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Trip report: Games and Learning Conferences 2008
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Trip report: Games and Learning Conferences 2008


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I presented at the 2008 Games, Learning and Society and ED-MEDIA conferences. In this presentation are broad themes related to digital game-based learning ...

I presented at the 2008 Games, Learning and Society and ED-MEDIA conferences. In this presentation are broad themes related to digital game-based learning ...

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    • 1. 14.08.08 Games and Learning Conferences 2008
        • Steve Vosloo
      Trip report
    • 2.
      • I presented at the 2008 Games, Learning and Society and ED-MEDIA conferences
      • Projects, insights, sessions notes etc. at or
      • In this presentation are broad themes related to digital game-based learning ...
    • 3.  
    • 4. Themes
      • “Ecology” of games
      • Expanding definitions of literacy to include skills developed through gaming:
        • New media literacies, visual literacy, gaming literacy
      • Kids as game creators
      • Games: mobile games, language learning games, MUVEs, ARGs
      • Challenges: assessment, design, etc etc
    • 5.
      • “ Beyond their value as entertainment media, games ... are currently key entry points for many young people into productive literacies, social communities, and digitally rich identities.”
      • Katie Salen (2008)
    • 6. Ecology of games
      • It's not just through the “black box” (PC, console or mobile phone) that the learning happens, it's also through everything around the actual game play:
        • Strategy, dialogue with peers, mentoring
      • Players belong to communities of practice:
        • News, FAQs, discussion forums
      • Develop community-related social practices
    • 7. Kids as game creators
      • “ Creative production as a pathway to critical reflection” (Peppler & Kafai, 2007a/b)
      • Scratch (software) and ScratchR (community)
      • Gamestar Mechanic
          • An online multiplayer role-playing game designed to teach middle school children key principles of good game design
          • A design tool to create games
          • A community of learners
      • Interactive fiction for History lessons (stand-alone) (PTO)
    • 8. Recreating Past Worlds
      • An approach to student-designed, text-based history simulations ( Link )
      • High school learners design their own historical simulation games using Inform 7.
        • “ Designing a simulation that faithfully reflects a system or process in the past requires the historian’s critical skills: the ability to analyze and contextualize evidence, distinguish between the trivial and the essential, advance a defensible account of causation, and, in doing so, construct a plausible interpretation of the past.”
      • LA: History but ... the Skills: writing, imagining, interpretation, argumentation, etc.
    • 9. Mobile games
      • Mostly augmented reality games, where a virtual game is overlaid onto physical space
      • Players as field researchers
      • Advanced (GPS): location-aware
      • Simple (SMS): location disclosure
    • 10. Language learning games
      • Open Language Learning Initiative (OLLI), funded primarily by the Hewlett Foundation
      • EFL: English to Mandarin-speakers
      • ESL: English to Spanish-speakers
      • 2 games:
        • Episodic (comic and games)
        • Community (social network and games)
    • 11.
      • “ Games can immerse kids in learning experiences that are rich, engaging and improve their disposition to constructivist learning.”
      • Melissa Gresalfi (2008)
    • 12. MUVEs
      • Quest Atlantis: 3D multi-user virtual environment to immerse children, ages 9-15, in educational tasks
      • Improved disposition to information and learning, specifically science topics
      • Want to pilot in SA
    • 13. ARGs
      • An alternate reality game (ARG) is an interactive narrative that uses the real world as a platform, often involving multiple media and game elements, to tell a story that may be affected by participants' ideas or actions. (Wikipedia)
      • “Puppetmaster”, “rabbit hole”
      • Examples: i love bees, The Lost Ring
    • 14. The challenge of assessment
      • Difficult to assess game-based learning
      • David Shaffer : current educational assessment models only focus on knowledge and skills, but that is only half of an epistemic frame where there are four interconnected aspects: knowledge, identity, skills and value
    • 15. Design challenges
      • Beyond “chocolate covered broccoli” (Bruckman 1999)
      • There can be a contradiction between playing the game and learning
      • There can be too much interactivity with a game and not enough reflection
      • Learning happens through social interaction – how to achieve this?
    • 16. Other challenges
      • No panacea
      • Violent / stereotypical / misogynistic
      • Teachers: “Play” is not work
      • Gaming is not for everyone (is anything?)
      • “ Competing” against commercial games
      • An emergent field: Theories of learning are new
    • 17. Some opportunities
      • US researchers interested in working with us (Gee, Steinkueler, Parsons, etc)
      • Mobile games / MIM, e.g. Interactive fiction games
      • Open area in SA (in Africa)