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Game-Based Learning Units for the Everyday Teacher

Game-Based Learning Units for the Everyday Teacher
Game-based learning (GBL) is getting a lot press. It is an innovative practice that is working to engage kids in learning important 21st century skills and content. Dr. Judy Willis in a previous post wrote about the neurological benefits and rationale around using games for learning. She also gives tips about using the game model in the classroom. Myths About Game-Based Learning First, let's clarify a couple things. Gee refers to teachers as "learning designers," and I couldn't agree more. Inspired by the work I've seen, here is an overview of components and structure for the everyday teacher to implement game-based learning Overall Structure: Individual Quests and Boss Levels A game-based learning unit should consist of both smaller quests and more robust boss levels. Boss levels are more rigorous missions that require students to synthesize the content and skills learned in the quests. Overall Theme Need to Know Game-Based Learning demands a "need to know" the content. Incentives Avatar

The 10 Best Schools for Serious Gamers Posted on Wednesday January 11, 2012 by Staff Writers For most people, gaming is something you do purely for fun, and although you may be fine-tuning motor skills or even learning history as you go along, it’s not likely you’re doing it with learning goals in mind. But for some people, gaming is a real learning activity, and “serious games” are an amazing teaching tool. In K-12 settings, games can motivate students to stay focused, or even create academic competitions that make it cool to be smart. At the college level, students work with games to become designers of the future, creating mass-market video games, and even learning games that schoolkids can use. Madison County Elementary SchoolOften, the hardest part of getting students to learn is helping them find the motivation they need to get excited about their own education.

Create your own Interactive Fiction What is Interactive Fiction? Interactive Fiction (formerly referred to as Text Adventures) are a cross between reading a book and playing a game, where you control the main character. Rather than reading the story from start to finish, you interact with everything by typing commands at a prompt, discovering things as you go along. Well written games give you, the player, the impression that anything you type is understood by giving a sensible and meaningful response. Indeed, part of the fun of playing interactive fiction games is discovering responses to things you didn't expect to have been catered for. Most interactive fiction follows the same basic rules - these include walking from location to location using compass directions (north, east, south-west etc). How do you create Interactive Fiction games? There are several different systems for creating interactive fiction. ADRIFT is different by being a completely GUI driven application, designed to be intuitive and easy to use.

Game based learning & Gamification Lots people want to get started with game based learning, gamification and serious games in their training. We’ve been curating game related content for over a year and a half while conducting our own research and case studies. Here are 100 articles related to games and learning. Some of them are research-based, while others just offer an interesting perspective to spark discussion. Take what you need and share this with a colleague. Game Based Learning Mobile Games for Adult Learning: What’s the Appeal? Computers & Education - Reviewing the need for gaming in education to accommodate the net generation Abstract There is a growing interest in the use of simulations and games in Dutch higher education. This development is based on the perception that students belong to the ‘gamer generation’ or ‘net generation’: a generation that has grown up with computer games and other technology affecting their preferred learning styles, social interaction patterns and technology use generally. It is often argued that in education this generation prefers active, collaborative and technology-rich learning, i.e. learning methods that involve extensive computer use and collaboration among students. Gaming is then proposed as a new teaching method which addresses these requirements. This article presents the results of a survey which studied whether this discourse is also applicable to higher education students from the Netherlands and whether games, considered as active, collaborative and technology-rich learning experiences, are of greater importance in the formal education of today’s students.

GameSites NOTE: Click on any of the anchor links you find interesting, read more about them, then click the headings to visit the website! Kindersite- List of 100s of Games 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. Register for free for full featured access, but it’s not required. ELT Digital Play- Blog highlighting 100s of Games - This blog lists reviews various games, describes their value and how to play them. Pumkin English- Virtual World for Kids to Learn English - Love this virtual world for children to learn English through cute characters accomplishing tasks and winning points! Brainnook- Virtual World for Kids - a free online virtual world for kids to develop math and english skills with children worldwide. English Story Time Wiki- Resource of Games by Theme Nick Jr- Interactive Games English Attack-For Teens Let's Play!

Re-Mission 2: A Gaming Education in Cancer Treatment | Research Through Gaming Continuing the theme of games tailored for healthcare that I discussed in my last post, this time I want to take a look a Re-Mission 2; designed to get young cancer suffers engaged and educated about the treatment they’re taking. The original Re-Mission video game created by Hopelabs and released in 2006, was a third-person shooter. The player takes control of a Nanobot that is injected into the human body, where it blasts away cancerous cells and other related infections at a cellular level. It’s an interesting idea for a game, but can it really be any more than just that? Well, according to the scientific studies produced from the original game (published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE in March, 2012), yes it can. Hopelab and Stanford University conducted a study measuring brain activity in 57 people randomly assigned to either play Re-Mission or to passively watch it.

Quest - Write text adventure games and interactive stories Quest lets you make interactive story games. Text adventure games like Zork and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Gamebooks like the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books. Watch a quick screencast ...and you're free No restrictions. This means you can download and modify the Quest source code, and do whatever you want with it. You can sell the games you make with Quest. You don't need to ask for permission - you already have it. Get started quickly You don't need to know how to program to use Quest. Everything about your game is displayed in plain English, but the source code to your game is also viewable and editable for the more technically minded. A full tutorial is included, and help is always available on the forums. Ever wanted to... Ever wanted to create your own game, but were put off by complicated programming languages? Want to get into game writing, or prototype game narrative before turning it into something bigger? Surprisingly powerful Graphics, sounds and video

PAX East 2013: How video games can save education Quick! Choose the statement that best describes your high school education: A) School prepared me perfectly for everything I would experience once I got out into the real world. B) I feel that high school had one or two useful things to offer but otherwise was pretty useless. C) I feel that high school was completely pointless and had no bearing on my life today. Swink began by stipulating to a couple of important points. He went on to show a slide of a classroom, complete with those neat rows of desks that we all remember. Video games, Swink said, are complicated and can better equip us to be prepared for the complexities of life. Swink's focus over the past few years has been making games that teach, empower, and make kids leave school with the ability to go out in the world, see the complex systems around them, and make things better for the world. The first one he presented is called Atlantis Remixed: The Doctor's Cure, and it teaches kids how to write a persuasive essay.

SimCityEDU | A game-based learning and assessment tool for middle school students covering the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Educational Games Technology and Education Education and Simulation/Gaming and Computers by Jerry SeayRobert Scott Small Library An Educator's Encounter On my way home from the College of Charleston I had wandered into the local mall video arcade, attracted no doubt by the whirring beeps, flashing lights, the throbbing of competing, repeating musical themes, and by the fact that I am fascinated by games. As I was enjoying this primal slugfest, a small boy of about 8 years of age, stepped abruptly in front of me, obscured my view of the screen, said, "excuse me, sir," and gripped the control knobs. Feeling as if I was suddenly the intruder, I muttered, "sure," and stepped back while the kid dropped two quarters into the machine, chose a dino avatar from a selection of gruesome beasts on the screen and proceeded to beat the stuffing out of another dinosaur. The kid was a master. Of course, I then could hear my students saying back, "yea, if you could make it half as exciting as this, we would be."

Can These Video Games Help You Make Better Life Choices? The World at Work is powered by GE. This new series highlights the people, projects and startups that are driving innovation and making the world a better place. Name: WILL Interactive Big Idea: WILL Interactive develops Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS), which are interactive movies that force users to make serious decisions as a learning experience. Why It's Working: With more than 70 games on topics including the military, financial decision-making and youth education, WILL Interactive has developed a new form of educational and therapeutic media. Walk in the shoes of a soldier on the battlefield or learn how to avoid foreclosure in a precarious housing market — if you make a mistake, simply start the game over. WILL Interactive has found a way to encourage game players to solve real-world problems using interactive role-playing games. WILL has created more than 70 "serious games." What real-world problem would you like to see solved using serious games?

Three Qualities That Make Video Games Better Teachers Than Teachers In my five part countdown about video games and education (the rest can be found here, at, I have addressed the types of gamers in your classroom and the common misconceptions about these students. This article, however, takes the focus off of the students and turns a spotlight onto the teachers. There are several qualities that make video games better teachers than teachers, and here are my top three: Reason Number One: Ability to Assess The speed and accuracy of computers are something the human brain can no longer match. Reason Number Two: Entertainment Factor Let’s face it: even bad video games are usually more entertaining than even your best lecture. Reason Number Three: Teacher 2.0 This one is the real kicker. Don’t worry, for these three reasons that video games are better teachers than teachers; there are hundreds that make you a better teacher than video games. Image Credits: Controller Image by Bulldogza and zirconicusso Student Image by photostock

How Do You Teach Empathy? Harvard Pilots Game Simulation Disruptive students can be a big challenge for teachers in charge of a room full of 30 students. There isn’t always time to get to the bottom of student behavior and in a large class those students can derail learning for everyone. But what if there was a way to help kids stop acting out and show more empathy for classmates and teachers? A group of Harvard education researchers have developed a virtual simulation for “walking in another person’s shoes” to help students relate to one another better. The technical term is “social perspective taking” and it means understanding another person by taking in their thoughts, feelings and motivations. “This has great potential to use virtual environments to improve interpersonal relationships that are not possible in the real world, to actually walk in the shoes of another party.” [RELATED READING: Empathy: the Key to Social and Emotional Learning] Related