Category: Research

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.”

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.

Oct 17 2010

Google URL Shortener with QR Code Generator

Typing in long web addresses (URLs) can basically be a pain, and often leads to mistakes. There have been a number of sites which provide a facility to shorten the URL bit.ly and tinyurl are a couple of examples.

Google have their own version at goo.gl, just type in or copy and paste the URL you wish to shorten and click on “shorten” . The resultant shortened address makes sharing the address just a little bit easier.

For  example www.learnextreme.com becomes http://goo.gl/MssF, perhaps not the best example as the original URL is pretty short, however shortening comes into its own if you are looking to link directly with a page buried deep within a site.

Nothing extraordinary about the Google site except what is really cool is that goo.gl come with its own QR code generator.

Type in the shorten address in our example http://goo.gl/MssF and then just add .qr so it looks like this http://goo.gl/MssF.qr

a QR code will be generated for you which you can use when and where you like.

LearnExtreme QR code

LearnExtreme QR code

Aug 08 2010

International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference 2010

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is a nonprofit membership association providing leadership and service to improve education through the effective use of technology.
ISTE 2010
We were privilege to be able to present a 3 hour workshop at the ISTE 2010 conference. Having been fortunate enough to have attended many educational conferences my impression of ISTE is that this is the conference to participate in. 12,000 delegates, hundreds of exhibitors, keynotes, workshops, special interest groups, breakout meetings and round table activities are just some of the features of the three day conference. Many of the delegates were from the US however like us there were many international delegates.
Many contacts were made, an information shared, we will be covering some of the developments from these in later posts.
For those that are interested in following up and perhaps attending follow this link to the 2011 conference: http://www.isteconference.org/2011/
Our workshop included the work we have been doing using Playstation portables in education and also some an introduction to iPods in education.
Our presentation is included with this post and can also be found on slide share.
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/

Jun 22 2010

Using Mobile Devices in Education – The Journey (Prezi)

This is a Prezi presentation outlining something of the “Journey” we have been on developing our thoughts from “it’s all about the device” to using personal technology devices (phones, PSPs etc) to enable the autonomous learner working in a creative and flexible way.

This was originally part of a delivered presentation so it may be a little difficult to follow the train of thought. I will get round to writing a commentary which I will add to this post.
I suggest that you click on “full screen” under the “More” tab bottom right of Prezi screen.

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.

http://prezi.com/f1ogycuywfg7/

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 some  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.

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