Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Animated Google Doodle


Check out the Google Doodle today. In honor of Martha Graham, the doodle is animated.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Can Learning Really Be Fun and Games? | MindShift

Can Learning Really Be Fun and Games? | MindShift

I can imagine it took a lot of time and organizational skills for this teacher, Ananth Pai, to create the curriculum for his class, but it sounds like it is paying off. Is it the novelty that makes the pay off possible, or is he just really good at choosing games that provide the exact learning his students need?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Are You a Games Geek?

ARIS Games is hosting a Game Jam. They are calling on people to create Augmented Reality games. You can join them in person in Madison, WI or stay and home and be an armchair game designer.

I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but they have an open source programming tool that is supposed to make the creation of an Augmented Reality game simple enough for a novice to do. They are so sure people can do this, the Game Jam is being held over a weekend (50 hours) and they expect people to create at least 50 games during that time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Serious Games Helping To Push Cereal Boxes Off The Shelves | SERIOUS GAMES MARKET

If you haven't already viewed the video I posted about in my previous entry...go watch it now! Then take a look at the link below. It describes an Augmented Reality game currently available on cereal boxes in 50 countries (and you thought the U.S. was the most technologically advanced country!). It is scheduled to hit our supermarket shelves in 2015. (and why will it take 4 more years to be available here???)

Serious Games Helping To Push Cereal Boxes Off The Shelves | SERIOUS GAMES MARKET

The Future of Gaming

Click on the title of this entry and you'll be taken to a video about the future of gaming. I admit, the first part isn't all that interesting, unless you are curious about the amount of money Facebook games are bringing in. But hang in there. About halfway through, Professor Jesse Schell starts describing an average day in the future and how gaming has infiltrating every part of our lives.

I have to admit that some of what he suggests seems over the top, while other aspects seem down-right scary. But, there are some cool aspects, too. And, after seeing this video, I've begun to see the seeds in our current world that could easily take root and grow into the types of gaming Schell describes. After watching the video, you'll understand why I nearly jumped out of my seat when I noticed a waitress at 99 Restaurant last night with a V8 tattoo!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Games for Effective Learning

Today I posed a few questions to teachers who are members of edWeb. I have been researching educational games and would like to know what teachers think about educational games. What I have found so far in digital games seem to boil down to these three categories:

  1. Electronic Flash Cards -- Even though they may not look like flashcards in the digital environment, that's all they really are. Students make their way through a game answering questions.
  2. Real-world window dressing -- These games appear to be set in the "real world." Students take on the role of spy or investigator. Along the way they have to complete "missions" which often involve lessons not dissimilar from what they would see in a textbook. These "missions" have nothing to do with the storyline. Students complete the "mission" by answering a few questions correctly. The receive tokens or some sort of reward, and then they move ahead in the story.
  3. Virtual reality -- Students often participate in virtual reality games as themselves, rather than as a character. They encounter problems or situations that could truly happen in the real world. Students learn by doing. Tutorials are provided if students need help doing something that is happening in this virtual world.
I'm anxious to see how teachers respond to my query. I believe there is a time and place for electronic flashcards. I see them as a way to become fluent in a new skill. I don't know of any other way to remember the meanings of German words. But when it comes to learning a new skill, I'm more of a learn-by-doing sort of gal. I never learn how to drive to a new location by sitting the in the passenger seat. I have to drive their myself to really learn the route. (And, now that I have a GPS telling me where to go, I'm not learning the route even when I'm driving.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Education vs. Banking

Jon Stewart is so good about making obvious points that the folks yammering rhetoric fail to see. Why do many people in our country expect teachers to make concessions with their meager pay, yet don't bat an eye at the salaries bankers are making -- with OUR TAX DOLLARS?

I hope the teacher's unions take a page from the NFL playbook and start suing state governments.