"Minecraft has proven to be an invaluable tool for educators and students. Not only is the game popular with children and adults, but its open, customisable nature means it can be used for all sorts of different purposes. Like learning to code, understanding Britain's geography and reimagining modern art. Microsoft clearly knows this, so it's launching anew portal where teachers can discuss the game and share classroom resources. The full site isn't live just yet, but the trailer below gives you an idea of what Microsoft and Mojang are aiming for. After this and its Hololens demonstration, it's clear the company sees its $2.5 billion acquisition as more than just a game with a guaranteed smash-hit sequel."
This strange procession continues through 100 levels, with no explanation or elaboration. Addition, multiplication, division, fractions—all of them appear, without fanfare or explanation. By game’s end, at level 100, you’ve moved seamlessly, baby step by baby step, from a cute baby dragon eating a spiky two-headed lizard, to this: “2 over x plus d over e equals b over x,” which you solve, fearlessly and perhaps even a bit impatiently, in exactly 14 steps. You are 4 years old.
"Watson has now been trained in molecular biology and finance, written a cookbook, been put to work in oil exploration. It is learning to help solve crimes. This fall, Wired aired predictions that Watson would soon be the world’s most perfect medical diagnostician. It has folded so seamlessly into the world that, according to IBM, the Watson program has been applied in 75 industries in 17 countries, and tens of thousands of people are using its applications in their own work. In these experiences, Watson has functioned as an early probe into the relationship between humans and intelligent machines — what we need from them, what gaps they fill, what fears they generate.
"The honest way into philosophy is by accident, through the disorienting flash of a new experience. Watson’s creators, many of whom have worked on the project since its inception, talk about their machine differently than Tegmark does. They see a chronology of experiences, of developing skills and propulsive failures, as if the machine had its own biography. Some of them describe their experience with Watson in more personal terms, as if they were the parent and the machine the child. Last October, IBM moved the project into a new home, a foreboding office tower that inscribes shadows over Astor Place, which has given Watson a neat, humanlike path through time: Its early years spent in a family atmosphere in the suburbs; then an educational course to prepare it to support itself in a more complicated world; then, to make money, a move to the East Village and a search for employment. It has also meant that it is possible to leave your office, as I did one recent afternoon, walk across lower Manhattan, take an elevator upstairs, situate yourself before a stadium of screens, notice what looks like a small stack of hard drives in the corner, contemplate the human place in the scheme of things, and hear a placid computerized voice say, “Hello, Watson here. What are we working on today?”
In front of a smartphone, two players meet. They each grab half the device, preparing to play. But instead of a competitive matchup, they begin to rock and spin the phone, each holding their end of the phone tightly. In a few moments, through awkward giggles, they are twisting and spinning; the game forces them into a clumsy dance.
But mobile game Bounden isn't just about making players feel a little strange while pulling them outside their comfort zones. The unique game is also being honored by the Games for Change Awards (which highlights games that have a particular social impact) as an innovator when it comes to getting players to connect."
I contend that play is also the work of many writers. Much has been written about the traits or craft of writing, best instructional practices, and specific methodologies that serve so many important purposes. Paying serious attention to serious play taught me something more, though: these traditional approaches, while powerful in their own right, often alienate those who need to move, make, and game in order to write well. We’re losing these writers in schools and in our communities. They have important things to say and critical contributions to make.
DropTask is a free visual task management app that is web based and available on iOS and Android. It is easy to use and lets you create a visual to do list that is color coded and with lots of features. You can take notes, chat with others, attach files, set reminders, work with others, and more. It is a very beautiful interface with drag and drop functionality.
I'm happy to announce that I have just been appointed Director of the brand new Possibility Zone Makerspace at Kean University. This is part of a long-term grant and will have a focus on STEM students and professors and the preparation of pre-service K-12 STEM teachers.
As part of the project, I plan to start a new Scoop.it topic on Makerspaces very soon. I'm looking for blogs, websites, wikis, videos, ezines, ebooks, paper.li feeds, etc. that deal with Makerspaces and things related to them. Basically, I want to set up an information flow to curate.
If you have an idea or resource for me to check out, could you please send it? I think a helpful way would be to use the "Reactions" link that appears on the bottom left of this Scoop.it window when you mouse over it. (If you're reading this, it's likely that you can see it now.) Please be sure to include URLs in your suggestions.
Thank you so much for your help. I'm really looking forward to this new opportunity and hope to be of assistance to others through the new topic here on Scoop.it.
PS - The photo is not of our Makerspace at Kean, but one at the Cincinnati Public Library. We have just started to create /design our space. What fun!
While it’s not uncommon to hear students say “I hate school,” some are really suffering and desperately want out.
I can relate.
I became an educator not because I loved school, but because I was bored and miserable in school. I wanted to figure out how to change that for others. I started this blog to share ideas about how to do that.
Like my own experience, many students today are bored and disengaged for many hours each day, despite the best efforts of their teachers and parents to try to help them make the most of school. Many are depressed. They feel a complete lack of control over their lives, and have a bleak view of the future.
Jim Lerman's insight:
This seems like a good idea to me. Please read on and contribute if the concept resonates with you. Also, please pass along to your network, if you can.
Students are motivated due to personal choice and meaningfulness, real-time feedback, the ability to collaborate or compete, and over time, they learn stay persistent in learning due to prior successes. Quest tasks can range from listening to a podcast, collecting and analyzing real-time data, or watching a short video to partnering with a classmate for discussion or writing a short essay. As students complete each quest, they can level up to new assignments on their journey toward an “A.” Teachers have the ability to approve quests or put them on auto-approval so students can keep progressing while waiting for their teacher’s feedback on milestone work. Early research showed that on average students remained more persistent in quest-based learning™ compared to traditional assignments, with over 92 percent of students receiving “A’s,” and over 65 percent who continued to quest in a course after they already earned an “A.”
"Many websites are launching platform-based educational games that may help "non-gaming" teachers -- those who do not play digital games in their free time -- incorporate more games into their instruction, middle-grades educator Matthew Farber writes in this blog post. Farber highlights the benefits of platforms, such as GlassLab, which offers games such as "SimCityEDU," and reports student-competency data to teachers."
By many measures, Quest is on track to fulfill its mission of captivating students and imparting essential skills at the same time. Since its opening, the school in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood has drawn students from all over the city, adding a grade every year; it now has 560 students, and in 2016 will graduate its first class of high school seniors. Student attendance and teacher retention rates are high. In 2013, 56 percent of Quest middle-school students scored better than the citywide average on the state standardized English Language Arts exams, and 43 percent exceeded the citywide average for math. About 28 percent of the student body receives special education services.
“They’re coming up with the ideas themselves, in a way that they enjoy. And that makes all the difference.” Ann Meals, a teacher learning the Quest method.
"Perhaps more significant, said Richard Arum, a professor of sociology and education at New York University, who has been conducting a longitudinal study of Quest and other technology-based programs to gauge their efficacy, is how well students have performed on the College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA). The CWRA measures such skills as problem solving, writing effectiveness and mechanics, and scientific and quantitative reasoning. The results, while preliminary, “are quite impressive,” said Arum, and indicate that Quest is equipping kids “to collaborate, think critically and master 21st-century competencies like systems thinking and design thinking.”
"Choice of Robots is a recent large-scale Choice of Games piece: you take the role of a gifted young graduate student in robotics, about to make significant breakthroughs in your field, generating a line of robots that might become surgeons, soldiers, companions, factory workers. Your choices include design decisions for the robots and business decisions about how to manufacture and sell them, but also personal decisions about how to relate to your robot creations, and what you think it all means. The scope of your activities is such that you may find yourself flying to Shanghai to take meetings, or spending months in a military jail, or preventing the invasion of Taiwan — and along the way it’s pretty likely that you’ll also make a considerable personal fortune, which you can choose to spend on luxuries, philanthropy, or a mix of things."
"With the thousands of educational apps vying for the attention of busy teachers, it can be hard to sift for the gold. Michelle Luhtala, a savvy librarian from New Canaan High School in Connecticut has crowd-sourced the best, most extensive list of apps voted on by educators around the country.
“I wanted to make sure we had some flexibility because there’s no one app that’s better than all the others,” Luhtala said. Some apps are best for younger students, others are more complicated, better suited for high school students. Many apps do one thing really well, but aren’t great at everything. Still others are bought, redesigned or just disappear — so it’s always good to know about an array of tools to suit the need at hand."
There’s no shortage of nit-picking gamers who feel they could easily make better video games than what’s being released every week. And thanks to a new iPad app called Toy Engine, they can put their money where their mouths are and design their own side-scrolling video game, even if they’ve never written a single line of code.
In 2012, the Educational Testing Service, the folks who bring you the SAT, formed a partnership with, among others, the video game giant Electronic Arts, the folks who bring you Madden NFL, Mass Effect, and Battlefield 3. The result is an experimental nonprofit dubbed the Games, Learning and Assessment Lab, or GlassLab.
Based at Electronic Arts’ Silicon Valley headquarters, GlassLab is bristling with PhD-level learning scientists and assessment experts who are experimenting with ways to combine game mechanics with academic content. The effort’s ultimate aim is essentially to do away with standardized testing as we know it.
Here are examples I’ve found of rebels working on Game Based Learning, Gamification, Game Overlays, or whatever they call this where you are. :-) Building their own ships to sail into the relatively uncharted waters of creating classrooms as games. If you know of a course game that isn’t included, or a correction, please let me know! (contact form at bottom of page)
We make it easy for you to implement social-emotional learning in your classroom by knocking down implementation barriers – like time constraints and curriculum integration – so you can meet your classroom’s needs. You decide what works best to assess, target, and improve your students’ social-emotional skills.
We’ve put together a list of the diverse ways you can use our games. Feel free to use one of our ideas, or channel your creativity and come up with your own. Share your ideas with us, and if we add one of your suggestions to this page, we’ll give you credit!
A just-released alternate reality game called DUST is trying to encourage teens, especially girls and minorities, to get excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The premise of DUST is one that might appeal to middle and high school-aged students. In the game, adults worldwide fall unconscious because of mysterious dust from a meteor shower. It is up to the players, whose target ages are 13-17, to save the world (and their parents' lives) by the end of seven weeks of play.
Over the course of the game, players receive new parts of the story and science clues two to three times a week through social media, email and game apps. They work as a community to add their own input, guide the action, do research and provide solutions to help rescue the adult characters.
"In DUST there are no fixed outcomes," said Bill Cirillo, the NASA Langley Research Center aerospace engineer who started working with the game's developers almost two years ago. "It's up to the students to move the story along and do problem solving using the scientific method and critical thinking skills."
Alternate reality games are interactive networked stories that use the real world as a backdrop. Players sign onto a website to interact directly with characters in the game and use a variety of media platforms, such as the Web; social media apps including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram; email; cell phones; museums and even printed materials to collaborate with each other and solve mysteries or puzzles.
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Current events articles are a great choice for informational text. Students can learn all about news stories and practice reading skills at the same time. If you have a class full of students reading at different levels you’ll definitely want to check out Newsela. This fantastic site contains brand new articles everyday. The best part is that you can change the Lexile level of each article by clicking on the one that’s right for your students. You can share the same article at a few different levels with each of your reading groups.
Digital games have the potential to transform K-12 education as we know it. But what has been the real experience among teachers who use games in the classroom? In 2013, the Games and Learning Publishing Council conducted a national survey among nearly 700 K-8 teachers. The report reveals key findings from the survey, and looks at how often and why teachers use games in the classroom, as well as issues they encounter in their efforts to implement digital games into their practice.
One of the most promising developments in game-based learning is the launch of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance. This unique alliance was launched at the Aspen Ideas Festival last summer. Excelsior College is one of the 57 charter members. The founding and executive committee members of HEGVA include Constance Steinkuehler, associate professor and co-director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Games+Learning+Society Center; Tracy Fullerton, associate professor and director of USC Games at the University of Southern California; Andrew Phelps, professor and director of the Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity [Dr. Phelps is also a member of Excelsior’s Game Center Advisory Council]; Drew Davidson, professor and director of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University; and Katherine Isbister, associate professor and director of the Game Innovation Lab at New York University. To quote the alliance’s mission statement, “Our mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources—including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding—in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment."
The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning started as a series of blog posts written by Jordan Shapiro with support from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Games and Learning Publishing Council. We’ve brought together what we felt would be the most relevant highlights of Jordan’s reporting to create a dynamic, in-depth guide that answers many of the most pressing questions that educators, parents, and life-long learners have raised around using digital games for learning.
"The SGS has been designed to bring together the cutting edge companies, institutions and individuals researching on and developing Serious Games. We focus on helping members in connecting and benefiting from the wide range of resources available in the Serious Games space.
"The SGS aims at becoming the reference point on Serious Games and Gamification at the scientific, technological and professional level.
The SGS’s core purpose is to foster technological innovation and excellence in the field of Serious Games and Gamification for the benefit of all the people.
"The SGS fosters research and technology transfer between research, industry and educational establishment in the multiple disciplines involved in SGs design, development and deployment. The SGS provides a platform at European and international level for generation, promotion and co-ordination of SG-related activities, from research to marketing, from corporate training to university education. The SGS promotes the development and use of Serious Games across sectors (health, business, cultural heritage, etc.) and contexts of use (formal education, corporate training, leisure time). We aim to extend the application domains and expand the market for Serious Games."
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