It's Gonna Be The Future Soon: Science Fiction, Video Games, and the Future of Learning


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What if science fiction were a reality? What if the way we interact in games were the way we interacted in real life? Soon, these things will be a reality and they'll impact learning! It's going to be exciting!

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It's Gonna Be The Future Soon: Science Fiction, Video Games, and the Future of Learning

  1. 1. IT’S GONNA BE <the future soon Science Fiction, Video Games, and the Future of Learning
  2. 2. Educator/Gamer Twitter: PCSTech
  3. 3.
  4. 4. I am a geek. If the previous slides didn’t clue you in, I’m a geek. I wear it like a badge of honor. There are a few things I believe about geeks...
  5. 5. ...first off, we’re different from nerds, dweebs, and dorks. Geeks are individuals who are simply passionate about something.
  6. 6. ...and I’d like to submit that, yes, “geek” is the new sexy. Don’t believe me?
  7. 7. My “Teacher Glasses” No, I don’t wear them in public! So, what do I “geek out” about? Well, there are several things, actually, but a few things close to the top of the list are video games, science fiction, and yes, learning! In fact, this whole presentation is about these three things colliding. One thing that’s very challenging for me is to turn off my “educator switch.” There have been several instances where while watching a movie or playing a game I’ve had these bizarre, “Oooh... if I could use THAT in the classroom...” epiphanies. I often encourage educators to think about the world around them in that mindset. I call it putting on your teacher lenses.
  8. 8. OMG! Being my geek self, doing my geek things... Looking at life through my teacher glasses has given me some real OMG moments. And, I want to share a few of my recent ones with you.
  9. 9. Inspiration from Ender’s Game Let’s start with Ender’s Game, a novel by Orson Scott Card, published in 1985 and soon to be a movie!
  10. 10. Children recruited in a war on an alien race and trained using games. The basic premise of the book is that earth is at war with a insect-like alien race. In this fight, children have been recruited because of their unique, untainted perspectives and creative approaches. Games are used as the primary training.
  11. 11. But, we’re already using games for learning! Yes, but, there are some clear distinctions...
  12. 12. Teachers are primarily designing the experiences and spaces for their learners. The learning is directly related to the game experience. The games foster experimentation, exploration, and innovation.
  13. 13. Math vs. Zombies? So many of today’s games, though entertaining, fun, and perhaps even effective, create environments in which game play is a reward for doing something academic. Do some math, kill some zombies. Now, is it just me, or is there something awry, here? What does math have to do with zombies? Where’s the meaningful context?
  14. 14. Can you imagine a real world scenario like that? Yeah... thought not. Game play within meaningful context is the key. Also, the best games are the ones that give us those spaces for experimentation.
  15. 15. Kerbal Space program is the newest game like this on my radar.
  16. 16. Of course, Minecraft is a practically limitless possibility space.
  17. 17. Games like Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft give us rich environments through which we can explore literacy and leadership.
  18. 18. Portal 2 and its building tools allow a variety of fun, simulated physics experiments.
  19. 19. If social studies is more your thing, games like Civilization 5 allow us a historical sandbox to experiment with a variety of concepts.
  20. 20. And of course, the SIM City series allows future city planners to test ideas like zoning, taxation, and dealing with constituents in their own virtual metropolis.
  21. 21. Inspiration from Let’s take a look at how a movie like Iron Man 3 gives a picture of the possibility of having instant information, just-in-time, and directly correlated to what we’re doing and where we are.
  22. 22. Tony Stark has the information he needs when he needs it. Instant feedback! (Games do this!) “Jarvis” is also location-aware. Mesh of just-in-time information with real space. What if a learning game did this? Game players are accustomed to this sort of feedback. In fact, we expect it. That’s one of the things that makes traditional industrial-age models of learning so challenging for us. I know I can Google what you’re telling me to write down from an overhead projector. Likewise, the information is increasingly tied to geo-location, so that where I am is factored into what I want to know.
  23. 23. The future is here, already!
  24. 24. Researchers in Spain have created a heads-up display system that allows instructors to get immediate feedback from their learners (sent via smart phones) and to see this information overlaid on their field of view.
  25. 25. And you’ve seen Project Glass from Google, right?
  26. 26.
  27. 27. Cool tech, but what about the games?
  28. 28. Google is currently testing a social, augmented reality game called Ingress. Let’s watch the trailer...
  29. 29. Augmented Reality Game - GPS-aware, deep, embedded storytelling, social. Side Effects Include: socialization, awareness of area sculptures and points of interest, exercise.
  30. 30. Imagine A Field Trip With This!?! Can you imagine a tool like this on field trips or creating a similar game at your school?
  31. 31. Museums are already gamifying the museum experience with augmented reality! Well, museums are already doing this... But you can do it too!
  32. 32. Project ARIS allows you to create location-aware, augmented reality games that your learners can use with smartphones.
  33. 33. Inspiration from Minority Report Let’s look at some of the technology predicted by Minority Report, based on a story by Philip K. Dick.
  34. 34. The way we interact with information is changing! You may have seen clips of Tom Cruise, a law enforcement officer, interacting with data using gesture-based technology in three-dimensional space. It was more natural interaction between technology and the user.
  35. 35. These may be going away...
  36. 36. Touch screen-tablets, like the iPad, which I’d like to note was also predicted in Ender’s Game, are already beginning to change the way learners interact with information in our classrooms. However, I suspect more changes are coming... and it’s a good thing, because it will meet a need for something that is missing in many of our classrooms...
  37. 37. Classrooms need more physical interactions!!
  38. 38. “Although many educators know about the connection between learning and movement, nearly as many dismiss the connection once children get beyond 1st or 2nd grade.Yet the relationship between movement and learning is so strong that it pervades all of life...” -Eric Jensen
  39. 39. Brain Rules - John Medina
  40. 40. “If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a cubicle.And if you wanted to change things, you might have to tear down both and start over.” ― John Medina, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
  41. 41. Games To The Rescue! Here’s a place where the technology predicted by science fiction, is becoming a reality, and the games that use the technology are meeting a need in creative ways.
  42. 42. Our current generation of consoles already have motion-tracking and -sensing peripherals that make game play both fun AND active. And, we can leverage these in the classroom!! Let’s look at some examples...
  43. 43. Some titles are already available that specifically tap into kinesthetic learning.
  44. 44. Games like Endless Ocean allow us to actively explore ocean wonders.
  45. 45. Games like Dance Central and Just Dance encourage us to learn a few dance moves while playing with friends.
  46. 46. And physical education teachers across the country are starting to take advantage of the engagement and feedback offered by exercise-based games like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved.
  47. 47. for physical therapy Researchers are even creating games specifically designed for physical therapy using systems like the Kinect.
  48. 48. And new technology is coming out already that will add the possibility of active learning to desktop computers. Let’s take a look at the Leap Motion, out now...
  49. 49. Inspiration from Ready Player One Finally, I’d like for us to jump into the novel that really kickstarted this geek-fest.... Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline.
  50. 50. Ready player one is set in a dystopian future in which the real world has become a pretty rough place to live. It deals closely with the idea of escapism, but I think it also has some really interesting things to say about school, learning, and the possibilities that games and simulations have to offer...
  51. 51. “...the classrooms were like holodecks. Teachers could take their students on a virtual field trip every day without ever leaving the school grounds.” Here’s a quote to start you thinking...
  52. 52. This is the StarTrek holodeck. Now, if you aren’t familiar with the concept, the Holodeck was a virtual reality simulation room on the Starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  53. 53. “The day before, we visited the same spot in 1334 BC and had seen Tutankhamen’s empire in all its glory.” The main character, Wade, describes his experience in Social Studies in which his teacher took the entire class to the moment in history in which Tut’s tomb was unearthed in the early 1900’s. Can you imagine taking your learners to see history in a simulation like that? One in which they could walk, explore, even interact with people?
  54. 54. “...we visited each of Jupiter’s moons. We stood on the volcanic surface of Io while our teacher explained how the moon had originally formed.” Wade’s astronomy teacher took them to see a volcano erupting on Jupiter’s moon, Io. Understanding the motion of the planets isn’t an easy concept on paper. Seeing it in action is way more powerful.
  55. 55. “In my next class, Biology. we traveled through the human heart and watched it pumping blood from the inside, just like in that old movie FantasticVoyage.” In Biology class, Wade had another field trip... Now, as a Biology teacher, I would have loved to have had this kind of technology at my disposal. There’s so much in cellular biology that students simply have to take on faith. I can’t show them real DNA or mitochondria, only images or something that looks like snot in a lab experiment. But, what if I could take them into a cell? What if they could touch it?
  56. 56. It’s coming sooner than you think... Here’s what really gets me excited.... We are on the verge of this possibility today!
  57. 57. This is the Oculus Rift. It’s a project funded by a Kickstarter, that’s going into wide production, likely within a year. As a gamer, this really gets me excited. This will let me actually be inside the game! It has a 110 degree field of view, separate images for each eye producing a 3D effect, and fluid head tracking. Developer kits are already out and existing games are being modified for support and new games are coming... Watch this lady’s reaction...
  58. 58. What if? One of my favorite questions! What if you had access to this technology for your learners? What if you could take your kids to ancient Egypt? What if the Egyptian avatars were actually controlled by other players? What if what started as a field trip erupted into a murder mystery to find out what or who killed King Tut?
  59. 59. teachers are the ones that will carry us into that future.<
  60. 60. Trust that little voice in your head that says, “Wouldn’t it be interesting if...” And then do it! -Duane Michals
  61. 61. Thanks to Jonathan Coulton for writing cool music for geeks and inspiring the title! Go Buy His Music!