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Making Games: The Ultimate Project-Based Learning

Making Games: The Ultimate Project-Based Learning
Gamestar Mechanic Part 6 of MindShift’s Guide to Games and Learning. As game-based learning increases in popularity, it’s easy to get pigeon-holed into one particular way of thinking about it or one way of employing it. This is true regardless of how teachers feel about gaming in the classroom, whether they’re for or against it. One common objection to game-based learning is that students will sit in front of screens being taught at. Sure, games are interactive, but on some level, don’t they still just replace the sage on the stage with the sage on the screen? In previous posts in this series, I’ve argued that because games involve systems thinking, they contextualize learning. “Games are just simulators with an internal incentive structure (often dopamine based). However, virtual simulations of hands-on experience are not the same as tangibly engaging with the world. Fortunately, few people are calling for games to replace school as we know it. Related

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Project-Based Learning Through a Maker's Lens The rise of the Maker has been one of the most exciting educational trends of the past few years. A Maker is an individual who communicates, collaborates, tinkers, fixes, breaks, rebuilds, and constructs projects for the world around him or her. A Maker, re-cast into a classroom, has a name that we all love: a learner. A Maker, just like a true learner, values the process of making as much as the product. In the classroom, the act of Making is an avenue for a teacher to unlock the learning potential of her or his students in a way that represents many of the best practices of educational pedagogy.

Why (And How) To Start Teaching Coding In School Fueled by an incredible demand in the workforce for proficient programmers and the need to teach critical thinking skills, the coding movement in schools has exploded. Furthermore, we all communicate through technology, so we should at least know the basic premise of coding because the gadget sitting in our pocket, or on our desk, should not be a mysterious black box to us or our students. Just like writing, multimedia, art, and music are mediums to show ideas, coding can be another form of expression.

Scratch - For Educators What is ScratchEd? Launched in July 2009, ScratchEd is an online community where Scratch educators share stories, exchange resources, ask questions, and find people. Since its launch, more than 7500 educators from all around the world have joined the community, sharing hundreds of resources and engaging in thousands of discussions. Join the ScratchEd community for free at How can I learn more about what educators are doing with Scratch – and how I might use it?

Shifting to 21st Century Thinking » Futures thinking In academic circles futures thinking is associated with futures studies. Futures studies is described as an interdisciplinary “collection of methods, theories, and findings” (Miller, 2003, p.7) that helps people to ‘think constructively about the future’ (Bell, 1996 cited in Codd et al 2002, p.5). It has also been summed up as “the rigorous art of imagining”, with applied expressions across a range of fields from big business to education for sustainability. The emergence of futures studies The emergence of futures studies is generally credited to the late 1960s and early 1970s. Three groundbreaking books of that era include Alvin Toffler’s 1970 Future Shock, Alain Touraine’s 1971 The Post-Industrial Society.

CASES Online: Creating Active Student Engagement in the Sciences What is CASES Online? CASES Online is a collection of inquiry-based lessons to engage K-12 and undergraduate students in exploring the science behind real-world problems. Through CASES, you can transform your students into motivated investigators, self-directed and life-long learners, critical thinkers and keen problem solvers. Our cases are grounded in Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Investigative Case-Based Learning (ICBL), and related student-centered pedagogies. [more]

Learn Minecraft Hour of Code Grades 2+ | Blocks Moana: Wayfinding with Code Standards: Why Realizing the Full Promise of Education Requires a Fresh Approach This is the first of a two-part conversation with Yong Zhao about standards, testing and other core elements of the modern system of education, and the assumptions that may be standing in the way of meeting the real learning needs of all children. He is a professor in the college of education at the University of Oregon and author of Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China Has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students. Education is not “omnipotent,” says Yong Zhao, education professor at the University of Oregon, but it can change the trajectory of people’s lives. Most recent education policies, such as No Child Left Behind and Common Core, have sought to better realize this potential by aiming for parity in outcomes, as indicated by standardized test scores.

High Tech High - Project Based Learning Seven Successful PBL Projects In March 2005 High Tech High received a $250,000 grant from the California Department of Education to disseminate project-based learning methods to teachers in non-charter public schools. As part of the project, High Tech High teachers have documented successful projects to share with collaborating teachers from local districts and across the HTH network. Teach Coding in the Classroom: Resources from ISTE '14 I was super excited to attend Hack Education (originally called “EdubloggerCon”), an all-day unconference held the Friday before the formal start of ISTE 2014. This interactive day of learning, now in its eighth year, was touted to me as the event to attend in Atlanta, and it did not disappoint. The informal, small-group conversations were inclusive and welcoming. The "rule of two feet" meant that if you needed to move, you were encouraged. And session topics were diverse -- on the schedule were discussions about maker education, augmented reality, design thinking, game-based learning, coding in the classroom, digital storytelling, and many, many more! In an attempt to heed Dave Guymon’s call to share the ISTE learning (see his blog post on Getting Smart, "Don’t Leave Your Learning Behind: What To Do Now That #ISTE2014 Is Over"), here are some resources discussed by a group of elementary and secondary educators during a morning session on coding in the classroom.

Programming through games for Middle School students In the beginning of 2013 I was invited to offer extra-classes for Middle School students interested on programming because of classes that I had already offered about Arduino and C for High School students. Based on my experience as programmer, teacher (of Mathematics) and Scratch user, I decided to use games as the theme for the classes. The group started with 12 students, but the number lowered to 5 after August. The dynamic of the classes were: I explained the idea of the game and, usually, gave to them a few initial steps. Bypassing the Textbook: Video Games Transform Social Studies Curriculcum Digital Tools Skyrim Elder Scrolls trailer Educators typically think of using digital and video games as the actual learning tool, but one teacher is using video games for something else entirely — as a replacement for the textbook. Jeff Mummert, a social studies teacher and department chair at Hershey High School in Pennsylvania, uses games in his class to get students thinking critically about the subject matter the games address, even if they’re completely imaginary, he said. Game designers put a lot of time and thought into developing aesthetically appealing games that they think will draw players into an imaginary world.

Project Based Learning Science – Lesson Plans for PBL Putting together a PBL science plan can be enormously time consuming without excellent models. So here are hundreds of free detailed plans for projects for elementary, middle and high school students. The plans are sorted by discipline - astronomy and space, chemistry, engineering and architecture, physics, technology, and earth, life sciences, physical sciences, and... well, "other" for no clear fit.