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How Video Games are Changing Education

13 Sep

Courtesy of Online Colleges - http://www.onlinecolleges.net

Putting FUN into Functional

21 Dec

A current project provided me opportunities to explore 3-D virtual learning environment platforms and games. This project comes in many parts (will certainly keep me busy in the coming 2011!) and one being simulation-like and a major requirement being user to manipulate parameters to simulate various scenarios *major headache*!

Decided to give it a twist and work with FB games and machinimas instead.

My inspiration came from the videos below:-

Can’t wait to remould the idea(s)! *think Play Doh* šŸ˜‰

Kudos to Kodu?

10 Aug

I’ve never been big on MS products for a very long time now and am not going further into details :). Somehow while surfing the net one morning, I came across Kodu (originally named Boku)Ā Game Lab.

What got me all interested was the Kodu Classroom Kit! Seems like a great start and I zoomed into details. First, I downloaded the classroom kit. Noticed there was a document called “Kodu Curriculum: Math Module” targeted at Math teachers. Ok so it got more interesting…

The “Math Module” had lesson plans and activities including sample scaffolding questions for teachers to kick-start Math lessons using Kodu. “The lessons are designed to be flexible so the instructor should take what she or he feels best suits the class and his or her teaching style. Our goal is to help address the many ways that students respond to technologyā€”some like to be directed in their advancement and others tend to forge ahead, experimenting through trial and error.” Kudos to Kodu for that great amount of details!

Who Can Use Kodu
  • Anyone!
  • It can be taught by any teacher, no previous programming expertise required
  • Ages 8 and up typically have the most success

Now this is exciting!

Students can be assigned to create their own games to demonstrate knowledge in the subject and I’m certain they will work harder on the games than their regular homework.

Build worlds (and games) in Kodu using the built-in programmable objects. It's just like working with SimCity!

Once you've built a world, populate it with trees, flowers, castles ā€“ and then add characters. Everything can be interactive, if you want.

Kodu's visual programming tools are deceptively simple ā€“ it's possible to build very complex behaviours with the available commands. Here we're creating a Pac-Man like character that'll find and eat apples.

Characters can interact with each other, and there's the possibility of building multi-user games!

Source: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/hands-on-microsoft-kodu-for-xbox-360-614461

Kodu does sound promising for the classroom (at least for Math) but beware that your PC hadware has to be up to mark (view Kodu’s “Getting Started” guide for details) else it will crash like how it does on mine šŸ˜¦

So question to MS FUSE Labs, are we expecting Kodu to undergo a premature death just like Popfly?

See What Wii Has Done To Grandma!

12 Jul

Isn't she adorable? šŸ™‚

Krisflyer, Coffee Bean, Scouts – What is the common factor?

2 Jun

No doubt, it’s the reward system! So what does reward system do?

It drives engagement!

Engagement is the key in any activity. Games are best at it but how do we apply this to education?

METAGAME DESIGN is the answer!

Metagame Design for Education: Applying game design techniques to the world outside of games (and games too). Hence, we can ‘borrow ideas from the world of interactive games, we can motivate even reluctant learners to practice complex skills and achieve much more than they would through traditional means’ by layering rewards systems onto existing activities.

Not only in games, but metagames are everywhere and we encounter them in our daily lives ā€“ e.g. in scouts you earn badges and ranks, at coffee bean for every cup of coffee you purchase you can earn stamps for free redemption of drink at a later time, krisflyer frequent flyer points and etc.

So for teaching and learning, let’s look at blogging as an example. Instead of encouraging students to participate actively in classroom blog projects using just mere rubrics that most of them time considers components such as comments, blog stats, post frequency, etc, we can look into rewarding students at every stage/level in blogging. An example is cited below:-

1. Post Updates -> Receive free gifts
2. Get feedback from peers -> Get rewarded with points
3. Provide feedback on peersā€™ blogs -> Earn points to proceed to next level/stage

So the above runs in a loop and encourages constant engagement which will keep the students going to keep attaining higher levels just like what they (or we) do in games!

Of course in terms of points and gifts they could come in varieties just like what we have in Farmville and Cafe World šŸ™‚

Reference: http://www.slideshare.net/amyjokim/metagame-design-3383058

Edu Games – Yay or Nay?

29 May

Well officially the 1st ever entry here. Not exactly a newbie in the blogsphere, but relatively new to a techlog šŸ™‚

Have been working in the IT industry since graduating from poly in the early 2000s. what started off as a job to earn money for further studies and some other crisis, turned out to pave the path for my future – Technology in Education.

I will not delve into details. else, I will need a lengthy post dedicated to my career path (:

In the midst of preparing for the upcoming “new term” at work and for an on-going project,Ā I was in search for game builders/ creators/ generators/ whatever-you-call-it. These are to aid in producing games for lower order thinking skills (LOTS) activities.Ā For such activities, educators should be able to create their own games in a fuss-free manner so that both the educators and students will enjoy gamesĀ for teaching and learning.

I am now going to share with you gameĀ generatorsĀ that I have introduced to the English Language dept (ELL) Ā in the Institution I work at:-

I wish I was able to share with you what some of the ELL studentsĀ from our institution produced so that you can get an idea of what you can do with the links above. Unfortunately, IP rights do not belong to me so no-go. I made some samples, though. Will try to update this post with those links, if my memory doesn’t fail on me :S

Some other interesting finds will be shared in the upcoming entries.

Remember, this is just the start šŸ™‚ You will certainly keep seeing more of “me”, I promise!