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Embracing The Power Of Video Games And Virtual Worlds In Education

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This presentation presents some recent statistics about video games and gamers. It also discusses my research on the Dimension-M video game and its use with middle school math students. Also, …

This presentation presents some recent statistics about video games and gamers. It also discusses my research on the Dimension-M video game and its use with middle school math students. Also, suggestions on how teachers can integrate game making into their classroom and a discussion of the potential of virtual worlds is discussed.

This is my presentation delivered at the 2009 NCTIES conference in Raleigh, NC.


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  • 1. Presentation by Lucas Gillispie - lucas@edurealms.com NCTIES 2009
  • 2.  
  • 3.
    • In January of 2008, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) released its annual report. They found the following:
    • 267.8 million units sold in 2007. ($9.5 billion in revenue)
    • Nine games sold every second in 2007.
    • First-day sales of Halo 3 outsold first-day ticket sales of Spiderman 3 and the first-day sales of the final book in the Harry Potter series.
    © 2008 Bungie, LLC. All rights reserved The Entertainment Software Association - Sales & Genre Data. . Retrieved August 9, 2008, from http://www.theesa.com/facts/salesandgenre.asp .
  • 4.
    • 65% of American households play computer and video games.
    • The average game player is 35 and has been playing games for 13 years.
    • 40% of all gamers are women over 18 (and growing).
    • 38% of homes have at least one console (Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo).
    The Entertainment Software Association - Sales & Genre Data. . Retrieved August 9, 2008, from http://www.theesa.com/facts/salesandgenre.asp . Photo from http://www.xbox.com/
  • 5.
    • Today’s students have never known a time without: The Internet, CD’s, Cell Phones, Microwave Ovens, or Nintendo…
    • A typical college student has spent less than 5,000 hours reading books, but over 10,000 hours playing video games.
    • Their brains work differently.
    http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf. http://www.engadgetmobile.com
  • 6. http://www.marcprensky.com/ “ When I go to school, I have to power down.” -Student Photo from: http://earlycollegeofalaska.org
  • 7. They crave: Social Interaction Customized Experiences Learning That’s Relevant Multimedia Achievement Photo: http://www.ecu.edu Educating The Net Generation - http://www.educause.edu/educatingthenetgen/5989
  • 8.  
  • 9.
    • A Step In The Right Direction
  • 10.
    • 3-D, Single or Multi-player, first-person shooter.
    • Focuses on pre-Algebra and Algebra.
    • Mission-based.
    • Integrated math help.
    • Engaging story.
    • Customizable experience.
  • 11.
    • Does playing Dimension-M affect student achievement?
    • Does playing Dimension-M impact student attitude?
    • What role does gender play?
  • 12.
    • Significant impact on student learning.
      • Average scores rose from 46% to 63% from the game alone.
    • No significant impact on student attitude.
    • Gender does not seem to play a role.
  • 13.
    • Engagement!
    • Students’ ease in maneuvering through the environment rapidly improved over a short time.
    • Students don’t mind re-playing.
    • Competition adds a layer of motivation.
    • A potential tool for ELL (English-language learners) students.
    • Students began putting their headphones around their necks so they could collaborate on the single player missions.
  • 14.  
  • 15.
    • When Students Make Their Own Games
  • 16.
    • Digital Storytelling That Engages
    • Requires Higher Order Thinking
    • Requires Students to Know Content
    • Taps Into The Innate Desire to Collaborate
    • Ninja-like Drill and Practice!
    • (They’ll go over material again and again without realizing!)
    Lucas Gillispie - lucas@edurealms.com Photo by David S. Carter
  • 17.
    • Use Microsoft Office! (Jeopardy in PowerPoint) – See Jeff Ertzberger’s Site
    • YoYo Games’ Game Maker
    • Scratch , Squeak , Alice
    • RPG Maker
    • Teen Second Life
    • Atmosphir
    Lucas Gillispie - lucas@edurealms.com A Screenshot from Atmosphir
  • 18.  
  • 19.
    • Where “Edu-Gaming” Needs To Go…
  • 20.
    • Often persistent. (24/7)
    • Players/Users exist in the world through “avatars.”
    • Some are game-based (MMORPGs), others are simply virtual spaces (such as Second Life).
    • Highly collaborative!
    A Screenshot from World of Warcraft Pender County School’s Second Life Island
  • 21. http://www.ljplus.ru/img4/j/i/jibo/pir2.JPG Warhammer Online Screenshot Students are leading people from around the world (often 40 or more) to accomplish collective goals. These events take planning, coordination, and decision-making skills.
  • 22. They spend hours outside of the game collaborating and planning in forums, researching maps, statistics, and strategies to improve their game.
  • 23. http://www.ljplus.ru/img4/j/i/jibo/pir2.JPG Source: http://www.harbingersoflight.com They are collaborating, online, with people from all over the world. Differences in race, age, gender, and nationality are no longer an issue. Teacher Ph.D. Candidate Stay-at-home Mom County Sheriff Researcher Business Owner Editor for the Senate Produce Clerk Business Analyst Instructional Technology Coordinator Technology Engineer Quality Assurance Supervisor Water/Sewer Technician College Student University Admissions Representative Director of IT Network Administrator Protestant Minister
  • 24.
    • … we called them quests and missions instead of lessons?
    • … students had access to the tools they need to find out what they want to know?
    • … we scaled the challenge of learning based on students’ achievements?
    • … provided opportunities for students to form collaborative learning communities?
    • … learning was this much fun?
  • 25.  
  • 26.
    • www.seriousgames.org
    • www.educationarcade.org
    • www.markprensky.com
    • gaming.psu.edu
    • www.edurealms.com
    Lucas Gillispie - lucas@edurealms.com
  • 27.
    • Visit: www.edurealms.com
    • On Twitter: PCSTech
    Lucas Gillispie - lucas@edurealms.com