Category: Gaming

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.”

Jan 27 2011

Sony’s Next Generation PSP

Sony has today announced their Next Generation Portable (NGP). This Engadget article outlines the vast array of features on this new device, however just to give you a feel I quote from the article

“Specs include a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touchpad, the same accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing as in the PlayStation Move, an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back”

For those of us who have long been exploiting the PSP as a learning device these features are very welcome. The PSP was starting to look a little limited compared to devices such as smart from, iPad and iPod touches. As soon as we can get out hands on one, and that looks like it is a few months off yet, I am really excited about the possibilities.

I feel we will be posting a great deal about this device as more and more information becomes available. In the mean time here are a couple of images:

Sony NGP Front

Sony NGP Front

Sony NGP Back

Sony NGP Back

Dec 30 2010

BAFTA Video Games Lecture – Alex Evans

Thought provoking lecture by Alex Evans c0-director of Media Molecule creators of Little Big Planet. BAFTA Video GamesLecture 2010.

Link to BAFTA page

http://www.bafta.org/access-all-areas/videos/media-molecule,1383,BA.html

Link to Video

http://bcove.me/gjq5pz45

Dec 29 2010

Integrating Digital Games and Education

Many of us believe that digital games in supporting the learning that takes place in school. I talk about “learning in school” as somewhat of a contrivance. Learning can take place at different times and in different places, it is not the preserve of the classroom. To be successful at gaming requires learning to take place, however ¬†educators may ask, what has been learnt. Schools are required to teach specific things and because of this I use the team “learning in school”.

I found this an interesting article illustrating some of the issues which need to be tackled before teachers become confident in using games for learning.

http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/06/16/03games.h03.html

Some tips from the article:

1. Play a little. To be effective at integrating digital games into learning, teachers should spend time playing games themselves. Teachers need to be familiar with what’s in a game and how it works before using it with students. Finding a cheat sheet or walk-through of commercial games online beforehand can be helpful.

2. Make time for staff development. Although some professional development can occur informally through teacher discussions, having a dedicated time and space for talking about game-based instruction helps move the process forward.

3. Get involved. Using games in the classroom is not a passive activity. Students need teachers to help draw out the connections between what’s going on in the game and what they’re learning in class.

4. Rely on students. Many are familiar with digital games, and asking them to share their knowledge can be engaging and empowering.

5. Don’t be afraid. For game-based instruction to be successful, teachers have to feel comfortable making mistakes. If teachers avoid new approaches, they will not embrace innovative teaching methods.

Aug 03 2010

Flipside game from the Institution of Engineering and Technology

Take a look, it is about combining gears to about movement in the correct direction. It does get a little complicated, I have yet to get to the end of the game. Would this kind of game be useful in the classroom? What do you think? Leave a comment!

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/

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