John Keilamn is a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. We are meeting with him today to discuss his wonderful article on Minecraft."
streamed live on May 10,2014
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by Catlin Tucker
"This comprehensive guide published by MindShift and written by Jordan Shapiro explores the benefits of using digital games for learning, provides strategies for selecting games, and includes examples of how educators are using digital games in the classroom. Ultimately, the goal is to use digital games to engage students and put them at the center of the learning in the classroom."
by Dian Schaffhauser
"Well-designed games have an intrinsic motivation that drives players through the experience, and that persistence can be put to good use in the classroom. Take a math example: Many students have trouble working with fractions. According to Rebecca Rufo-Tepper, director of professional development for the nonprofitInstitute of Play, any game that expects to replace the traditional drill-and-kill worksheet approach to fractions needs to place the students into a space where solving fraction problems is repeated, but in a way that gets "increasingly complex and ... where there's some kind of strategy involved and there's also some kind of fun and play element to it. For us, a really great game will automatically make a player want to keep playing it."
"A similar approach can be used to help students practice analyzing text. Institute of Play has developed a game called StoryWeaver in which students collaborate to create a story. This requires what Rufo-Tepper calls "systems thinking," which leads students to understand the relationships within and among components. To play the game, "You start by pulling a setting card," said Rufo-Tepper. "The card says the setting is on Mars. You have to write a few sentences about the setting. You have to use a spinner to pick whether you're in first person or third person. You might write a few sentences and then you pass the story to the next partner, and they have to add in a character. They draw a character card and the character is a mouse. OK, now you've got mice on Mars. What's happening here?"
"In the first round of play, the students create a story that has a character, a setting and a conflict. In the second round of the story, they go back through the story to add in metaphors, similes and edits. By the third round, "they have a pretty good draft of a story together," said Rufo-Tepper.
"The game then asks the students to express how having that specific character in that particular setting affected the kind of conflict that took place, "to see the story as a system and see how all these discreet elements of the story interact. That's much more powerful than just being able to identify the plot of a story and a setting of a story," noted Rufo-Tepper. The goal, she said, is for students to understand that the story "creates this system and these things all need to align to create a coherent message for the audience. For me, that's much better to use than just having them just read through a story and answer a worksheet."
Jim Lerman's insight: Excellent article, providing numerous examples and resources.
by Christopher Piehler
"Next week, Filament Games is hosting Operation Play, a week-long initiative designed to encourage educators to use games in their classrooms. To promote the event, the company is collaborating with education partners including BrainPOP,GlassLab Games, MIT, Institute of Play, iCivics, Ballard & Tighe,GamesandLearning.org, WorkingExamples.org, LearningRevolution.com andedWeb.net. Together, the partners will compile resources for educators on implementing and supporting game‐based learning.
"The initiative will begin on Sept. 15 with the grand opening of the Operation Play Resource Center. Educators interested in game-based learning can visit the page to explore research, articles, case studies, video series, games and curriculum.
"Other highlights of Operation Play, which runs through Sept. 19, include podcasts featuring educators’ experiences with implementing games in their classrooms; free sessions for educators, researchers and game developers at the Gaming in Ed conference; pre‐recorded webinars; and giveaways via Filament Games’ social media channels.
"For a complete list of events and more information, visit the Operation Play Resource Center."
Jim Lerman's insight:
My fantastic daughter is headlining a terrific jazz-driven tap show at Dizzy's Coca-Cola this coming Monday as part of The Coca-Cola Generations in Jazz Festival.
Student tickets are only $10. Act now for best seats. To make a reservation, click on the image or headline above.
This is a wonderful show, taking place in one of the greatest jazz nightclubs in NYC.
"Put your powers of persuasion to the ultimate planetary test!
by Dean Takahashi
"Hawkins — the charismatic founder of game publishers 3DO, Electronic Arts, and Digital Chocolate — has a new passion to teach children the social and emotional skills (SEL) that they don’t learn in school. He has a story-based app that gets lessons across that help kids deal with emotions and problems like bullies. But rather than launch it as a free-to-play game, Hawkins has gone a different route, releasing it instead as a subscription game....
"While the first chapter is free, subsequent chapters require a monthly subscription fee of $5 per month. Hawkins believes that parents will like this better than the somewhat risky free-to-play model, where children sometimes get into trouble by spending too much real money on virtual goods.
"Hawkins also said that each chapter will contain a few hours of gameplay as parents don’t want games to consume an inordinate amount of a child’s time. The dashboard app is a tool for parents to help monitor their children’s accomplishments and keep them motivated to do more.
"Hawkins said that the game is aimed at helping kids manage difficult emotions, persevere through challenges, make healthy decisions, and show empathy and compassion. As important as all of this is, most schools don’t teach it."
At first glance, it might seem like the students who attend the private K-12 New Roads School in Santa Monica, California, are simply playing video and computer games all day. But these students are actually taking part in a new experiment in educational innovation. The NewsHour’s April Brown reports on one school’s approach to keep students engaged all day. Continue reading →
by Donelle Batty
"After watching my students play Minecraft for the past few years, it has become obvious to me that they gain so much from game play. It provides a space for them to connect, to be and to grow as young men and women. It completely delights me when I hear how supportive they are of other players, taking on roles of mentors, community builders and leaders. Demonstrating in each instance behaviours that are often not openly captured easily in face to face interactions by their teacher or other significant adults. Behaviours that identify strong values and beliefs around equity, fairness, trust and acceptance of difference.
"Having opportunity to watch without impacting on their game play is truly remarkable. We have a dynmap (dynamic map, a map of the Minecraft server worlds that shows where they are and their in-game conversations) set up so I can do this without interrupting their play, without impacting with my presence. They are all aware that I use it to watch, and I do say hi, as I believe it is important that they know I’m around. By using the dynmap it just means I’m not physically appearing in the game, so their play is not impeded by me. This vantage point has enabled me to see the value games have in a learning context with regard to self esteem building, negotiating ones way around social interactions and building resilience. As a result of this, I was particularly interested in attending the paper presentations on Social/Emotional Skills."
by Kay Alexander
"Google Education announced another service targeting teachers across the globe. Google Educator Groups (GEG) is a program that wants to support communities of educators, online as well as offline and aiming to help teachers to learn, share, and inspire each other to meet the needs of their students through technology solutions, both in the classroom and beyond.
"Google Educator Groups are essentially personal learning networks (PLN) that use Google+ as its backbone. The local GEGs are organized by volunteers and entirely independent from Google.
"At launch there are 51 GEGs across the world with USA, Romania and the Czech Republic having the most local groups established. GEGs offer different activities to learn and share with like minded educators. Teachers connect online via discussions and Hangouts or in the real world through meetups, workshops and other events."
by Dan Tynans
"I found him parked in front of his Xbox, playing Grand Theft Auto IV. Rather than embed lessons inside the plot of a role-playing game, The Social Express uses brief webisodes that target specific situations and model appropriate behavior, CEO Marc Zimmerman says."
by Karl Kapp
"One of the strengths of gamification is that it provides visible milestones of the student’s mastery of content in real time (when it is well designed). Too often in an instructional setting, the learner doesn’t know whether or not he or she really understands or can apply the knowledge they are learning. There is often no visible sign of mastery of the content or application of the content.
Jim Lerman's insight: Excellent article for anyone who designs sequenced learning experiences.
by Ching-Fu Lan
"The world is becoming more connected than ever, but students' interest in learning geography, one of the most important foundations for understanding global issues, is declining. Drawing on research that suggests computer simulations are effective tools to engage students in meaningful learning, the authors explored the potential of the computer simulation game Global Village, a virtual world developed in the Quest Atlantis game platform, for geography education."
On Mondays, we publish a Times photo without a caption, headline or other information about its origins. Join the conversation by posting about what you see, and why. A live discussion is offered from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time.
"Welcome back, students and teachers.
"We’re excited to begin our third year of “What’s Going On in This Picture?”, and we’re thrilled it continues to be one of the most popular features we offer. Teachers tell us they use it for everything from helping students strengthen their skills in evidence-finding to encouraging E.L.L. students to practice speaking aloud.
"We hope students will continue to join our moderators at Visual Thinking Strategies in responding to other students, making the feature truly an inter-school conversation. Below, we explain all the directions that we post on Mondays with each new photo.
"Thank you for participating."
by Kati Lepi
"Getting students actively engaged and learning by leveraging the power of gamification in the classroom is a hot trend these days. The idea of getting students learning, sharing, and laughing by using gamification shows great promise, to be sure.
But where should you start in terms of finding the tools that will actually help you out?
"PBS Learning Media thought it might be useful to give you a little help in that department. Below are just a select number of useful apps and web tools that they’ve curated and know will help any classroom take a different approach to learning about some basic ideas. For example, Star Swiper is a very fun way to get younger students (pre-k through 2nd grade) clapping in order to get stars to appear. How neat is that?"
"Thanks to everyone that joined us in the live session for “Gaming for Literacy! CCSS and Text Complexity in Video Games” with Lee Ann Tysseling, Associate Professor of Literacy at Boise State University and author of Word Travelers: Using Digital Tools to Explore Vocabulary and Develop Independent Learners.
"If you attended the live session and do not receive your certificate within 24 hours of the live event, please email us at email@example.com.
"If you missed the live presentation, links to the recording, resources, and quiz are all posted in the Resource Library. If you didn’t attend live, watch the recording and take the quiz in order to receive your CE certificate."
Jim Lerman's insight
Free registration on the EdWeb site is required. Webinar and all EdWeb resources are also free.
"Games show promise in improving students’ problem solving skills, learning motivation and engagement, and their test scores. They are also well-suited for assessments, as demonstrated in the 2010 National Education Technology Plan where U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called for more research about how “assessment technologies, such as simulations, collaborative environments, virtual worlds, games, and cognitive tutors, can be used to engage and motivate learners while assessing complex skills.
"Although games have been used mainly for learning and assessment in the core academic subjects, they hold significant promise for other areas, such as social skills.
Long-Term Effects of Positive Peer Relationships
"Social skills assessments (SSA) identify children’s social skills strengths and deficits, enabling teachers, counselors, and other providers to address areas of weakness through social skills training. Through social skills training, children can learn to build positive relationships with their peers, which helps increase children’s grades, test scores, and self-esteem, as well as improve their physical and mental health."
"NEW YORK, July 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering announced today that Katherine Isbister, an associate professor of computer science, director of the school's Game Innovation Lab, and a member of the faculty of the NYU Game Center of the Tisch School of the Arts, has become a founding member of the executive board of The Higher Education Video Game Alliance. Fellow NYU Professor Jan L. Plass, of the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and co-director of the Games for Learning Institute, will become a charter member of the group, and other members of NYU'sMedia and Games Network (MAGNET) are expected to become major participants in the alliance's activities.
"Launched today at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the alliance will provide a platform for leading academics to showcase the critical role video game programs are playing in educating and preparing students for the 21st century workforce. The group will afford its members, including professors and other campus leadership, an opportunity to share and highlight best practices, publish research, initiate and strengthen industry connections, educate, and engage policymakers and the media."
from the website
$1 MILLION PRIZE TO THE WINNER
The Global Teacher Prize is an annual one million dollar award from the Varkey GEMS Foundation to be given to a super-special teacher. One innovative and caring teacher who has made an inspirational impact on their students and their community will receive the reward of a lifetime. If you’re a teacher, you can apply today. If you know a teacher who deserves to win the Global Teacher Prize, you can nominate a teacher.
by Tanner Higgin
"Summer break presents the perfect opportunity for students to dig into games and build skills that'll reap huge rewards when they return in the fall. Game making can be one of the best ways to get students thinking creatively while cultivating useful technical literacies, and there's a ton of absorbing tools that students won't tire of over the long break. Here are three options to choose from depending on the type of technology students have at home."
by Emily Short
REVIEWS OF 2 NEW GAMES
"More is a Shufflecomp game, based on a whole big batch of different songs. Structurally it reminded me quite a bit of Tea and Toast: both pieces give the player a task to perform in the foreground while simultaneously providing a slow drip of memories about a lover. It’s a way to get memory and emotion and interpersonal relationships into a parser game where all the main verbs are about picking up and moving objects. Not a trick that would work across the duration of a long game, but for both of these it works fine, I think.
"Cryptophasia is about a baker in a voiceless future space-faring society which dedicates a lot of its time to ASMR (short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos — a whole genre of videos in which people tap things, rustle things, and whisper or speak softly to the viewer in order to trigger a physiological response. Even for people who don’t get the tingling head ASMR response (not everyone does), they’re often very relaxing — which is why it’s possible for a 20-minute video of someone folding towels or tapping fake nails on a wooden box to have hundreds of thousands of views. A few ASMR videos have a plot, but that’s not really the point."