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Games, Tales, and Social Space: Reflections on Engagement, Inclusion, and Digital Citizenship


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This keynote speech will synthesize lessons learned from more than 20 years of research and development in the areas of digital learning. The international research Centre CARDET participated in more than 100 digital learning research projects which focus on the use of technology across several contexts. The use of games, social media, and online tools is opening opportunities to both learners and teachers. The emphasis will be on the role of digital tools for revisiting how we teach and learn, and the potential for transforming education practices. We will focus on 3 key projects with interconnected themes.
Digital Responsible Citizenship - The DRC project seeks to improve students and teachers digital citizenship and competency in line with several components of the digital citizenship framework.
iDecide - This policy reform project aims to develop an innovative toolkit and a mobile app to support evidence-based policy making. The focus is the reduction of disparities in learning outcomes and marginalization, by supporting school leaders, school staff, and policymakers to engage in shared and inclusive decision making.
ENTRINNO – Online game for entrepreneurship and innovation - As part of this project we developed an online game teaching youth entrepreneurial skills. The project was implemented and evaluated in 8 EU countries.
We will bring together lessons learned discussing the key issues around gamification, storytelling, social media, and digital citizenship, providing recommendations for both researchers and practitioners.

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Games, Tales, and Social Space: Reflections on Engagement, Inclusion, and Digital Citizenship

  1. 1. Games, Tales, and Social Space: Reflections on Engagement, Inclusion, and Digital Citizenship Dr. Charalambos Vrasidas, Founder & Executive Director, CARDET Professor of Learning Innovations and Policy & Associate Dean for elearning, University of Nicosia.
  2. 2. CARDET Mission Inspire innovation, and to promote education, research, and development through evidence-based practices, cutting- edge research, and empowered people.
  3. 3. EU and international funding Project Design & Management Social Justice & Civic Engagement Online Education Education and Training Research & Evaluation Innovation & Entrepreneurship Literacies Core Expertise
  4. 4. Research & Dissemination •Edit an International Journal on Educational Media •Publish a Book series •Case studies from around the world •Harvard, UCLA, MIT, YALE •Boston College, Open UK
  5. 5. Overview •Some issues on digital citizenship •A “simple” inclusion project •Gamification – lessons learnt •Recommendations & Reflections
  6. 6. • War & Conflict • Climate Change • Migration • Violence in Schools
  7. 7. What is happening outside of school?
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
  10. 10. Numbers • 50% of jobs could be automated in the next 2 decades • 85% of the jobs of 2030 … have not been invented yet • 85% of your professional success has to do with your personality, communication, negotiation, leadership skills … and 15% with technical skills
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  13. 13. The DRC project aims to empower students and teachers to develop digital citizenship skills, and to integrate digital literacy and digital citizenship as part of school curricula. (terms: skills, competencies, literacies, citizenship)
  14. 14. Digital Citizenship: A working Definition… • A collection of knowledge, skills, competencies, values, and practices which empower individuals and groups (collaboratively) to access, analyze, construct, comprehend, evaluate, deconstruct, communicate messages in various forms, in ways that it allows them to function effectively, ethically, responsibly in society. – (CARDET Research Group, 2017).
  15. 15. The digital competence Framework for citizens • Information and data literacy • Communication and collaboration • Content creation • Safety • Problem solving digcompedu
  16. 16. Play: The ability to capacity to experiment and explore various solutions to problems. Jenkins - MIT
  17. 17. Merging texts….
  18. 18. No clear answers … • Safety • Privacy • Fake news • Engagement • Impact on health • Engagement and attention • Screen time • Talk to your kids!
  19. 19. An innovative toolkit for inclusive decision making policies Erasmus+ (Key Action 3) - Support for Policy Reform – Prospective Initiatives - Forward Looking Cooperation Projects
  20. 20. Problem • Complexity of running schools and classroom • Inclusion – easier said than implemented • Practical tips – evidence based • Decision making is a complex, political, biased process. • Time for learning and unlearning
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  22. 22. Jazz, Basketball & Teacher Decision-making • Researchers Hilda Borko and Richard Shavelson summarized studies that reported .7 decisions per minute during interactive teaching. • Researcher Philip Jackson (p. 149) said that elementary teachers have 200 to 300 exchanges with students every hour (between 1200-1500 a day), most of which are unplanned and unpredictable calling for teacher decisions, if not judgments. • decision-making/
  23. 23. DECISION MAKING AT SCHOOL LEVEL Timetabling Visit and excursions School projects Parental involvement Filing and archiving School events Curriculum adaptations Teaching methods School purchases Homework Students’ council Announcements School breaks
  24. 24. Diversity in Schools Pupils belonging to religious minorities LGBT Pupils from deprived backgrounds Migrants, refugees, asylum seekers students Pupils with health issues Pupils with mental health issues Pupils with types of SEN/Disability Roma pupils
  25. 25. TOOLKIT Reminds a school leader of existing information about tackling disparities in learning outcomes and provides access to - Practical tips for teachers - Practical tips for school leaders - Supportive Literature - EU directives and reports Provides pupils and parents with a voice in decision making
  26. 26. What worked well • User –friendly toolkit • Evidence-based practical tips • Simplified practical language • Preferred app rather than website • Students and parents get a voice
  27. 27. Lessons Learned • Inclusion – is hard work • Some tips are too generic • Literature support – too scientific at times • Biggest success: Changing the culture and habits of school staff • More up-front training with case studies • Ongoing support • Time release for school staff • Can serve as a good tool for teacher professional development
  28. 28. Gamification
  29. 29. One of the earliest examples …
  30. 30. Gamification in Cars
  31. 31. Gamification in Cars
  33. 33. •Motivation •Multimedia •Active Engagement •Competition •Collaboration •Interaction •Feedback •Levels •Adaptive •Assessment Game Attributes
  34. 34. These are the attributes of a good learning environment.
  35. 35. Games are FUN!
  36. 36. Gamification of Entrepreneurship Education Online Game for Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  37. 37. Needs Analysis - Skills
  38. 38. EntrInnO’s alignment with EntreComp
  39. 39. Alignment with EntreComp - example
  40. 40. Game & Learning Design
  41. 41. Presentation of the game Unlock next Phase Pass the final quiz Upload / Submit a final assignment Unlock and pass a series of challenges using resources and tools Watch Phase's overview short video
  42. 42. The game
  43. 43. EntrInnO game
  44. 44. The Competition
  45. 45. Presentation of the game
  46. 46. The Game
  47. 47. Application form and Reflection Quiz
  48. 48. Progressing to the next phase
  49. 49. Assessment XP Points Final assignment challenges Final quiz challenge Facilitators can monitor whether players went through the resources and material of each phase using the game’s automatically awarded XP points. A final assignment in each phase in the game which requires players to apply knowledge and develop skills related to the particular phase’s entrepreneurial area of focus. Players need to pass a quiz challenge which is developed to test basic knowledge and scenario- based responses relevant to the content of the phase using 10 true/false and multiple choice questions.
  50. 50. Challenges Matching activities & competences Cultural diversity Self-pace Vs Facilitated Reading material Collaborate or self-paced Video – audio –translations Usability Scalability Duration © CARDET 2017
  51. 51. Strengths Aligned with the EU directives Modular and can be adapted in learning courses Close to youth’s high-tech culture Address various needs for economic growth Self-paced or facilitated Can be combined with materials and resources in existing courses © CARDET 2017
  52. 52. Design Challenges Less content in each screen - game-like feel Less technical language for better understanding Operationalize competencies Simplify the interface Engage the user from the beginning Content edited down Language in the missions was simplified Multiple activities The interface was updated in 3 rounds Created a profiling activity at the beginning of the game
  53. 53. Challenges • Not everything can be gamified • Operationalizing entrepreneurial competencies • Time (preparation & implementation) • Teachers and schools not prepared • Curriculum (ECTS, alignment, length) • Learning design • Assessment • Classroom arrangements • Language • Technology
  54. 54. 3-Sigma Model Systemic Systematic & Sustainable elearning innovations Stakeholders Partnerships Infrastructure ICT Support Costs Leadership Teacher practices Curriculum Pedagogy Assessment Teacher Professional Development Policies & Strategies Local, Regional, & Country Level Context Culture, Socioeconomic factors, Language, Geography, History Ongoing Monitoring, Research & Evaluation © CARDET 2017
  55. 55. Recommendations for Research • What is the nature of decision making in school settings? • What factors influence decisions teachers make? • How do teachers and students experience inclusion? • What is the meaning of digital citizenship for young learners? • How can we foster responsible ethical digital participation? • Which elements of games are more appropriate for what kinds of learners, and learning outcomes?
  56. 56. • InterCap • DRC • SCHOOLS FOR FUTURE YOUTH (SFYOUTH), • B-Learning: Curriculum Design for Blended Learning (B-LEARNING) • EUciTEC • Digital Tools for Inclusion of Refugees, Asylum Seekers and Migrants • Digital, Social and Civic Competences Development for Adult Educators Working with Migrants and Refugees -DiSoCi • Digital Tools for Inclusion of Refugees, & Migrants • AGEFACTOR • COMMIX • FEFE • Girls on Global STEM (GIGS) • MIELES - e-learning in Indian higher education • Work 4.0 • Shanarani • CIVACT • Journey to Employment (GET THERE) • Health Communication Training for Health Professionals (H-COM) • An innovative toolkit for inclusive decision making policies (Idecide) • Innovation Ecosystems for VET (InEcVET) • Training community volunteers • Welcome to universities and HiEd. (WELCOME) • ‘Young EuropeanTalent on the Move- YET’ • TrainVol: Capacity Building of Civil Society to Strengthen Volunteerism • Video/Visual Literacies (ViLi) • SELF-E • Airthings • Soci@l • SIMILAR • Mindfull managers • BRAMIR • MEDIS • BACKPACK Relevant Projects The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.