Blog Archives

BrainPOP’s Allisyn Levy on video games in education, BrainPop’s goals with animation, and top quality educational games through GameUp

In a world filled with boring educational games that are only purchased by grandparents, Allisyn Levy is part of a company that is creating games that are not only educational, but are also entertaining.  Levy received her Bachelors of Elementary Education, Art, and Art History from Skidmore College, and earned a Masters of Education in School Administration and Technology from Western Washington University.  This published scholar has coached a Lego Robotics team, developed documentaries with students, was an elementary educator for 11 years, and has received grants from Donors Choose and Nike.  Now as BrainPOP’s Senior Director of Educator Experience, Levy is using her extensive background in education to help teachers better integrate technology into the classroom. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Levy about her thoughts on using video games in education, BrainPOP’s background and goals, and its latest feature, click GameUp.”

To read the full article by Clelia Rivera click here.

Educational Games in Denmark

Jan Gejel's picturehttps://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/graphics/flags/large/da-lgflag.gif

Jan Gejel describes some of the opportunities and challenges for educational games in an article entitled “You Got Game! Learning Games and Games in Learning” for the International Conference The Future of Education.  Gejel is the European project manager at Aarhus Social and Healthcare College in Denmark.   This article explores important questions related to the future of games in education, particularly; why there are not more of these games, how will these games be paid for, and how might young developers and educational institutions work together.  This article is helpful for understanding the serious gaming context in Europe, in general, and Scandinavia, in particular.
Here are some highlights (to read the full article following the link at the end).

“In Europe the interest in learning games emerged in the beginning of the last decade. Again, the interest in games was a result of the increasing interest in technology in education: internet, software, e-learning, etc. Nevertheless, the explosion of the video games market did not at all result in the creation of games for education, of learning games. Still in 2012 very few quality learning games have been developed in Europe and the worlds of video games and education are still not in any kind of dialogue – apart from very few exceptions.”

“The video game market of entertainment games has grown at an incredible speed throughout the last decades, now worth the double of the film industry.”

“. . . now researchers and game developers are discussing what learning potentials are included in the very activity of gaming itself, and thus in the very design of video games, serious or commercial.  It is being debated that the very design of computer games, no matter the content, represents a very powerful learning process, due to the basic design elements in video games.
The focus is thus shifted from the entertaining form of video games to the learning potentials of the gaming itself. This shift caused a tremendous upswing in the interest in learning games and for the first time in Europe educational players joined the discussions and they showed a serious interest in games for education.”

“Dramatic different business models must be developed, if education should exploit the learning potentials of gaming.
Real encounters between the game world and the educational world must be organized, on an ongoing basis, through which (young) game developers and teachers and institutions can meet and develop mutual platforms of collaboration.”

To read the full article, by Jan Gejel, click Here.

Tablet games for Etheopian children

More than 100 Million children have no access to schooling, so the One Laptop Per Child organization is experimenting with a new way to help them learn by;

“simply dropping off tablet computers with preloaded programs and seeing what happens.  The goal: to see if illiterate kids with no previous exposure to written words can learn how to read all by themselves, by experimenting with the tablet and its preloaded alphabet-training games, e-books, movies, cartoons, paintings, and other programs.”

The results:

“Earlier this year, OLPC workers dropped off closed boxes containing the tablets, taped shut, with no instruction. ‘I thought the kids would play with the boxes. Within four minutes, one kid not only opened the box, found the on-off switch … powered it up. Within five days, they were using 47 apps per child, per day. Within two weeks, they were singing  ABC songs in the village, and within five months, they had hacked Android,’ Negroponte said. ‘Some idiot in our organization or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera, and they figured out the camera, and had hacked Android.'”

To read the full story by David Talbot click Here.

Four things games teach teachers

details four things that games teach teachers; how to make learning fun, how to motivate learners, how to foster teamwork and cooperation, and how to set meaningful challenges.

“Gaming and education are often seen as two extremes of a spectrum — the one is a frivolous pastime while the other is a serious, valuable activity. At the same time, we instinctively know that playing and learning are linked somehow — after all, children and young animals use play to acquire the vital skills they’ll need for survival in the grown-up world.”

Read the full article on Memeburn

http://memeburn.com/2012/09/4-things-gaming-can-teach-education/

More efficient learning with games

Ned Smith writes about how Course Hero makes a game of learning.

“Learning can be fun when you make a game out of it. That premise underlies the decision of an online learning platform to use game mechanics to engage college students. It works by motivating students to join, participate, contribute and share their successes.

Founded in 2007, Course Hero is an online learning tools resource designed to help college students discover a more efficient and productive learning experience. Gamification technology that uses badges, leaderboards that display rankings, social sharing and rewards is integrated throughout the site’s four core offerings: Courses, an extensive series of custom-designed lessons organized into three learning paths, entrepreneurship, business, and Web programming; Flashcards, interactive learning tools on a wide array of topics; Tutors, which connects students with experts on hundreds of subjects; and Study Documents, a library of study guides, lecture notes and practice problems.

“Gamified courses are the fastest growing part of our business,

“Learning can be fun when you make a game out of it. That premise underlies the decision of an online learning platform to use game mechanics to engage college students. It works by motivating students to join, participate, contribute and share their successes.

Founded in 2007, Course Hero is an online learning tools resource designed to help college students discover a more efficient and productive learning experience. Gamification technology that uses badges, leaderboards that display rankings, social sharing and rewards is integrated throughout the site’s four core offerings: Courses, an extensive series of custom-designed lessons organized into three learning paths, entrepreneurship, business, and Web programming; Flashcards, interactive learning tools on a wide array of topics; Tutors, which connects students with experts on hundreds of subjects; and Study Documents, a library of study guides, lecture notes and practice problems.”

– Ned Smith, BusinessNewsDaily Senior Writer

Read full article

Portal in the classroom! Valve makes it possible through “Teach with Portals”

“Valve recently began collaborating with educators to develop game-related teaching tools that revolve around STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. We’ve created Teach With Portals as a destination for this partnership, providing free content and game design tools, as well as an interactive community for exchanging lessons and experiences…‘Somewhere out there an innovative, dynamic high school physics teacher will use Portal 2 as the linchpin of an entire series of lessons and will immediately become the most important science teacher those lucky students have ever had. For those of us who have left school behind, Portal 2 is one of the finest brain games around.’ The New York Times, May 10, 2011.

http://www.teachwithportals.com/

Chinese company creates educational games to develop independent thinkers: Is the government ready for independent thinkers?

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Neologic Animation Inc. Set to Capture Market Share of China’s Booming 7.4 Billion Dollar Online Gaming Industry

Neologic Animation Inc. has build an educational gaming website for primary students called “Naniya World.”

“The site provides potentially over 100 million primary school students in China the opportunity to cultivate independent learning and creative thinking by using EduCards on the Company’s website, “Naniya World”. This is a tool to educate children through online games…”the website encourages children to think freely and independently, in stark contrast to China’s traditional primary school education, which promotes group think and discourages independent thought.”

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/neologic-animation-inc-set-to-capture-market-share-of-chinas-booming-74-billion-dollar-online-gaming-industry-2012-06-25

 www.neologicanimation.com

 

Steve Jobs endorsed gaming and education

Steve Jobs endorsed gaming and education back in 1990.

In this video, he discusses gaming and education at 2:15.