Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification
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Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification
Avatars,  Virtual Worlds, AR, VR, Gamification
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Welcome to Gamification.org! - Gamification Wiki

Welcome to Gamification.org! - Gamification Wiki | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Gamification.org is the leading resource and community for gamification information, research and examples in over 18 languages.
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elearn Magazine: Gamification Is Simply Bells and Whistles

elearn Magazine: Gamification Is Simply Bells and Whistles | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
eLearn Magazine is a leading source of high-quality information on the uses of online learning and training strategies in a variety of contexts for K-12, higher education, and the corporate workforce.eLearn Magazine presents new technologies and approaches for creating, delivering, and supporting online instruction and workplace performance.
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Poptropica

Poptropica | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Poptropica, a virtual world for kids to travel, play games, compete in head-to-head competition, and communicate safely. Kids can also read books, comics, and see movie clips while they play.
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9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Educational Games

9 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Educational Games | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
The more you play test, the more likely you are to find opportunities for improvement.
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Top 10 Objections to Gamification (and the Best Way to Respond) 

Top 10 Objections to Gamification (and the Best Way to Respond)  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Gamification gets its fair share of skepticism regarding its potential to impact employee learning and performance. But
experience has shown that when applied effectively, gamification has the power to significantly improve employee
engagement and business outcomes. Here are some responses to the most common objections!
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My First Virtual Reality Groping 

My First Virtual Reality Groping  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Last week I was groped in virtual reality — did you know that could happen? I didn’t, but now I’m all the wiser.
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Habitica: Your Life the Role Playing Game

Habitica: Your Life the Role Playing Game | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Habitica is a free habit building and productivity app that treats your real life like a game. With in-game rewards and punishments to motivate you and a strong social network to inspire you, Habitica can help you achieve your goals to become healthy, hard-working, and happy.
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Immersive Virtual Reality: Online Education for the Next Generation

Immersive Virtual Reality: Online Education for the Next Generation | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
How virtual reality could help make online classes better.
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Virtual Reality Invites a New Era of Learning to Higher Education

Virtual Reality Invites a New Era of Learning to Higher Education | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
A team of technology experts at the University of Maryland see an endless horizon of opportunities in education through virtual reality applications.
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Artificial intelligence: Making a human connection - Genevieve Bell (Intel Corporation)

We have been talking about robots and artificial intelligence forever, or so it sometimes seems. Images of smart machinery have inhabited our thinking an
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The Gamification Guide - How To Gamify Your Class in 3 Stages

The Gamification Guide - How To Gamify Your Class in 3 Stages | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Chris Aviles is the EdTech at Fair Haven schools in NJ. He is also the author of The Gamification Guide. Follow him on Twitter @TechedUpTeacher
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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Review

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes – Review | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
by Lindsay Clandfield I was first pointed to this amazing cooperative and communicative video game by a colleague of mine on Facebook who was raving about playing it with some friends at a party. “You have to defuse a bomb, together!” was all I could remember before I was clicking away and searching it out.…
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Lost Among the Realities: A Guide to #Virtual, #Augmented, and Mixed #Reality 

Lost Among the Realities: A Guide to #Virtual, #Augmented, and Mixed #Reality  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Immersive or augmented experiences are innovative tools that could transform eLearning. This guide explains virtual,
augmented, and mixed realities.
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 Augmented Reality for Everyone

 Augmented Reality for Everyone | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Make AR Experiences and share them with the world
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How to Turn Computer Games into Lesson Plans 

How to Turn Computer Games into Lesson Plans  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Pretty much like every other American child of my day, one of the most pinnacle, memorable experiences of my childhood was playing computer games in school.
Ana Cristina Pratas's insight:
A History of Edutainment

Doubtless most of you are already familiar with the concept, but for the sake of being thorough let me touch on it quickly. Edutainment is the process of educating through the use of popular forms of entertainment. Arguably parables and fairy tales with their moral of the story format are a form of edutainment that has existed for thousands of years. Probably the first example of using modern media methods for edutainment would be the WWII army training films featuring Private Snafu. (Warning, these films are a product of their time and as such reflect many attitudes considered offensive today.) TV shows such as Sesame Street and Schoolhouse Rock moved edutainment into the children’s education demographic in the ‘70s by making subjects like reading, math, civics, and grammar fun for the whole family.

The Oregon Trail brought this concept to the computer. It was written by a then high school student specifically to help teach an 8th grade history class. Though initially written in 1971 it didn’t become popular until the end of that decade, becoming the classic classroom icon it is now through its near universal adoption during the ‘80s.

Edutainment is now a very popular tool in the classroom. Current students tend to be computer savvy gamers with a hefty appetite for active learning. A wide variety of edutainment has been created for the classroom to meet this need. But sometimes purpose built software doesn’t meet the specific needs of a given classroom. When that occurs a teacher may have to get a little creative and find ways to adapt commercially available games meant for private gamers.

At the university level various professors have engaged in novel solutions. For example, Boise State uses Second Life as an interactive classroom. I myself found Empires III surprisingly helpful in learning how the Tokugawa Shogunate came to power during my military history studies. But what about at the highschool level? Have highschool teachers been able to similarly adapt?

Today I’d like to share three real world examples where teachers did precisely this. Hopefully by looking at how they adapted popular games to their classrooms you’ll find inspiration that will help you in your own classrooms. Our three examples are Jeremiah McCall, Dan Bloom, and Don LaBonte.

Civilization IV

Jeremiah McCall had a problem. In his Ancient World History class he wanted to help make the big picture view of how agriculture essentially created civilization stick with his students. To do so he turned to Civilization IV, one of the immensely popular 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate) empire building games created by Sid Meier.

In Civ IV players have significant power over the development of their societies. They can select the location where cities are built. Using workers they can determine the ways the surrounding land is being used through development of infrastructure such as farms, mines, fortifications, etc. When the cities grow large enough players can reassign them into specialized roles. Larger, more efficient cities can sustain larger, more professional militaries useful for protecting less built up cities, while roads connecting them allow for greater distribution of exploitable resources. Players can use more powerful economies to build wonders and structures that support and expand cultural and religious power and select specific governing and civic policies. And all of this leads to an increasingly strong growth of learning and technological development. All of these in turn add up to the player having a variety of ways to influence or even outright absorb neighboring civilizations.

 

These processes all closely model historian David Christian’s core factors of ancient civilizations: agrarian communities, cities and towns, complex division of labor, hierarchies, armies, literate bureaucracies, networks of exchange, systems of religion and ideology, and wider hinterlands. Studying and understanding them both individually and as a collective whole is fundamental to an understanding of how our current civilization came to be. However doing so through selected readings from standard textbooks and writing a few essays about the Natufians, Dadiwans, or Tehuacans tends to be a very static process that does not fully engage the students, resulting in only a shallow degree of learning.

By incorporating Civ IV into the study process, McCall can now fully engage the students. As he instructs on each individual subsection of Christian’s core factors students can go into the game, assume the role of a late Neolithic leader, and specifically manipulate that factor, studying how increases or decreases impact the development of their civilization. This is internalized by the students as they are able to watch the results of their own decisions about how to develop their early farming society unfold before their eyes, and point out to what factors led to the results.

McCall is not the first to use Civ IV in this fashion. While he is putting a much more specific spin on it with his approach (focusing on Christian’s model), Nordahl Grieg Upper Secondary School in Norway has been using Civ in this fashion as well. Teachers Aleksander Husoy and Vegard Relling have been collecting some of the essays and lessons learned presented by their students and publishing them in English. To get a feel for the student view of this learning tool I recommend reading these essays here. It makes for an excellent read.

Minecraft

Dan Bloom teaches biology at the 9th grade level. For him the challenge was to help his students visualize the process of DNA extraction. His students were preparing to do this in an actual science lab experiment, but he wanted to be certain they understood what they were doing and why before ever stepping into the lab.

His novel solution, as is well-detailed in this excellent Edutopia article, was to turn to Minecraft. With the help of a more Minecraft-savvy assistant, he built gigantic biological cells. Students then had to utilize the correct tools (chemicals) in order to properly get into the correct parts of the cell to be able to reach the DNA. Use of the incorrect tool (such as attempting to use salt to break through the cell’s outer membrane) won’t get them anywhere, while the correct tool rapidly moves them forward towards their goal. Through this process students not only learn the how and why of DNA extraction, they are also able to visualize the structures and parts of basic cells in a 3D, interactive environment, further solidifying earlier lessons.

 

According to the Edutopia article, Bloom’s results have been singularly effective. During the experiment students were able to really talk about what they were doing, and even able to extend the knowledge. He reported that some post lab reports even went on to point out that the soaps used to break down cell walls were attacking the fats, and that soap breaks down fats on dirty dishes, thus making the leap between a biology experiment and modern, everyday experiences.

Bloom was interviewed for the Minecraft Minechat channel on YouTube. It’s a fun and excellent breakdown of his use of this very popular game.

Portal 2

Don LaBonte is a teacher and curriculum designer for Chicago’s Convergence Academies. Like Dan Bloom, his goal was to provide students the opportunity to fully engage with the scientific process in a way keyed to their personal sense of fun. As is detailed in this Edutopia article, during an after-school video gaming club meeting he noticed how thoughtful the students were while engaging with the problem solving process involved in Valve’s Portal 2.

 

 

LaBonte realized that Portal 2’s Puzzle Maker feature was able to meet the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices standards. As such students could use a directed framework to follow the scientific method: Come up with a question, design an experiment, get feedback from the experiment, make sense of their results. Given the task to test game players by designing levels, students were able to come up with questions about how players might react to specific puzzles, how quickly they might overcome them, what means they might use, and so on. They then were able to design specific puzzles to test these questions while controlling for factors such as gaming experience, gender, age, and etc. They then ran their experiments, interpreted their results, and presented their findings to the class.

The students were enraptured by this method of learning how to conduct science. “I saw these kids display more joy and pride after passing a level than I ever did when they tried to see if Train A arrived before Train B if they both left Kansas City an hour apart.” Post project discussions were lively and engaging as they discussed problem solving methods, technical issues and solutions, and the fun of creating a successful design.

The Students weren’t the only ones thrilled. Valve was as well. Portal 2’s Puzzle Maker developers from Valve collaborated with Edutopia and several teachers to create a video about using Puzzle Maker in the classroom.

In Short

These are just three examples of the ways teachers have used commercial games as tools in the classroom. Hundreds of games exist with the potential to enhance the learning environment for today’s Nintendo generation. Regardless of the subject you teach there are probably opportunities out there for you just waiting for a little creative application.

James Hinton is a life-long learner who is perpetually a thesis away from his Master’s. He currently hangs his hat in Idaho with his four teenage daughters, fretting over paying for their impending college bills. You can read more of his writing at http://jamiemhinton.wordpress.com/. My twitter is @JamieMHinton

 

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Cartoonize yourself | Cartoonize your photos online 

Cartoonize yourself | Cartoonize your photos online  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Cartoonize your photos, Cartoonize yourself online
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How Minecraft unlocks creativity and collaboration in classrooms

How Minecraft unlocks creativity and collaboration in classrooms | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Microsoft's smash sandbox is expanding to more schools, and teachers claim real benefits.
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Open data as a game

Open data as a game | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Government agencies have collections of data on census demographics to toilet locations, and everything in between.
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Gamification to encourage learner autonomy

Gamification to encourage learner autonomy | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
This post tries to pull together a couple of things I have been thinking about recently. The first was a post I saw on the 21st Centur
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Why Education Needs Augmented—Not Artificial—Intelligence 

Why Education Needs Augmented—Not Artificial—Intelligence  | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Education technology has a public relations problem. In a space where words carry wide currency, our choice of language matters.That’s why I’m troubled by Artificial Intelligence (AI). At a time when educators need assurances that digital innovations will work for them, the fundamental premise of th
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Teaching in a Virtual Environment

Teaching in a Virtual Environment | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
As you can probably tell, I tend to be into how to use digital tools in my teaching. I'm also interested in how to teach in online/virtual environments. I teach in a masters program that is hybrid. This means that about 50% of the time we meet face to face and 50% of the time…
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What you see is not always what you get: how virtual reality can manipulate our minds

What you see is not always what you get: how virtual reality can manipulate our minds | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
Subtle manipulation of virtual reality can radically change how we respond without us even realising it.
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3 uses of Virtual Reality in workplace education

3 uses of Virtual Reality in workplace education | Digital Delights - Avatars, Virtual Worlds, Gamification | Scoop.it
I'm always surprised when someone makes a sweeping declaration such as "No one's using virtual reality in the workplace". I heard this very statement recently at an e-learning conference. Yep, an e-learning conference. Sure, VR is an emerging technology, but as 20 real-world examples of Virtual Reality can attest, early adopters are indeed putting it…
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