Tag Archives: games

3 Websites for High School Teachers to Try in 2013

Credit: USNews – Teachers can tap into free Web resources to incorporate tech into their lessons.

Technology continues to make inroads into high school classrooms via bring-your-own device initiatives, 1:1 proposals that put a tablet or laptop in front of every student, and blended learning models that mix online courses with in-class instruction.

But teachers don’t need a classroom stocked with iPads to start incorporating tech into their lesson plans. In fact, 40 percent of educators say online apps and games are the most effective way to engage students, according to a reader survey by SmartBrief for EdTech, an industry newsletter.

Read more for details of three Web-based resources for high school teachers to try in 2013: 3 Websites for High School Teachers to Try in 2013 – High School Notes (usnews.com).

Girls and Games: What’s the Attraction?

Girl Gamers *

Games are increasingly recognized by educators as a way to get kids excited about learning. While the stereotype of a “gamer” may evoke the image of a high school boy holed up in a dark room playing on a console, in reality 62 percent of gamers play with other people either in person or online, and 47 percent of all gamers are girls.

Game developers and academics who have been studying the elements that go into making games more attractive to girls found that those very same qualities are also important components of learning. For instance, girls are more drawn to games that require problem solving in context, that are collaborative (played through social media) and that produce what’s perceived to be a social good. They also like games that simulate the real word and are particularly drawn to “transmedia” content that draws on characters from books, movies, or toys.

Read more: Girls and Games: What’s the Attraction? | MindShift.

Teachers Transform Commercial Game for Class Use

Mindcraft

Educators have been tapping into the wildly popular online game Minecraft for its potential as a learning tool for a while now — to teach physics, math, and computer science. But until recently, the game was mostly the territory of computer science teachers, and even they were forced to use the commercial version of the online game.

So a few months ago, two teachers, Santeri Koivisto and Joel Levin, decided to make the software more accessible and relevant to teachers. They joined forces to found MinecraftEdu and started offering discounted educator licenses to Minecraft. MinecraftEdu now offers a plug-in, which enables teachers to tailor the software to individual curriculum. And a fresh new wiki is dedicated to sharing ideas with topic suggestions such as “How To Use Redstone, (a fictional mineral) To Teach Electricity.” Teachers can also work with others to co-develop lesson plans within the game software.

Full Text: Teachers Transform Commercial Video Game for Class Use | MindShift.

The Ups and Downs of Game-Based Learning

A middle school student in Wisconsin tests his new game

Games have shown great promise for learning, but it’s not always easy to figure out the logistics of how to use them in class. Every student and teacher’s experience is unique and it takes time to calibrate and tinker to get the best out of the experience.

What’s more, using games might lead to something neither students or teacher anticipated — more work.

When it came to using the game Operation Lapis to learn Latin, the experience proved to be a mixed bag for students and teachers. In the game, students play the role of Romans in a reconstruction of ancient Pompeii (or ancient Rome) and have to learn to think, act, create and write like a Roman in order to win the game. Those are the same goals of any introductory Latin course.

After Kevin Ballestrini launched the game in his own class, ten other interested teachers decided to take a stab at using it in their classes. The prevailing conclusion? Students’ successes represent the environment and instructor as much as the game itself.

Full Text: The Ups and Downs of Game-Based Learning | MindShift.

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Is Game-Based Learning an Effective Instructional Strategy

Lesley Tham, Raymond Tham (2012) Blended Learning: Is Game-Based Learning an Effective Instructional Strategy to Engage Students in Higher Education in Singapore? A Pilot Study
Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology, Vol 8, No 1 (2012)

Abstract
Today’s Internet Generation is accustomed to multi-tasking, graphics, fun, and fantasy. Educators in Asia are finding it increasingly challenging to engage and motivate students with traditional modes of teaching. One tool that may help them in this endeavor is game-based learning, which is beginning to catch on in K-12 schools and higher education. This paper examined whether game-based learning is an effective instructional strategy for engaging and motivating students in higher education in Singapore. Findings indicate that game-based learning can be a useful strategy to motivate students, because the challenge of a game fosters competition between groups and collaboration within groups.
Full Text: PDF

 

Coding Games – Child’s Play

Think your students can’t make a really successful game, think again.

Bubble Ball went on to 3 million downloads (so far!). Bubble Ball is Robert’s first foray into app development, according to Ansca Mobile, the company whose Corona SDK he chose for developing the app. According to Robert, the built-in physics engine was exactly what he needed to make his app a reality. Bubble Ball, for those who haven’t yet tried it, is a physics-based puzzle game which has players guiding a ball to a goal.Various objects are provided for the player to work out a path for the ball so that it reaches its goal.Some objects can be manipulated more than others, while using gravity to your advantage is obviously the key to beating every level.

College Students Find ‘Serious’ Video Games Educational, Fun – chicagotribune.com

From simulating cities to recreating Civil War era characters, games are becoming classroom fixtures.

All work and no play is said to make Johnny a dull boy. But the proliferation of educational video games–what professors and game industry professionals call ‘serious’ games–in college and graduate school classrooms and on campus suggests work and play can occur simultaneously.

Several hundred college students at Rochester Institute of Technology, for example, recently participated in a pilot program of the game Just Press Play, which encourages them to collect business cards from all of the professors in their departments and explore the campus.

“By creating a whimsical, playful, game-like experience … that frames [acclimating to campus] in a much less threatening and much more inviting way for people that are going through some pretty massive transitions,” says Andy Phelps, the director of RIT’s School of Interactive Games and Media.

via College Students Find ‘Serious’ Video Games Educational, Fun – chicagotribune.com.

What is the Value of Games in E-Learning? | E-Learning Uncovered

So, I’ve done some research and believe I would be doing [my son] a disservice if I didn’t let him play Angry Birds at least every now-and-then.

Let’s take a look at who is gaming. Gamers aren’t just teenagers! They are often the professionals we are creating e-learning interactions for. The average gamer is 34 years old, and has been playing electronic games for 12 years – and often up to 18 hours a week. And, many of them are benefiting from the experience!

via What is the Value of Games in E-Learning? | E-Learning Uncovered.

From video marking to Second Life, technology is transforming the options for online students

Via The Guardian:

From video marking to Second Life, technology is transforming the options for online students There’s not a red pen in sight when Russell Stannard marks his master’s students’ essays – but it’s not because the students never make mistakes. Stannard doesn’t use a pen, or even paper, to give his students feedback. Instead – and in keeping with his role as principal lecturer in multimedia and ICT – he turns on his computer, records himself marking the work on-screen, then emails his students the video. When students open the video, they can hear Stannard’s voice commentary as well as watch him going through the process of marking. The resulting feedback is more comprehensive than the more conventional notes scrawled in the margin, and Stannard, who works at the University of Westminster, now believes it has the potential to revolutionise distance learning. “It started when I began to realise how useful technology can be for teaching,” he says. “I wanted to help other teachers, as well as general computer-users, to learn how to use tools like podcasting, PowerPoint and BlackBoard, software that a lot of schools and universities use to allow teachers to provide course material and communicate with students online.” Follow the mouse So he set up a site to teach people how to use the technology, providing simple, video tutorials where users watch Stannard’s mouse pointing out how to use the software, with his voice providing constant commentary. He used the screen-videoing software Camtasia, and the site rapidly took off: it now receives more than 10,000 hits a month. Then he started considering integrating the teaching style into his own university work. “I was mainly teaching students on master’s courses in media and technology, and I realised that while I was talking about the benefits of new technology, I should be making the most of the opportunity to use it,” says Stannard. “That’s when I had the idea of video marking. It was immediately well received. Students receive both aural and visual feedback – and while we always talk about different learning styles, there are also benefits to receiving feedback in different ways.” Stannard says the technology is particularly useful for dyslexic students, who appreciate the spoken commentary, and students learning English as a foreign language. “I started my teaching career in language learning, so I quickly realised that students learning English would benefit from video marking. They can replay the videos as many times as they like and learn more about reasons for their mistakes.” Stannard also believes video marking is “perfect” for distance-learning students. “It brings them much closer to the teacher,” he says. “They can listen, see and understand how the teacher is marking their piece, why specific comments have been made, and so on.” The technology is already being used for informal distance learning, as Stannard uploads the videos he makes for his lectures at Westminster to multimedia trainingvideos.com.

See the article here:
From video marking to Second Life, technology is transforming the options for online students

Which? panel questions brain training claims

Via The Guardian:

Evidence for games is weak, says Which? report

Experts say they are no better than a crossword People who spend money on “brain trainers” to keep their minds agile may get the same results by simply doing a crossword or surfing the internet, according to research published today. A panel of experts, including eminent neuroscientists, found there was no scientific evidence to support a range of manufacturers’ claims that the gadgets can help improve memory or stave off the risk of illnesses such as dementia …

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Which? panel questions brain training claims