Students mindlessly drawing pixels on everything. What is it? It's Minecraft related, duh... "Creepers", as my third graders told me. Even I didn't know much about today's youth hit, Minecraft. In this certain classroom, Minecraft was closely observed in class to see what skills learners are acquiring. Collaboration and and communication skills were needed to help build things in this fantasy world. Problem solving skills were exhibited to find ways out of trouble-- similar to a complicated maze. Turns out this popular game has many important aspects of a well-versed 21st century learner.
Once you find emails in your inbox from students excited about the upcoming week of school regarding the projects they'll be working on, you know you've successfully hooked them on learning. I tried to implement twitter in the classroom last year but I found it a little daunting to try. The way this school set up the project was getting staff on board by joining Twitter and activetly tweeting. Typing letters to the principal and sending through social media mediums like Twitter, is an effective way of spotlighting student work. The teacher even had kids doing extra work because they enjoyed creating for the classroom. They developed QR codes to link to specific classroom sites such as frequently used gaming applications and websites. Great idea! I now know it's possible for third graders to effectively use social media in the classroom!
If you're an educator, you probably know that reading isn't the most popular subject for your students. We need ways to motivate them and excite them about what they can uncover. Trailers in gaming are an essential part of how games market themselves to their customers. In this spin on that, students are creating trailers on books they read to get others to read their recommended books. They can use social media, technology apps to grab readers' attention.
Provides lots of lesson plans on implementing gaming into the classroom with a hint of how to also incorporate social media into the engagement and takeaway portions of the lessons. I enjoyed reading about how learners can how to use critical thinking skills to create their own digital worlds and simulate happenings. The cause and effect aspects of such gaming lead to a great deal of learning through trial and error. Fortunately, games can just start over when they fail(die).
"Have you ever wanted to capture a moment in time so that it didn't get lost in the constantly changing world? Ms. Lacerte and I want to give you that opportunity. We will show you how to encapsulate your world with a unique, meaningful, and expressive art form – poetry! As we've already learned, poetry is everywhere and as you’ll learn during this project, it can be ‘on the go’!
So, what does this all mean? It means you will be creating a poetry time capsule! It won’t be poetry for the sake of writing poetry, it will be Poetry4Now!"
Use of educational apps to post poetry to Blogger and Twitter using specific hashtags to allow other students to find their posts. Apps utilizied were Audio Boo, Pic Collage, Poetry Everywhere, Note Taking, and Camera App. Students created a time capsule with poetry. This could apply to gaming by students tweeting out specific gaming dialogue or gaming statistics to challenge their peers on high scores, etc.
Dr. Rankin, professor of History at UT Dallas, wanted to know how to reach more students and involve more people in class discussions both in and out of the ...
Cell phones and social media are sometimes viewed as the anti-thesis of paying attention and staying engaged in class. I'm doing this for the first time this semester, what I am calling "the Social Media Classroom" and so far, it's been fruitful.
This video was all about getting students to voice their opinions and communicate in the classroom. Sometimes, raising your hand to ask questions and particpate can be hard for some personalities. Using Twitter for the classroom discussion gets everyone's input. Shy students really benefit from using this platform for classroom discussions. Texting can continue throughout the semester-- even when school isn't in session using social media to drive the conversation.
Covering the pros and cons of gaming, at least in the minds of some educators. I've covered the pros in depth here, so I'll review the concerns here. Some feel like violence in games can be a poor influence on impressionable children. Opponents claim that kids play games at home so why should they play them at school? Difficulty monitoring online activity; funding and resource allocation are also major reasons some are apprehensive over video games in school. Do I personally agree with them? No. But I was also raised in an environment that nurtured my love for gaming. Some of these questions should merit constructive conversations at the next faculty/staff meeting.
Pretty cool slideshow showing the funny memes in gaming. Memes can be a fun writing assignment that allow students to express creativity with their own individual flair. Sites such as http://memegenerator.net are dedicated to allowing users to pick a picture or upload one of their choice and coin a catchy saying that makes others laugh. Try it with your kids, I bet they'll love it. Memes are "in" right now.
More evidence to support how games in the classroom improve student performance and learning retention. Being user-friendly, personalizing instruction, increasing engagement, and familiarity to technology based applications are reasons cited for their effectiveness. Games stimulate the brain, grabs and focuses attention, and motivate learning through stimulation, and allowing the user to take ownership by controlling their own actions. Infographics like this are a great tool to display on your classroom website or show at conferences. There's always going to be doubters when they hear the name "games" in school.
There’s something wrong with the cover of Chip Kidd’s new book, Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. The word GO, in block letters, sits smack in the middle of a bright red stop sign. Kidd is messing with kids. He’s allowed — after all, Kidd designed some of the most iconic book covers in circulation. (Remember the skeletal dinosaur on Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park? That’s him). The front of Kidd’s book is the first lesson in a series of humorous, playful looks at the basics of graphic design, aimed at kids 10 and up — leading into concepts like form, typography, scale, and color theory. We talked to the graphic design guru about writing for kids and what young’uns need to know to come gunning for his job.
Opinion piece on the advantages of developing a good sense of graphic design at a young age. Chip Kidd designed Jurassic Park's iconic book cover design. He states that sophisted concepts can be introduce to kids even though it's know they may not be fully understood until they developmentally mature. Apps on phones can help utilize design elements and teach about their effectiveness. Larger ideas such as social change and problem solving are at the forefront of the push to add graphic design courses for younger students.
Most kids have smartphones these days-- some of my students last year had better phones than I did. I'll save the teachers are underpaid rant for later...
Insert .gif. Everyone loves a gif. Go visit a gaming board such as http://ign.com and you'll see plenty of them. The reason they're so engaging is because the options are limitless. They're also hilarious at times, too. Screen captures can allow gamers to record their notable gaming moments and turn those into replayable gifs using software, for example, Adobe Flash, Photoshop, or even sites that don't require the fancy hardware like http://makeagif.com. What better way to incorporate tech tools than to allow students to create a project based on their own gaming interests. Sounds like a hit to me.
Gaben is at it again! Google "Gaben" to see what I'm referring to. Gabe Newell is the mastermind behind Valve and their creation Steam which is a gaming platform know to offer games great deals year-around. Now Steam is opening doors for students by offering free games for educators. These games focus on the STEM( Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning. Games have an emphasis on critical thinking, spatial reasoning, problem solving, iteration, collaboration, and inquiry- based learning. http://teachwithportals.com gives teachers access to puzzle building games that are actually cool and hip with students! Way to go, Gaben!
Women/girls are becoming more interested in gaming. Long gone are the days where gamers were being classified as the nerdy, geeky thing to do. Social games such as Farmville, and Bejeweled Blitz have provided a way for ladies to enter the gaming industry. Seriously, who else gets 100+ notifications to play Bejewelled? I can't be the only one...
Back to the topic. What this means: As educators, most of your students will like gaming. Find ways to implement meaingful gaming opportunities for a change of pace. Keep your clienele on their toes!
Geared around fostering participation through a feature called "Your Turn". This is where educators can pose a question, provide a prompt, or ask participants to complete more tasks. It can be adapted for younger grades but was used in this example for higher education. It is a social media site that teaches students how to be innovative and responsible with social media.
SimCeo was introduced by an educator on Earth Day as a way of getting students to brainstorm ideas on how to reduce carbon footprints and help save the earth. SimCeo is an online simulation. It brings in innovation and allows for students to interact and make difficult decisions in real time. Blogging was used here to share reactions and solutions with peers.
Laws of physics was taught to ninth graders using the game Angry Birds. World of Warcarft is used to teach language arts to middle schoolers. Important lessons can be learned in both games. Elements like projectile motion, reasoning, and teamwork were reasons cited for implementing these games into the daily schedule.
With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have developed an interactive computer simulation for middle grades science students to learn scientific inquiry and 21st century skills. River City has the look and feel of a videogame but contains content developed from National Science Education Standards, National Educational Technology Standards, and 21st Century SkillsDevelop an understanding of the scientific method through inquiry and teamwork, as well as an appreciation for history and environmental issues.
One of the two big NSF projects for educational gaming on this list, with several years of research following its progress. This Harvard product is freely available to schools, but only on disc through the mail. The team prefers sending it to teachers wishing to use the program in science classes. Chris Dede spearheaded the project.
Awesome! Students travel back in time bring their current knowledge and skills to address issues of the past. Find solutions to health issues of the 19th century is the focus of the game. Students use technology and social media outlets to find solutions to everything that is plauging their old timey city.
The rise of experiential learning has challenged traditional delivery models and led to an increase in the application of gaming to promote learning in higher education. As such, computer-based games are being used more and more to motivate students, encourage engagement, and ultimately improve learning outcomes. Games, overall, are well aligned with a constructivist model of learning in which students become active participants in the learning process through exploration. The education environment through social media gaming, in particular, changes from passive to active as learning activities require active engagement and tend to leverage one's personal experiences. This case study illustrates the benefits students in a blended learning course derive from using a game designed on the SCVNGR platform for smartphones. Feedback from students indicates increased collaborative learning and teamwork. The case study further elaborates on the broader advantages, challenges, and opportunities of using various digital games for learning and teaching in higher education.
This teacher set up a scavenger hunt game and used social media as a means of reporting their results and organize data. The game infused a mentality of camaraderie within the student groups. They reflected on the experience positively more specificly describing it as "fun", "exciting", and "had a great time". In a nut shell, that's what teaching and school should be about-- great experiences that make students ready to go to school each and every day. It's possible to create a positive classroom culture through gaming and social media.
Technology can be expensive. Many school budgets are currently suffering from spending cuts. A growing trend is skilling the Apple computer, which cost a pretty penny, and go for the much cheaper, Chromebooks. Getting tech in the hands of more kids is a great first step towards reducing the ratio between students to technological devices. These 5 Chromebook apps are good to review-- especially if your school doesn't have a PTA/PTO that provides money handouts for purchases. Science, math, and communication apps are highlighted here.
Plethora of educational gaming sites that are geared towards elementary students. I've used http://funbrain.com and http://abcya.com before with my Kindergartners. A center-orientated system could be effective in getting kids to rotate from computer to computer, entrenching them in different subjects such as reading, writing, spelling, and math.
From Angry Birds to Minecraft, gaming holds extraordinary potential for today’s students Gaming. It’s more than a buzzword in today’s schools, but it still sometimes carries a stigma–is gaming really an effective way for students to learn?
Names the 5 most addictive appropriate games in education to date. The list includes, Civilization 5, League of Legends, Plants vs. Zombies 2, Angry Birds and Minecraft. Factors that make these games especially addicting are providing purpose, freedom, choice, challenges, free exploration, and get bonuses. Speaking of a bonus, "Mr. Boss"....
In 2014, you can't create a great game without including a good storyline. Games are becoming more and more cinematic; they almost play out like a movie at times.These storytelling apps can incite excitement for writing-- especially apps like Strip Designer. Comic book are currently trending in Google Trends. Comic book creation can provide a simplistic way to devleoping sequential ideas in a manner that makes sense to the reader.
"If your class is like mine, the kids are always talking about playing video games! Rather than discouraging that interest, I want to harness it to encourage a higher level of thinking in my class. That is exactly what happens when kids explore coding. I love watching their faces as they try to process that people have to "tell" technology what to do in order for a game to work.
For many kids, the thought of creating games is even more exciting than playing them. Supporting their interest in gaming is important because the process of coding promotes problem-solving, creativity, collaboration and communication skills. Below I have listed four apps that are great places to start learning about coding with young kids. '
Games don't grow on trees. They have to be created by a human droid that writes thousands and thousands lines of code. Ask your class,"If you want to make video games when you grow up, raise your hand "? I'd bet as you glance around the room, most of your students' hands would be up. Coding is the source that makes it all possible. Introducing coding concepts at an early age also makes it easier to learn-- much like learning a foreign language as a kid is easier than learning as an adult. These apps are free and can provide a platform to at least introduce the beginning concepts of gaming. What should the character be doing, how do I end the story, who saves the princess, etc. One I've used in my classroom is Daisy the Dinosaur.
Games create a non-threatening environment in which it is not only safe to fail, but expected. When you’re playing a game, you are consistently rewarded for perseverance and effort. Fujimoto describes how trying to fail on purpose–while playing Angry Birds, for instance–often teaches him something and gives him ideas about how to defeat the green pigs next time around.
You died... You accomplished a lot but in the end, your character just couldn't live on. What do you do? You restart the game. Failing is something most people don't deal with very well. A valuable lesson gaming teaches students is that it is okay to fail-- there's always the chance to restart the level and try again. Persistence is being taught. Studies show that about 80% of the time someone plays a video game, they fail. They fall off a cliff, get shot, or run out of resources. There's a million other reasons they could die as well. Learning takes place when you die. If you fell, well, know you now not to go there next time. If you get shot, that's a good indication that your previous hiding spot wasn't such a great one, after all. Be resilent, and keep gaming. Don't give up just because you failed. Odds are, I failed, too.
"In 2013, sandbox video games (like Skyrim, Fallout 3, SimCity, Civ 5, Prototype 2, Garry’s Mod, and others) have changed gaming more than a little. Players can now define their own terms for success, and the evolution of certain gamification elements makes this more than a fantasy in the minds of the players. There really are multiple measures of success. In fact, there are games today that have no endgame at all. There may be a finishing sequence to the narrative — some final quest fulfilled or objective accomplished — but even then there’s oodles more gameworld to explore: character journals to read, side-quests to complete, and missions to replay so that you can refine your performance. It’s never really over, and rather than being maddening, this is indicative of a trend seemingly encouraged by the digital universe into which we all duck our heads each day."
Check my Steam game log hours and you'll find the following: Sid Meier's Civilization IV 119. Wait, that cannot be right. Let me check that again.... OH MY... I need to get outside more.
That kind of immersion can be found in many other sandbox games like the Fallout series or Grand Theft Auto. I'm not advocating those two games should be played in school, because they're probably not appropriate. The takeaway is how addicting and time consuming they can be for learners. I didn't realize I spent over 119 hours on one game. In fact, I've played games with more hours on my log. Civ 5, teachers facts about history by restarting civilization and building from there. You have to pick what kind of win you want to go for. Army dominated, technology based, or culutural victories are all options. There's no endgame. You can literally play the game forever and still not be done with it. That's the point. Education needs to be a continual learning cycle where the endpoint is nonexistant.
Now off to contemplate how to create my own sandbox hit...
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