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Monday, March 26

  1. page Home edited ... Bio Contact info What is this about? There is a lot of hype about how games are the future…
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    Bio
    Contact info
    What is this about?
    There is a lot of hype about how games are the future of education, but little to guide teachers how to dig past the hype and find games that really work for them. There's a lot of wishful thinking that goes along the lines of, "Kids love games, kids hate school, so if we just sneak the school stuff into games, kids will love learning." Unpacking the misconceptions in that claim is something I dive into in the video.
    Here's a short version of what I believe about games in education and what resources you will find here.
    Games and play are historically a well-regarded way for children to learn everything from social skills to logical thinking. Video games are no different, and just like all games, some are better than others. Chess, for example, is a better game to choose for the classroom than tug of war. Although you could certainly argue that tug of war teaches something, I think there is a vast difference in the potential for a wider and deeper learning opportunities from chess. I believe teachers can select games that maximize learning opportunities.
    There is a big difference between the question "Are games good for learning?" and "Are games good for the classroom?" In many cases, the compromises needed to squish a game into a classroom setting takes the fun and challenge out of the game.
    There are many types of video games. When you hear, "kids love video games", it does not immediately follow that all kids are going to like all games, nor that all games will teach the same thing to all kids.
    Many games designed for the classroom are "game-like" in that they borrow the vocabulary and graphics from games, yet the experience of the "player" is no different than with a paper worksheet. Calling a 10 question multiple-choice test "leveling up" does not change the fact that it is a multiple choice test.
    Teachers need to be clear about what they believe about learning, and then compare a game with those beliefs. Many games claim to have revolutionary learning capabilities - but learning is what happens in the brains of students, it is not delivered to them. And if a teacher does not believe that delivering content is learning, they need to maintain that belief in the face of breathless claims and fancy graphics.
    I remain a "skeptical optimist" about the potential of games in the classroom for two reasons:
    I haven't seen much really good stuff, despite the hype. I share some things I think are good in the video and in the links below.
    Whenever there is money to be made, marketeers rush in to promise revolutionary results. Money makes the hype worse, and makes teacher's jobs harder since they have to sift out more hype.
    I believe that the pinacle of using games in the classroom is having students program their own games. I offer resources and encouragement for teachers to try this. It's not as hard as you may think.

    I've recently been getting requests to Skype into a conference session or a teacher-ed class to have a Q&A about this presentation. I'm happy to do this. I also have a 60 or 90 minute version which can be a webinar or conference session.Contact me by email at: sylvia@genyes.org
    Other ways to watch the video: Direct link to video. The video is also available in these formats to download:
    (view changes)
    6:42 pm

Thursday, December 8

  1. 12:46 pm
  2. page Home edited ... Moving Learning Games Forward (PDF)- takes a look at the gaming landscape, both learning games…
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    Moving Learning Games Forward (PDF)- takes a look at the gaming landscape, both learning games and commercial games, and makes recommendations to a broad range of stakeholders on reinforcing and expanding the growing interest in learning games.
    Debunking the "video games cause violence" myth
    TIME magazine - Video Games Don't Make Kids Violent: http://ideas.time.com/2011/12/07/video-games-dont-make-kids-violent
    A review of the research field of violent video games: http://www.tamiu.edu/~cferguson/Blazing%20Angels.pdf
    Recent study finding no link between video game violence and youth violence: http://www.tamiu.edu/~cferguson/Video%20Games%201%20Year.pdf
    (view changes)
    12:46 pm

Tuesday, November 1

  1. 11:21 am
  2. page Home edited ... Bill MacKenty - Teacher created wiki with many resources for using games in the classroom A m…
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    Bill MacKenty - Teacher created wiki with many resources for using games in the classroom
    A must read!! Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom Today, is specifically targeted to classroom teachers. This paper provides classroom teachers with compelling reasons to incorporate new technologies like games, simulations, and social networking into their classroom and strategies to overcome potential barriers.
    Seann Dikkers' site Gaming Matter
    “Game-like” attributes for a classroom - James Paul Gee
    Gee says that the most important things to learn from video games are how attributes of games translate to making classrooms more effective and engaging. It's shortsighted to be so literal about "games in the classroom."
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    Games in Learning Project - Game Making - site and listserve. Extensive resources. Based in Queensland, Australia.
    ScratchEd, an online community for using the programming language Scratch in the classroom
    Games+Learning+Society (GLS) conference
    Seymour Papert - Collected Worksand Wikipedia entry. Seymour Papert is the father of educational computing and invented the Logo programming language. He often talks about children making games as part of his vision that students use computers as constructive materials in every aspect of education. A good article to start with is Looking at Technology Through School-colored Spectacles.
    Research which supports the value of game programming as an educationally valuable activity for children of all ages.
    (view changes)
    11:21 am

Thursday, October 27

  1. page Home edited ... Games in Libraries (podcasts) - Many librarians are at the forefront of brining games into sch…
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    Games in Libraries (podcasts) - Many librarians are at the forefront of brining games into schools.
    Bill MacKenty - Teacher created wiki with many resources for using games in the classroom
    //UsingA must read!! Using the Technology
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    the Classroom Today//,Today, is specifically
    “Game-like” attributes for a classroom - James Paul Gee
    Gee says that the most important things to learn from video games are how attributes of games translate to making classrooms more effective and engaging. It's shortsighted to be so literal about "games in the classroom."
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    Challenge and consolidation
    Situated meanings
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    and "On demanddemand"
    Books
    What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy - Book by James Paul Gee
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    Tools for game design as an educational activity - GenYES blog (by me) about student game design. Contains a list of tools for student game design and some links to other sites for more commercial tools.
    Gary Stager's Logo resources - Many classroom resources for students making games using Logo.
    Scratch, Squeak and etoys in the Classroom - Teaching resources, interview with Bill Kerr, teacher using these tools in the classroom.
    Wiki with a large list of game creation engines for all grades and capabilities.
    Communities for teaching game design in the classroom
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    GameResearch listserve - Digital Games Research Association (DIGRA) supported listserve. Primarily academically oriented, but many classroom teachers participate and share their ideas and student work.
    Games in Learning Project - Game Making - site and listserve. Extensive resources. Based in Queensland, Australia.
    ScratchEd, an online community for using the programming language Scratch in the classroom
    Seymour Papert - Collected Worksand Wikipedia entry. Seymour Papert is the father of educational computing and invented the Logo programming language. He often talks about children making games as part of his vision that students use computers as constructive materials in every aspect of education. A good article to start with is Looking at Technology Through School-colored Spectacles.
    Research which supports the value of game programming as an educationally valuable activity for children of all ages.
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    Open Directory – Programming Languages for Education - Hundreds of annotated links to programming languages with an educational goal.
    Squeak/Etoys
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    website for educators.educators and ScratchEd, an online community. LOTS of
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    programming.
    Alice - Alice is a 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Developed by Carnegie Mellon.
    Logo - Wikipedia entry (good explanation and many links).Logo Foundation - links to the many versions of the programming language
    MicroWorlds - Commercial version of Logo. The LCSI company supports Logo language learning around the world. It does cost money, but you get a lot of resources and support in return.
    (view changes)
    5:13 pm
  2. page Home edited ... I've recently been getting requests to Skype into a conference session or a teacher-ed class t…
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    I've recently been getting requests to Skype into a conference session or a teacher-ed class to have a Q&A about this presentation. I'm happy to do this. I also have a 60 or 90 minute version which can be a webinar or conference session.Contact me by email at: sylvia@genyes.org
    Other ways to watch the video: Direct link to video. The video is also available in these formats to download:
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    Time; .mov, 50MB)50MB) iPod Video
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    mp4, 34.3 MB)MB) Audio only
    linksSupporting links and resources for the presentation
    I've organized this list into sections that loosely match the organization of the video presentation and sessions I do at conferences. If I've left something out, or you have a specific interest you don't see here, please email me!
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    Play is a requirement for healthy brain development
    Research support for learning benefits of chess
    Free onlineOnline version of
    Teens, Video Games, and Civics: Teens’ gaming experiences are diverse, and include significant social interaction and civic engagement. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, September 16, 2008.
    Games for Educators - in support of all kinds of games in education
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    something you can get better at
    Virtual Worlds
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    New York. Note: Teen Second Life has been merged into the regular Second Life, so some of the older resources may not reflect current reality. However, the work done in regards to youth identity, agency, and community are timeless.
    Suffern Middle School Second Life Blog - ongoing work with teens
    Ramapo Islands - Their virtual world
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    Civilization
    Civilization 3 site with education resources
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    middle years. You can find it halfway down the page here. (Contributed by
    Myst
    Using Myst in the classroom is the blog of Alex Finlayson, a teacher in Queensland, Australia. Extensive documentation of his lessons and resources using the game MYST as a grade 5 literacy unit.
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    The Classroom of Popular Culture: What video games can teach us about making students want to learn - Online article by James Paul Gee
    Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games As Constructivist Learning Environments in K-12 Education: A Delphi Study (PDF). Mark Wagner. Contains a good discussion of obstacles of games in classrooms.
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    in Libraries (podcasts) - Many
    Bill MacKenty - Teacher created wiki with many resources for using games in the classroom
    //Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom Today//, is specifically targeted to classroom teachers. This paper provides classroom teachers with compelling reasons to incorporate new technologies like games, simulations, and social networking into their classroom and strategies to overcome potential barriers.
    (view changes)
    4:54 pm

Thursday, July 7

  1. page Home edited ... So what do you use instead? Finding Good Learning Games - a blog post (by me) about examining…
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    So what do you use instead?
    Finding Good Learning Games - a blog post (by me) about examining your own beliefs about how learning happens to help find games that match those beliefs.
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    drill content:
    The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. The Wikipedia article has descriptions of the puzzles. It's not online, but it's cheap and well worth it - buy it. Note: it is an older game, so be aware of system requirements.
    Gazillionaire III- Gazillionaire is an award-winning simulation game. It puts the player in charge of a trading ship in a fun universe filled with great characters. This a simple, classroom appropriate game that can easily be the basis for many lessons on resource management, economics, planning and collaboration. (Windows only)
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    Bill MacKenty - Teacher created wiki with many resources for using games in the classroom
    //Using the Technology of Today in the Classroom Today//, is specifically targeted to classroom teachers. This paper provides classroom teachers with compelling reasons to incorporate new technologies like games, simulations, and social networking into their classroom and strategies to overcome potential barriers.
    “Game-like” attributes for a classroom - James Paul Gee
    Gee says that the most important things to learn from video games are how attributes of games translate to making classrooms more effective and engaging. It's shortsighted to be so literal about "games in the classroom."
    Identity
    System thinking
    Interaction
    Explore, think laterally, rethink goals
    Production
    Smart tools and distributed knowledge
    Risk-taking
    Cross-functional teams
    Customization
    Agency
    Well-ordered problems
    Challenge and consolidation
    Situated meanings
    "Just in time" and "On demand

    Books
    What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy - Book by James Paul Gee
    (view changes)
    11:39 am

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