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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Module #5 - Gaming in Education

It's NOT about the Games.  It's about the Gaming.

Did you know that in 2011:
  • 65% of US households played video games?
  • Almost 1/2 of the video gamers were adults < 49 years old?
  • The average gamer was 32?
  • 2 out of 5 gamers were women.?
Gaming is not a fad. Video gaming is a way of life. Gaming is an activity that provides sufficient positive feedback to cause players to exclude all else. It is challenging enough to entice gamers to continually attempt to beat their last score.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if school was like gaming? Where students would be so motivated by their learning activities that they would get up early and stay up late to engage themselves in the learning process.

Our understanding of learning has taken a HUGE leap forward in recent years.  It is time that we were Rethinking Learning with the 21st Century Learner.



Is it about playing the game or getting involved in something that is rewarding and challenging.  Maybe it has something to do with "getting into the flow of things . . . "

Flow - The Psychology of the Optimal Experience 
Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Chick-sent-me-hi) has studied states of "optimal experience" for over two decades. He is exploring the conditions and attitudes that engage people's concentration and attention to the point of total absorption. He calls this state of consciousness Flow.  In this state of attention, learners are at their most receptive level.

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi discusses his theory of Flow in this 5-minute video. 
It is the primary introduction to the Flow concept. He further explains its application to education in this short interview on Edutopia.org:  Motivating People to Learn.

9 Characteristics of Flow have been identified. Learn these characteristics so that you can later relate them to the apparent aspects of gaming and learning.
Pay careful attention to this concept of Flow because while it may seem like "good common sense," it is an underlying principle of learning.

Gaming's Elements Make for Good Learning
Gaming is a directional process where the player is guided towards a selected goal through positive and negative reinforcement. Isn't that similar to a good learning situation? How does that relate to the 9 characteristics of Flow?

Read this posting which discusses a list of 8 characteristics of Gaming. Relate these to those of Flow. What similarities do you see? What distinctions?  You will also find a video of a leading gaming researcher, Dr. James Paul Gee.  Watch this video and correlate it with the connections we have been discussing.

Gaming in Your REAL Life
Gaming is the basis of living and learning.  When you do something correctly, you are rewarded.  When you faultier, you fail.  It's about how you interact with the world. Before you can explore how you would do this in the classroom, you need to know something about how it works in your life.  Seth Priebatsch and Jesse Schell share some interesting ideas about how Gaming appears as a layer in your real life.  Read this posting and watch these two videos to get a new perspective on how you are gaming on a daily basis. 

If you are interested in really applying gaming to your real life, Explore Chore Wars.  It is a quest game where you can claim experience points for housework.

Consider your present concepts about gaming. Have they changed in the past 24 hours? If so, what have you realized?  How does this affect your perspective as a trainer, teacher, educator?

Using Gaming Practices to Improve Learning
In this 10-minute video, Paul Anderson explains how he reinvented his course to make it a gaming learning experience. Pay attention to the insights that he shares about the elements of active student-centered learning environments.


 


Week 2


Time for Gaming
You have read and watched about gaming. Now it is time for you to play games of your own.

Read the assignment sheet and you will see that AFTER YOU HAVE REVIEWED ALL OF THIS INFORMATION, your assignment is to play Kingdom Rush for 3 hours in the next week.

Kingdom Rush is available for your phone and your computer.
  • iPhone - Go to the App Store and search for "Kingdom Rush Free"
  • Android - Google "kingdom rush free android"
  • Chrome - Go to the Web Store and search for "Kingdom Rush Free"
  • Web - Google "kingdom rush free" There are some sites where you can play it for free but you have to look at some advertising.
GAMERS!!!  Help your classmates.  I have created a BB9 discussion forum where you can connect with your classmates. Ask questions. Supply advice. Share sites that provide assistance.  Learn from each other.  Play simultaneously and talk with each other through Google Hangout while you do it.

You must play for at least 3 hours. Begin by reviewing all of the lists of characteristics that we have explored so far. Consider these as you learn the game and play it throughout the next 180 minutes. Reflect on your learning process (these just thought provokers.)
  • What helped?  What hindered?  
  • What were the good learning experiences? 
  • Were you in The Flow? Why or why didn't you reach the Flow? 
  • How has this affected you as a teacher or student or human?
Submission: Reflect about this on your blog. Refer to the Assignment sheet about what you need to say.

BTW, Dr. Z has been playing this game for months and this is what he has accomplished.  He has is at level 106 but it has been quite a journey.  ;-/


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Our Badging System

We have developed a badging system for our UNI Instructional Technology Masters Program.   This was a project that Dr. Gao, Dr, Herring and I worked on over the summer.

This badging program is designed to create a means of acknowledging success using a mini-credentialling system.

Setting the Stage

We began by identifying a series of standards to which we could align.  It was decided that the Transformative Learning model would be used as our primary alignment system.  This is a set of Outcomes that describe Transformative Learning as being composed of 4 areas including: 

  1. Global Citizenship
  2. Leadership, Collaboration, and Advocacy
  3. Rapidly Changing Content
  4. Multiple Ways of Learning and Teaching

These 4 areas in this conceptual framework are composed of a variety of characteristics.   Here is a link chart that describes what you see in the star above. 

Reviewing Our Courses

We reviewed our courses and then aligned them with the Transformational Learning framework.

Aligning with ISTE Standards

Once we had made this alignment, we decided to align them with the ISTE Standards for Teachers and Coaches.  This resulted with an in-depth chart of this alignment.      This sort of alignment could be completed with any other sort of standards that might better align with a student's profession or professional goals (i.e., commercial training.)

Identifying Badges

Having completed these alignments, we decided to identify the types of roles or badges that our students would be able to attain while progressing through our UNI Instructional Technology Masters program.


Each of these badges has a specific set of requirements for completion.

 Digital Presence Badge requirements

This badging process is still a work in progress, but as you complete your 2 year cohort you will be earning badges along the way.

Way to Go!!!!