Learn to Play: Minecraft in the classroom • Articles • PC Imagine being eight years old today. You pack your bag, hop on a bus, act like your crush has cooties and go through lessons on history, English, maths, science, and... Minecraft? That's the reality for about 200,000 kids today who have Minecraft in their schools as part of the curriculum. Educational software is nothing new, but most "edutainment" (I reckon there's no dirtier word in the gaming vernacular) games were traditional curriculum wearing the guise of a video game as convincingly as Superman posing as a journalist by wearing glasses. These days that's changed. 'I think playing Minecraft kind of taps into the same part of the brain as playing with Legos and I don't think anybody disputes the educational value of Legos.' - Joel Levin It all started when then 35 year old New York-based computer teacher Joel Levin began playing the Minecraft alpha in the summer of 2010. But before all that he showed it to a second-grade class of seven and eight year olds.
6 Video Games You Can Teach With Tomorrow Realistically, a “with it” teacher can teach almost anything using almost anything. I’ve been taught trigonometry using a paper clip, and expository structure using paint. Tech is great, but nowhere close to necessary. But if the underlying learning process is well-thought out, tech can provide powerful common ground for teachers and learners. So then, video games. Video games do not represent a “rising medium,” but rather one that’s established, potent, and ready for application in any content area at any grade level. We’ve talked before about the concept of gamification, which refers to applying game mechanics to any non-gaming process. These games can serve not only to introduce teachers to the concept of using video games as something beyond a gimmicky way to “engage learners,” but demonstrate that video games are a platform worthy of any classroom dedicated to any content area at any grade level. 1. Appropriate Grade Level: 8-12+ (some mature content/themes) 2. 3. 4. Science: Physics
Learning Simulation & Serious Game Profile: Family Of Heroes According to Clark Aldrich, a passionate advocate for the potential for learning simulations and serious games, a learning simulation is “an experience designed to rigorously help users develop competence and conviction. A learning simulation is a combination of modeling elements, entertainment (or game) elements, and instructional (or pedagogical) elements. These can range from pure media (which do not involve any other humans), to experiences that use coaches, teammates, competitors, and communities.” TeachThought will have much more on simulations later this week–including an interview with Aldrich on simulations and what makes them tick. The goal is for this database to eventually become a fully searchable online tool. The first example, Family of Heroes, appears below. Profile: Family of Heroes
Oxford University Press Plans to Gamify Classic Books | For the Win Maybe your younger days were consumed by the fantasy worlds from your favorite books. With each new story, you looked forward to bonding with the characters, embarking on a new journey, and, with any luck, living happily ever after. Or perhaps reading when you were younger was a torturous affair that could only be done if the right bribe or incentive were in place. Whatever the case may be, the recent partnership between Oxford University Press and mobile and social web game developer SecretBuilders is an exciting one. Oxford University Press announced that the partnership supports the “50 Great Reads Before 15” initiative, which transforms classics like Macbeth and Alice in Wonderland into engaging and interactive experiences. So for those kids who always anticipate their next reading adventure, they will be able connect in a deeper way to some of their favorite characters.
The 5 Decisive Components of Outstanding Learning Games The 5 Decisive Components of Outstanding Learning Games It's a common phrase to say "learn by playing." Different communication theories confirm this. Games make us produce dopamine, a brain chemical that increases learning and stimulates our state of attention. eLearning experts believe that games and playing need to be part of a course for adults to learn effectively. As a result, learning games are a necessary part of great eLearning these days. Without them, your courseware wouldn’t be so engaging... Since the ultimate goal is to get your learners to complete the course and actually learn the content in it, games are a great way to achieve this. Here are the five most critical components of outstanding Learning Games: Goals and objectives: Games definitely help reinforce learning objectives through playing. Some games turn out to be just boring ordinary games instead of proper ones with good content. Rules and/or Instructions: Interaction: Outcomes and Feedback
Using Game Design to Further Your Education and Career I’ll be discussing this post and other game-based learning topics tomorrow on my weekly chat (#GBLFriday) with special guest Clark Aldrich starting at 1 p.m. ET on Twitter. Join the conversation by following me on Twitter. When people think of gamification or game-based learning, they most often envision a classroom with students sitting at computers, playing games. Desktop game design software and gaming engines are increasingly prevalent. Why Game Design? The first step in beginning a game design project for a class is going to be convincing your professor that this is a legitimate way for you to express what you have learned. Research – you will need to conduct just as much or more research into your subject area in order to create a quality game. From Vision to Reality – Planning Your Game In many ways planning to create a video game is very similar to the academic writing process that college students should already be familiar with. Make more games – Once is not enough.
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