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Adam Penenberg's new book, Play At Work, reveals how big companies are increasingly using gaming technology to gain a competitive edge.
By Caroline Fairchild
"In fact, harnessing the power of games can tackle problems even larger than worker productivity and engagement. Penenberg writes about the multiplayer online game Foldit that was created to advance science and solve real-world problems. As a result of the highly interactive game, a self-described "lowly lab technician" and her team discovered in 10 days the key to a protein-cutting enzyme from an AIDS-like virus in rhesus monkeys -- a problem that eluded scientists for more than 10 years
"Ultimately, writes Penenberg, when roughly 97% of 12-to-17-year-olds play computer games and some 70% of the heads of American households admit to being gamers, games are simply too popular and too effective for companies not to incorporate them into the daily lives of their workers. By next year, research firm Gartner projects that 70% of 2,000 global organizations will use gamified applications for training, health care, marketing, and employee performance.
"Toward the end of the book, the author posits that in the future companies very well may turn an entire job into a game. He outlines an example of a call-center employee named Jennifer who works from home. She logs in every day to a pirate ship computer game along with several co-workers on her team. Jennifer's team is competing against other teams, and as she successfully answers calls her team's virtual ship moves closer to an island. The first group of employees to get to the island is rewarded with a real prize like free holiday travel. Jennifer is not only motivated, but the game gives her a sense of accomplishment and community."
by Danny Nicholson
"Moovly is a free online tool that lets you create interesting presentations and animations. You can incorporate both the hand-drawn style of apps such as VideoScribe and the hand-moved objects style that you’ll have seen in videos such as CommonCraft.
"Moovly lets you add voice, sound and music and synchronize everything using the simple timeline interface. Animations such as “hand drawn”, “drag on” and “drag off” can be added via the timeline. Some of the clips from the library also have their own animations attached to them, such as globes which spin or chickens which feed.
"Videos can be published via YouTube or Facebook, or can be downloaded for offline use as Flash or Movie files. Free videos are watermarked with a Moovly Logo. There doesn’t seem to be a way to embed them directly from the Moovly website. Downloading may well be the best option for schools – but you might have a class YouTube account which could be used for sharing presentations."
by Maria Popova
“Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind,” I offered in one of my 7 lessons from 7 years of Brain Pickings. Indeed, nothing stunts growth more powerfully than our attachment to the familiar, our blind adherence to predetermined plans, and our inability to, as Rilke famously put it, “live the questions.” Keats termed the willingness to embrace uncertainty, live with mystery, and make peace with ambiguity“negative capability” and argued that it’s essential to the creative process; Anaïs Nin believed thatinviting the unknown helps us live more richly, and even psychologists confirm that embracing uncertainty is essential to creativity. And yet we cling so vigorously to our comfort zones, our plans, our knowns — why?
"That’s the pattern Dani Shapiro seeks to decondition in Still Writing (public library) — her magnificent memoir, which previously gave us her wisdom on the pleasures and perils of the creative life. "
"REPORTING TO the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) at length for the first time since he was appointed vice provost for advances in learning last September, Peter K. Bol highlighted shifts in the landscape for the much-publicized massive open online courses (MOOCs). At the December 3 faculty meeting, Bol noted that:
"His remarks came shortly after MIT’s November 21 release of the 109-page preliminary report of the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education, which advanced sweeping ideas for transforming residential teaching and learning, undergraduate study, and indeed the campus itself—all, at least to some degree, in response to the potential of online education.
"Together, Bol’s statement and the task-force report suggest rapid evolution in thinking about MOOCs and teaching technology in the 19 months since Harvard and MIT unveiled edX, their joint online-learning venture."
The Journal of Learning for Development provides a forum for the publication of research with a focus on innovation in learning, in particular but not exclusively open and distance learning, and its contribution to development. Content includes interventions that change social and/or economic relations, especially in terms of improving equity.
JL4D publishes research and case studies from researchers, scholars and practitioners, and seeks to engage a broad audience across that spectrum. It aims to encourage contributors starting their careers, as well as to publish the work of established and senior scholars from the Commonwealth and beyond.
Via Andreas Link, Stewart-Marshall
"This report offers compelling evidence that
"New Tech Network Students:
FREE WEBINAR - DEC. 11, 2013 - REGISTER BY DEC. 9
"Key Webinar Take-Aways: In this webinar, we will discuss the CASC minor and detail its integrative learning capstone course and how it uses eportfolios to drive learning. We will also explore examples of eportfolios and some lessons learned from the process. We will address next steps for eportfolio use and research around portfolios in a social justice and social change context. This webinar will include some best practices for engaging students with eportfolios and how to leverage eportfolios to achieve learning outcomes."
Increasing a community's access to and use of information technology requires collaboration among libraries, local government, non-profits, and business. This is a fundamental basis of Building Digital Communities: A Framework for Action (The Framework), a resource that helps communities chart a course toward digital inclusiveness. For the past year, we at WebJunction have been providing support to and documenting the work of communities piloting The Framework.
Milwaukee is one of the communities piloting The Framework. Milwaukee is taking all the right steps: they have a local leadership team consisting of the City, the library and a leading non-profit; they partnered with a university to conduct an information technology access and use survey (analysis and report in process); they gathered an initial group of stakeholders into a digital inclusion advisory group; and they are planning a digital inclusion stakeholder summit to share results of the survey and define the digital inclusion goals and needs of the community. Then they asked a really good question – Who are the trail-blazing digital inclusion communities?
We researched the answer to their question and are happy to now be releasing the briefing report "Trail-Blazing Digital Inclusion Communities". The report is a resource for all libraries (and other community leaders) who want to establish sustainability for their digital inclusion work.
Click headline to access hot link to download report--
Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
by Ben Williamson
"The idea that young people should learn to code has become a global educational aspiration in the last few years. What kinds of questions should digital media and learning researchers ask about these developments? I want to suggest three approaches: first, to take a historical look at learning to code; second, to consider it in political and economic context; and third, to understand its cultural dimensions."
"What you need: - a class of students and a space to work with them (12-15 students work with three corners, 15-23 with four corners, 24+ use the center of the room too)
- a way to make and see the schedule (a piece of paper on an overhead, a whiteboard, or a projected Google Doc)
- a topic / theme / text / stage in the writing process (ex. WWII, Leaders as Behavior Monsters, 1984, thesis statements)"
"The VE wiki continuously monitors and measures how well structured are the groups that collaborate on its pages. If needed, it can also be used to maintain collaborative work within certain levels of equity and evenness. Thus the tool serves a double purpose. On the one hand, it can be used as a monitoring tool, for understanding how collaboration is structured. On the other, it can be employed for adjusting collaboration along particular parameters desired by the instructor or site administrator. The wiki is built around the MediaWiki platform, through which content can be edited by any user, including non-registered ones, all changes are permanently stored, and access to information that was edited or added is instantaneous. In addition, all pages come with “talk” areas, which allow discussions and interactions about the editing process. This makes it well adapted for collaborative work, especially of a textual nature."
Howard Rheingold's insight:
"Wiki collaboration is one of the strongest forms of augmented collective intelligence, and as always, the technology requires intelligent use in order for emergent intelligence to manifest in any useful way. This tool enables groups and managers/facilitators of groups to see how contributions are made, who makes the most contributions, and to make these efforts visible to others. Based on research by Sorin Adam Mateir at Purdue, it can be adapted to collaborative learning or to collaborative production."
Via Howard Rheingold