of the action, and that is very engaging and powerful.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/10695869/Playing-video-games-wont-turn-your-kids-into-zombies-its-good-for-their-brains.html

Deconstructing Donkey Kong

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Jordan Shapiro challenges parents, teachers, and academics to train their children and/or students to think critically about video games as you would a text.  This is a good admonition which may help parents and educators to teach higher order thinking skills to a generation in desperate need of these skills. 

Shapeiro writes;

“Most importantly, when I talk to my kids about a video game, I’m teaching them that after they get lost in the experience of game play, they should also stop, back-up, and think about the game as if it were a text. Hopefully, in the long term, my kids will learn to think critically about the underlying messages in commercial games and how we might use video games for their ability to provoke conversation.

This is not just about kids. In my opinion, there is far too little critical examination of video games happening even among adults, especially in academia.

Video games represent a shift in the way we construct narrative. Video games might be the new mythology. I personally believe that with video games, we are writing what will eventually become scripture in the hyper-connected centuries to come.

I’m troubled when I consider how few of the brilliant academic thinkers in the humanities are forcing us to ask difficult questions about the kinds of stories we want to tell through video games specifically. These video games are shaping the next generation. These video games are teaching them how to think about the world, how to make meaning. And we’re letting it happen by accident. That’s crazy.”

To read the full article click here;

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2014/02/28/how-to-think-critically-about-video-games/

 

Panel Discusses Games and Assessment at SXSWedu

 Lee Banville writes;
SXSWEdu panel

Chris Curran to developers seeking funding: “Even if it is small-scale and anecdotal, you should have evidence of efficacy.”

On Tuesday, March 4, Lee Banville moderated “Lost in Translation: Applying the Latest Research” at SXSWEdu with Bjorn Jeffery (Toca Boca), Chris Curran (Education Growth Partners), and Sujata Bhatt (The Incubator School). This post originally appeared in gamesandlearning.org. There are research reports that highlight the efficacy of games as assessment tools, studies that show certain games can help students suffering from dyslexia and market analyses of the projected overseas learning games market. But how much of this research actually makes it into games you find in the App Store remains a mystery.

Representatives of three different sectors – game developers, investors and teachers – weighed in on the matter at a session Tuesday at SXSWedu and their answers raised as many questions as they likely answered.

The designer dilemma
Björn Jeffrey, the CEO of youth app powerhouse Toca Boca, stressed that one of the major problems is that “the bar is extremely low” to be considered an educational app in the App Store and so discerning between claims and actual educational value is impossible.

“There is no way to gauge if it is really educational,” he said, adding that many apps promote what he called “faux assessment.”

But the solution, Jeffrey said, is not as easy to identify.

He said he hoped a third party rating firm could offer parents, teachers and others a better sense to what products actually have some research and evidence behind them.

The danger, he said, is without more efforts to create a qualitative measure the battle for the trust of parents may be lost.

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The investor’s questions
For those deciding whether to sink their money into a given educational technology, the question of research is often answered by the simple question: how much money is at risk?

Chris Curran, managing partner at Education Growth Advisors, stressed that private equity firms that are considering a major investment will scour thousands of pages of reports or conduct their own research, “to identify every possible risk or opportunity before they make the investment” of what could be tens of millions of dollars.”

To read the full article by Lee Banville click here;

http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/2014/03/05/panel-highlights-uneasy-relationship-between-learning-games-research/