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.
My Hooding Ceremony at Azusa Pacific University – Department of Educational Leadership
The popular game Pokémon Go can be leveraged for learning.
- 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
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.
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;
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.”
From PBS – News Hour
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
our favorite episodes…
Show Host: Zack Gilbert
Show Contributor/Producer: Gerry James
To browse the EdGamer archives click here;
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;
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.
“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;