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How to Plan Instruction Using the Video Game Model

How to Plan Instruction Using the Video Game Model
Imagine you are placed in the following scenarios: You are dropped off at the top of a ski resort's steepest run when you've only had experience on the beginner slopes. You have to spend your day on the bunny hill when you're an expert skier. You play a game of darts with the target two feet away. In each of these extremes, you would feel either frustrated or bored, depending on your level of achievable challenge. Challenge is a powerful motivator when students take on tasks they find meaningful and, through their efforts and perseverance, succeed. Achievable Challenge Requires Individualization As I wrote in my previous blog, A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool blog and the accompanying video, the most popular computer games take players through increasingly challenging levels as they became more and more skillful. The video game model is ideal for kids lacking in foundational knowledge, but it is not necessary for all kids at all times. Related:  Serious Games

A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Game Model as a Learning Tool The popularity of video games is not the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching strategies. Games insert players at their achievable challenge level and reward player effort and practice with acknowledgement of incremental goal progress, not just final product. The fuel for this process is the pleasure experience related to the release of dopamine. Dopamine Motivation The human brain, much like that of most mammals, has hardwired physiological responses that had survival value at some point in evolutionary progression. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that, when released in higher than usual amounts, goes beyond the synapse and flows to other regions of the brain producing a powerful pleasure response. No Pain, No Gain The survival benefit of the dopamine-reward system is building skills and adaptive responses. Awareness of Incremental Goal Progress Individualized Achievable Challenge Game Entry Point is a Perfect Fit Through Pre-assessment and Feedback

Learning Beyond Walls- Games and Wikis! Posted by Shelly Terrell on Tuesday, August 17th 2010 Part of the Cool Sites series Many of you have started school already and are integrating new technology in your curriculum. Wikis are one of my favorite tools for encouraging learning beyond the classroom walls. Extending Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls Did you know that the average time spent playing video games per week is 18 hours? So what do you put in a wiki? A wiki is like a class website, but easier to design. Adding the “social” to game-based learning… Have you watched anyone recently play a game on their Wii or PS3? Embed a Wallwisher so students can easily add in gaming tips Embed a Google Doc where students add tips and tricks to pass certain games stages. Useful links: “If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns” - Rita Dunn Challenge: Try integrating wikis or games into course content to motivate students to learn beyond the school walls.

The Self-Imposed Challenge I've often experimented with assessment in my classes. I once--somewhat masochistically--asked students to come up with questions for me to take as a midterm. (The point of it was to turn the idea of a midterm on its head, not to find out what students know, but what they don't know, and why. It's a very effective way of finding out gaps in their knowledge and be able to fill it quickly. It was a small class, fortunately, and I changed the format the next time round, asking the students to make their own midterms for each other.) For all the talk about games-based learning and gamification of the classroom (not sure about the latter yet, will blog about it in due time), I'm surprised the question of assessment hasn't come up as often as it should have. Generally speaking, there are two common forms of assessment used in schools. Interestingly, games often assess players in ways similar to schools, using letter grades, numerical or percentage scores, and ranking. Self-Assessment

7 Tools for Building Review Games This week I received at least a half dozen emails from people who were looking for suggestions for creating review games or practice quizzes for their students. The following are the tools that I suggested in reply to those emails. One teacher's needs are little bit different from another's so this list covers a fairly wide range of options. TinyTap is a good iPad and Android app for creating your own review games based on pictures and diagrams. offers a handful of templates for building your own educational games. Socrative and Kahoot continue to be my two favorite platforms for hosting fast-paced review quizzes. If a Jeopardy-style game is what you're after, eQuizShow, Jeopardy Rocks, and FlipQuiz are worth giving a try. Survival Tips for Building a PLN For the past 4 years, I have researched the what, who, how, and why of Personal/Professional/ Passionate Learning Networks (PLNs). We have seen the benefits of the people we choose to connect, collaborate, and problem solve with through social media. The educators, subject matter experts (SMEs), authors, and mentors we choose to derive knowledge from help us self-reflect on our methodologies and beliefs. They support us, remember our birthdays, celebrate our accomplishments, and stir within us a passion to improve the status quo. Within one year of connecting with a PLN, I jump started many projects at my school and in the past 5 years I’ve organized many free incredible professional development events with the help of my PLN. My PLN helps me be a better educator and prepare my students and trainees. Below are several resources I have collected about the history of PLNs, how to build a PLN, and the tools needed to build a PLN. Connected Learning- My interview with Harold Rheingold

All Fun & Games? Understanding Learner Outcomes Through Educational Games Over the past several years, there has been tremendous interest among educators in the use of digital games as serious learning. Advocates of game-based learning for K-12 students cite the value of digital games to teach and reinforce skills that prepare students for college and career, such as collaboration, problem solving, creativity, and communication. Not as often discussed is our ability to use students' in-game actions as evidence for the assessment of skills and knowledge, including those not easily measured by traditional multiple-choice tests. The Potential of Games as Invisible Assessments Traditional assessment methods often require teachers to interrupt classroom learning and administer tests. In contrast, invisible assessments make use of technology to record information about the ways students interact with learning material in a seamless manner, without interruption. Game or Gamification? A Look Toward the Future

Let’s Play! 20+ Sites for Young Learners Part of the Cool Sites series Sometimes, the teachers of young learners get a bad reputation for playing all day in their classes. Let me tell you a secret. problem solvingcompleting a small task before a larger taskpacingfollowing instructionscollaboratingdeveloping skills to accomplish tasks Play and Video Games Many more lessons are learned by today’s digital games which have the social component to them. 9 Digital Sites that Make English Fun for YLs Kindersite- The Kindersite spearheaded by Joel Josephson (@acerview54) has 1000s of educational and fun content specifically designed for preschool, kindergartens, elementary, primary schools and special needs students. ELT Digital Play- This blog lists reviews various games, describes their value and how to play them. Pumkin English- Love this virtual world for children to learn English through cute characters accomplishing tasks and winning points! Webkins- Children buy these characters and get a code to enter the virtual world.

A role for exogenous games? Last year, I was offered to teach a class on grammar and structural linguistics, which I accepted with some hesitation because I considered it a bit outside of my comfort zone. I've taught sociolinguistics and communications courses before, but this is hardcore linguistics, requiring knowledge not just of grammar but also of how to analyze the underlying syntactic structure of sentences using grammar trees. What made it even more intimidating was that these were four hour courses, and I had to make it interesting to the students. I had always like Kurt Squire's (2006) differentiation between "endogenous" and "exogenous" games, where endogenous games are games that marry form with content, such that by playing the game and learning its rules, you are also understanding the content of the game. I would've loved to design an endogenous game for the linguistics class, but there weren't enough students. In my first class, I had them play some board games. References

5 Gamification Features Every Teacher Wants “The value of technology for transforming learning is lost if it is only used to digitize traditional materials (e.g. scanning worksheets makes them digital, but doesn’t improve the learning experience). Instead, think about innovative approaches that allow students to engage with content differently,” EdTech Developer’s Guide (ETDG) Before your EdTech tool makes it into the hands of an excited student, it has to pass through the teacher first; the teacher who’s looking to engage their students and inspire further exploration into lessons. That means, when designing your app or tool, you must consider what features make your product worthy of classroom integration. As Bill Gates said, “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids to work together, and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” Focus on winning over the facilitator of your game, the teacher, with these five features, and you’ll be one step closer to creating a valuable EdTech tool. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Ian Livingstone applies to create 'gaming' school 9 October 2014Last updated at 10:20 ET By Dave Lee Technology reporter, BBC News Ian Livingstone is known to some as "father" of Tomb Raider Lara Croft British games industry veteran Ian Livingstone has formally applied to launch a free school with lessons built using video gaming. Mr Livingstone told the BBC he wanted to use games-based learning rather than relying on "relentless testing". "I'm passionate about children who have been born into the internet. The school, which could open in 2016, would be based in Hammersmith, west London. The application to the Department for Education, submitted this week, was backed by Mr Livingstone's several trustees including Barnaby Lenon, former headmaster at Harrow, and Marion Gibbs, head teacher at James Allen School for Girls in East Dulwich. Also on the board is David Cramer, who owns international rights for the Rubik's Cube. "The application process is very competitive and all proposals are rigorously assessed before they are approved."

Game Plan Level: Upper intermediate+/mature students Location: Computer room Skills Focus: Reading/writing (reading comprehension check) Language focus: Reading Game: McVideo Game This is simulation game is a parody of the fast food chain McDonalds taking quite a negative view of the production process which you, the plater, become implicit in. Preparation Print out a copy of the McVideo Game Worksheet. Pre Activity Hand out a copy of the worksheet to each pair and ask them to read and make a guess at any of the answers. Deal with any language problems as you monitor. Brief feedback on possible answers and any difficult language. Reading activity In the computer room direct students to the game and the tutorial. Explain that they can’t play the game unless they complete all the questions with the correct answers. Ask them to read the tutorial and answer as many questions as they can. Encourage students to ask you, peers or look up online any difficult language contained in the tutorial. Post Reading activity