Apr 03 2011

The Education Arcade

This extract is from an article published on the Education Arcade website. I would encourage anyone who is interested in gaming for learning to take a look at the site. The extract refers to an article which was published in the New York Times.

For me the key is, as the extract points out, that gaming can serve the needs of education and learning in general.

If the article has a shortcoming, it is that it undersells the long history of education reform efforts that brought us to this moment. If one doesn’t read it carefully, one might assume that the purpose of games in education is to keep kids engaged (i.e. to bribe them to learn), or at best, to teach them wholly new 21st century skills. What is missing is the insight that play and exploration have always been the way we construct new ideas and concepts, and that building such a scaffold of interconnected ideas has always been the source of our deepest knowledge and wisdom. This approach to learning does not just apply to generic cognitive skills such as problem solving, but also applies to traditional academic disciplines such as math, science, and history. Successful practitioners in these areas have always engaged in playful and inspired ways of thinking and learning that look nothing like the rote memorization and repetition we call “school.”

Nov 14 2010

Tap here to begin writing.

Aug 02 2010

Research document, Games bases leaning – Horizon Report

Interesting and informative looking at games based learning: http://wp.nmc.org/horizon-k12-2010/chapters/game-based-learning/

May 29 2010

WordPress from iPad

The iPad hits the UK and this is my first post using an iPad and the WordPress app. First impression – seriously cool. What impact will it have on next generation teaching and learning – not sure. One thing is clear it is a hot talking topic and we will be contributing our thoughts.

Look out for future post.

May 03 2010

Presentation about the development of Mobile Learning

This is a Prezi presentation that we put together telling something of the journey our use and understanding of the impact games devices and smart phones in education over the last three years.

The journey has taken us from focusing on the functionality of devices to how such personal, ubiquitous, devices such learner autonomy and personal learning environments.


May 03 2010

Augmented Reality – What is it.

Our last post looked at an example of augmented reality (AR) on the Telus stand at the Ski and Snowboard festival at Whistler, Canada. Whilst searching the Web for AR in eduction I came across this short description.

Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) that aims at replacing the perception of the world with an artificial one, Augmented Reality (AR) has the goal of enhancing a person’s perception of the surrounding world. Being partly virtual and real, the new interface technology of AR which is able to display relevant information at the appropriate time and location, offers many potential applications; these include aiding in education, training, repair or maintenance, manufacturing, medicine, battlefield, games and entertainment.
Unfortunately the reference link to not work so I cannot attribute the work.

Many of us will be aware of “heads up displays” often a feature of modern fighter planes or attack helicopters but now see more benign use for display speed displays on the windscreens of someĀ  cars.

HUD of car speed

Heads Up Display of car speed

Learn Extreme will continue to explore the potential of AR and to track developments as we come across them.

Apr 22 2010

Example of Auguemented Reality – Telus, Canada

Augmented reality, the combining of real time video with a computer overlay, data, images, video, is an emerging technology that we think has real potential in enhancing learning experiences. This is a technology that is in its early development and many examples we have seen have been used for promotion.

This example we found on a Telus stand, Telus is a Canadian telecoms company. We have also seen a really good example developed by Lego so prospective purchasers can see what the finished article will look like when all those bricks are put together!

Second Sight is the first educational based example we have seen and will will be including posts and links about AR in education in the future.

Telus example of AR

Connected Education and using Second Sight on the PSP an AR applications.

Apr 20 2010

QR codes & Semacodes

The potential of using devices such as smart phones and games consoles to deliver learning resources enabling the learner to access text, video and images when and where he or she wants is becoming more clearly understood. We at Learn Extreme have been long been advocates of using this technology for next generation learning and will be the focus of a number of post to this blog.

There has been a lot of debate, however we are interested in practice so we will be talking about things teachers have done, what can be done in the future and also making educators aware of emerging technologies.

To get the ball rolling: Making it easy for learners to find the resources they are looking for is not always as fast and efficient as they would like. Especially as the memory capacity of modern devices means that a single device can store hundreds if not thousands of files.

QR (Quick Response) codes is one such technology. They can be generated by free online applications, I have just used http://qrcode.kaywa.com/ however a Google search for QR Code Generator will provide a large selection to choose from.

The application will produce an image than you can copy as use at will (see the example on this blog).

You will then need to download a QR code reader to your smart phone. I have an iPhone and use Mobiletag simply because it was the first one I came across. There are others.

Running the app on your phone and pointing the camera at the QR code should result in a website or file being displayed.

For example this is a QR code which will take you to the Learn Extreme website (yes I know you are already here but it is an example!).

Qr are code for Learn Extreme

Semacodes are special markers that we are using with the PSP. Look out for the PSP & Semacodes post.

Have fun

Apr 18 2010

Self Review Framework

UK schools looking to audit their use of ICT to enhance teaching and learning, improve learning outcomes and to engage students should take a look at the BECTA Self Review Framework at https://selfreview.becta.org.uk/.

The is no charge to sign up to the process which is the first good point. The framework is splits the whole school use of ICT into 8 elements. Elements are then split in strands. Schools complete the first stage of the process by making judgments about where its stands on a number of statements. For example “our vision of ICT…” is clearly expressed. There is then a spectrum of responses ranging from “not at all” to “very well”

After completing each element schools are provided with a summative statement about the schools use of ICT and a comparison to similar schools. Providing evidence for judgments is also a key part of the process.

By engaging with the process schools can get recognition for their commitment to ICT and work towards gaining the ICT mark. Schools should take a look at the BECTA Next Generation Learning Charter at http://www.becta.org.uk/nextgenerationlearning.php.

We will return to Self Review Framework in the future including who schools can get help with the process and additional links.

In the meantime this is a short Prezi presentation we put together for marketing SRF at a Headteachers conference http://prezi.com/m-t_p_xpinky/ enjoy, and please comment, constructive ones work best!

Feb 06 2010

Space Education Explorers Conferences

We have had the opportunity to present to a gathering of leading educators at the SEEC conference at the Johnson Space Centre, Houston Texas.

We were able to share our experiences using the Sony PlayStation Portable as a learning tool.

We will be posting links and support information including “how to” videos over the next few days, however if there are any educators who were at the conference and would like specific questions answered then please do not hesitate to contact us at spaceeducationadventures@gmail.com.

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