The E-Learning overview which this group has looked into focused mainly on two key questions centred on game based E-Learning.
These questions explore the idea that games, whether learning based or not, proves to be an extremely effective tool when trying to impart critical thinking skills, team based and logical thinking skills as the user plays the game.
The learning may occur without the player being aware at all that learning of any kind has taken place and has been referred to as “stealth learning”
In terms of distance learning Skype has an obvious use as using Skype students can be present in a classroom from any distance, being able to interact with the class as they could do as if they were there.
Another point about Skype’s ability to be used as an upstanding E-Learning environment is by video conferencing, which would allow a student work group to meet up with each other online.
Another more interesting one comes into play when a class room, for example a language course, can have a native language speaker call into the class via Skype and have a conversation with the class in order to give them a great first person experience of the language as spoken.
Downes specializes in the fields of online learning, new media, pedagogy and philosophy.
Downes is known as his newsletter, OlDaily, it distributed by web email and RSS to many subscribers on the world.
Downes was the winner of the Edublog Award for Best Individual Blog award in 2005 for his blog OLDaily Downes is Editor at Large of the International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning.
When faced with this situation the player must engage their logical minds to ascertain the solution to this complex puzzle using a stable of modern physics all the while enjoying the game they are playing.
Portal also uses audio as well as visuals to navigate the games puzzles as the game is narrated by a computer AI similar in style to Hal from 2001 Space odyssey which monitors the player providing commentary and reinforcing the need for the player to think outside the box using creative solutions to complex and often difficult goals
(Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology, 2009)
Apps for learning (2011) Book that looks into apps on phones that may be of aide when in a teaching environment including Skype, written by Harry Dickens and Andrew Churches. ISBN 978-1463612856
Digital Game Based Learning (2007) Book that looks into game based learning as a method an effective E-Learning method, written by Marc Prensky. ISBN 978-1557788634
Downes.ca (2011) Website that details information Stephen Downes including his works, achievements and life in general, accessed on 28 th of September at http://www.downes.ca/me/index.htm
Edublog Awards (2005) Website that awards those who make exelent use of social media to do great or helpful thinks for the online community, accessed on 29 th of September at http://edublogawards.com/category/2005/
Learning with Portals (2011) Valve video game developers’ website that gives general information out about portal including the free access for e-learning, accessed on 29 th of September at http://www.learnwithportals.com/
Mad City Mystery: Developing scientific argument skills with a place based augmented reality game on handheld computers (2007) Journal that looks into the ability to think logically and critically by using game based learning, written by Kurt D. Squire and Mingfong Jan. Vol, 16, No. 1 (Feb., 2007), pp. 5-29 accessed on 1 st of October at http://www.jstor.org/pss/40186767?searchUrl=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dgame%2Bbased%2Blearning%26acc%3Doff%26wc%3Don&Search=yes
Marc Parry (2010) Article that goes into detail about Stephen Downes while also looking into various successes of his works and there effectiveness, accessed on 28 th of September at http://chronicle.com/article/Open-Teaching-When-the/124170
Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology (2009) Book that describes the methods of education as they are currently using to teach and questions whether or not technology is begin used enough, written by Alan Collins. ISBN 978-0807750025
Wikipedia (ND) Website that details information about many worldly aspects including Stephen Downes, accessed on 28 th of September at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Downes
Wikipedia (ND) Website that details information about many worldly aspects including George Siemens, accessed on 28 th of September at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Siemens
'Isn't It Just like Our Situation?' Engagement and Learning in an Online Story-Based Environment (2006) Journal that looks into not only the ability of games to teach teamwork but also how games that emphasise story can teach all the greater than non-story based games as the learning will become attached to the game as if it were a book, written by Trena M. Paulus, Brian Horvitz and Min Shi. Vol. 54, No. 4 (Aug., 2006), pp. 355-385 accessed on 3 rd of October at http://www.jstor.org/pss/30220465?searchUrl=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dgame%2Bbased%2Blearning%26acc%3Doff%26wc%3Don&Search=yes