Serious Games March 09


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A presentation to the Serious Games Conference in Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 16, 2009

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  • I'm not a 'digital native' yet I show the same characteristics and preferences in how I work, interact and play (and the reason why I have embraced technology with a passion).

    I think that the profile of the DNs have always been present in the human population however they have been beaten out of us thanks to the post industrial model of education. One of the slides stated that we only know 10% of our brain - well the education system we have had to endure only teaches to that 10% and has ignored the rest!!

    The digital age has now liberated us from the systemic limits placed on our thinking and learning preferences and is now allowing us to develop skills that have been innate for so long.

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  • Serious Games March 09

    1. 1. Game-Based Learning and Simulations Conference Game On Manitoba March 16, 2009
    2. 2. Serious Games An Educator’s Perspective Dr. Reynold Redekopp University of Manitoba [email_address]
    3. 3. What Are We Going To Do Today? <ul><li>Brain Research </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics of Digital People </li></ul><ul><li>How We Learn </li></ul><ul><li>How Do Digital Games Fit In </li></ul>
    4. 4. Brain Research <ul><li>Some general ideas </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Digital Kids are actually wired differently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They read differently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They notice different things </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They learn differently </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Brain Research <ul><li>We know ~10% about the brain </li></ul><ul><li>All brains are constantly changing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>all ages - it doesn’t stop at adulthood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strong neural pathways are created by </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>intensity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>duration </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Brain Research <ul><li>How the brain processes a new task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>confusion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>greater brain activity to organize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>facts/tasks become automatic </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Gary Small - UCLA brain researcher </li></ul>
    7. 7. Brain Research <ul><li>Left brain - what we tend to value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>logic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>calculation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>sequence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>verbal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>physical </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are all easily automated </li></ul>
    8. 8. Brain Research <ul><li>Right brain - less valued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>visual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>intuitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multi-processing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>big picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>spatial sense </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are all NOT easily automated </li></ul>
    9. 9. Brain Research <ul><li>Video gaming is &quot;stunting frontal lobe development&quot; potentially leading to &quot;an immature and self-absorbed emotional level&quot; (Small p. 32) </li></ul><ul><li>More complex games and tasks require the use of the frontal areas. (p. 37) </li></ul>
    10. 10. Brain Research <ul><li>What’s he talking about? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Brain Research
    12. 12. Brain Research <ul><li>&quot;Digital Natives, after long periods of time on the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>display poor eye contact and </li></ul><ul><li>Show a reluctance to interact socially&quot; (Small p. 73) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Brain Research <ul><li>Time spent talking ‘live’ improves memory </li></ul><ul><li>The interaction reinforces the ideas </li></ul>
    14. 14. Brain Research <ul><li>” Buddhist monks show more empathy and maternal love. </li></ul><ul><li>It was as if the years of meditation had strengthened the brain connections between thinking (frontal lobe) and feeling (amygdala).&quot; (Small p. 142) </li></ul>
    15. 15. Brain Research <ul><li>We are better at visual processing </li></ul><ul><li>The eye processes images 60 000 times faster than text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>schools and training are largely text based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the “Gutenberg” effect - with a greater ability to create text, Text became more important </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The brain still prefers images - there is less to learn. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Brain Research <ul><li>Digital natives skim pages - F pattern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mainly down - sometimes across </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is this worth reading? </li></ul>
    17. 17. Brain Research <ul><li>Colour is important </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Red attracts attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Black is ignored </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The INTENSITY of graphics has more effect than amount of violence on aggressive behaviour </li></ul>
    18. 18. Brain Research <ul><li>The anterior prefrontal cortex is the area that helps us multitask </li></ul><ul><li>Last to develop and first to recede </li></ul><ul><ul><li>children and elders </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. Brain Research <ul><li>We are natural multitaskers </li></ul><ul><li>We train our kids out of it! </li></ul><ul><li>Don Tapscott - Grown Up Digital </li></ul>
    20. 20. Brain Research <ul><li>There is some loss of efficiency with multitasking </li></ul><ul><li>One exception seems to be listening to music while working/studying. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Brain Research <ul><li>More than 80% of communication is non-verbal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gestures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul></ul>
    22. 23. How We Learn <ul><li>And how games can help </li></ul><ul><li>Summary from Life Role Development Group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>adult career management specialists </li></ul></ul>
    23. 24. How We Learn <ul><li>Learning is a process that occurs in stages </li></ul>
    24. 25. How We Learn <ul><li>Stages: A person goes to a training event, picks up about half of what they need to know to be competent, then loses this competence over time because of non-use. </li></ul>
    25. 26. How We Learn <ul><li>Stages: Learning sticks when the acquired learning is applied, and then is personalized, and then is extended. </li></ul>
    26. 27. How We Learn <ul><li>People learn differently </li></ul><ul><li>Learning Styles: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>auditory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>kinesthetic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>visual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interpersonal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul></ul>
    27. 28. How We Learn <ul><li>People learn best differently </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning by Doing - just wants to go try it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning by Watching - see it first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning by Analysis - reads the instructions </li></ul></ul>
    28. 29. How We Learn <ul><li>Many ways to NOT learn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning obstacles - external barriers to learning (workload is too intense, learning resources are not available) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning defences - internal barriers to learning (fear of failure, fear of success) </li></ul></ul>
    29. 30. How We Learn <ul><li>Learning is enhanced when there is a reason for it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They’re already motivated to do the kind of work they do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The training they’re undertaking will help them pursue their desired career path </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Some just love learning </li></ul></ul>
    30. 31. James Paul Gee - Edutopia <ul><li>Games as constant evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce fear of mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Active involvement </li></ul><ul><li>In context </li></ul><ul><li>High motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Aware of progress </li></ul>
    31. 32. James Paul Gee
    32. 34. Digital Age People <ul><li>How Are they Different? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do they need to be different? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shift Happens (Video) </li></ul></ul>
    33. 35. Shift Happens
    34. 36. Digital-Age People <ul><li>Characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The bottom line is that children today are FUNDAMENTALLY different in the way they: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>think </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>access, absorb, interpret, process and use information </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>view, interact and communicate in and with the modern world. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    35. 37. Starcraft, WoW, Runescape <ul><li>Manual, what manual? </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis and forums </li></ul><ul><ul><li>often there are many pages to describe a “how-to” </li></ul></ul>
    36. 38. Digital Age People <ul><li>learn differently, especially out of school </li></ul><ul><li>they multitask, network, interact as part of their routine </li></ul><ul><li>multitasking is part of human nature, ask mothers! </li></ul><ul><li>Ken Robinson - TED talks - </li></ul>
    37. 39. Digital Age People
    38. 40. Spend time: <ul><ul><li>Interacting with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading wikis and forums </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learning terms as they need them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solving problems as they arise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trying again (and again …) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sharing their solutions </li></ul></ul>
    39. 41. Digital-Age People <ul><li>we need to acknowledge that they are using skills that we don’t value the same way </li></ul><ul><li>we need to understand and learn to appreciate the strengths of their skill set. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Sawyer (pre-eminent Canadian sci-fi writer) - audio </li></ul>
    40. 42. Skill Set <ul><li>parallel processing </li></ul><ul><li>visual acuity </li></ul><ul><li>random access </li></ul><ul><li>they skim text </li></ul>
    41. 43. Skill Set <ul><li>Toronto study – shown 100 photos </li></ul><ul><ul><li>DN (visual) recall about 90 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DI (mainly text, but some visual) recall about 60 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seniors (text based) recall about 10 </li></ul></ul>
    42. 44. Skill Set <ul><li>they are fearless (my son’s first “game”) </li></ul><ul><li>by the time a digital immigrant has read the table of contents of a manual … </li></ul><ul><li>… the digital native has already figured out 15 things that will work and 15 things that won’t.” (Jukes) </li></ul>
    43. 45. Digital-Age People <ul><ul><ul><li>they read – but on a need-to-know basis </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>not books much (Florida Rhodes Scholar) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>rather web pages, wikis, discussion forums </li></ul></ul></ul>
    44. 46. Digital-Age People <ul><ul><ul><li>they want context for the experience or learning </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>they need practice </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>they need regular feedback and reinforcement </li></ul></ul></ul>
    45. 47. Digital-Age People <ul><li>Let’s summarize once more what writers like Steven Johnson, Marc Prensky, Daniel Pink have noted: </li></ul>
    46. 48. Digital-Age People <ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer receiving information quickly from multiple multimedia sources. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer parallel processing and multi-tasking. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer active, engaged learning. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    47. 49. Digital-Age People <ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer processing pictures, sounds and video before text. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer random access to hyper-linked multimedia info. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer to network simultaneously with many others. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    48. 50. Digital-Age People <ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer to learn “just-in-time”. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer instant gratification and immediate rewards. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Digital learners prefer learning that’s relevant, instantly useful, and fun. </li></ul></ul></ul>
    49. 51. Digital-Age People <ul><li>This generation no longer wants just to be the audience; they want to be the actors. </li></ul><ul><li>They expect, want, and need </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive communications, and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relevant, real life experiences </li></ul></ul>
    50. 52. Digital-Age People <ul><li>They don’t start with the manual. </li></ul><ul><li>They start by exploring - and look up the terms are they need them. </li></ul>
    51. 53. Digital-Age People
    52. 54. How Do Games Fit In <ul><li>What is their effect? </li></ul><ul><li>What do they add? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we use them well? </li></ul>
    53. 55. World wide increase in IQ scores <ul><ul><li>not because of education or nutrition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>could be partly due to the complexity/influence of complex games </li></ul></ul>
    54. 56. “ I learn from playing games. <ul><ul><li>Games teach me: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how to solve problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>how to work with others and lead </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>to be organized and detail-oriented” </li></ul></ul></ul>
    55. 57. Teamwork, Leadership and Community <ul><ul><li>Work with others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partition attention, divide tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinate efforts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate in multiple ways </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish shared goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integrate info to make decisions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prioritize data to meet goals </li></ul></ul>
    56. 58. You can’t sit back and be passive playing games <ul><ul><li>games are problem solving with constant evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the goal drives everything </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>new knowledge / procedures are learned as needed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>games are serious and intense learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>all you need is content </li></ul></ul>
    57. 59. James Paul Gee - Edutopia
    58. 60. Kinds of Games <ul><li>Marc Prensky </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Mini-games (2 hours or less) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complex games (more than 10 hours) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    59. 61. Mini-games <ul><ul><li>Practice particular skills, facts and procedures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inexpensive option to learn essential info and practice skills </li></ul></ul>
    60. 62. Complex Games <ul><ul><li>Involve all of the problem solving skills described earlier </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many, many decisions in every hour of play </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to constantly adapt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical / moral decisions </li></ul></ul>
    61. 63. During Game Play <ul><li>The average video game takes about 40 hours to play </li></ul><ul><li>the complexity of the puzzles and objectives growing steadily </li></ul><ul><li>visual processing dramatically increases with as little of 10 hours of game play (Jukes) </li></ul>
    62. 64. Effectiveness <ul><li>Moursund - In games, a novice can “see” the progress he or she is making </li></ul><ul><li>excellent opportunity for a student to learn about learning </li></ul><ul><li>to learn about increasing expertise that comes from study and practice. </li></ul><ul><li>learn about game-specific strategies </li></ul><ul><li>observe his or her steadily increasing speed and confidence </li></ul>
    63. 65. Effectiveness <ul><li>Gaining a high level of expertise is applicable to self-assessment and self-guidance in learning in another domain </li></ul><ul><li>I know what it means to be highly competent in the domain. </li></ul><ul><li>I have a basis for judging how well I am learning </li></ul>
    64. 66. Using games people learn <ul><li>to self assess </li></ul><ul><li>to develop understanding of their own learning strengths and weakness </li></ul><ul><li>to develop confidence in their ability to learn, and </li></ul><ul><li>to take increased responsibility for their own learning </li></ul>
    65. 67. Using games people learn <ul><li>Watch the next video </li></ul><ul><li>Change the word chemistry to your topic </li></ul>
    66. 68. James Paul Gee - learn through games
    67. 69. After The Games <ul><li>De-brief and contextualize </li></ul><ul><li>Partner with a mentor </li></ul><ul><li>Return to the game after some real-life experience </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Small - iBrain - UCLA </li></ul>
    68. 70. Summary <ul><li>Brain research - visual multitaskers </li></ul><ul><li>Digital-Age People - different skill sets </li></ul><ul><li>How We Learn - involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Games - fit these patterns </li></ul>
    69. 71. Are you training effectively?
    70. 72. Some Serious Games Global Conflicts: Palestine Darfur is Dying Food Force
    71. 73. References <ul><li>Rick Van Eck - Microsoft Innovative Teacher Conference </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MS Innovative Teacher Conf Keynote </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>TwichSpeed - Digital Game Based Learning </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- examples ftom different areas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Left/Right brain or ViewZone </li></ul><ul><li>Games2Train </li></ul><ul><li>Gary Small - iBrain </li></ul><ul><li>Marc Prensky - In Educational Games, Complexity Matters </li></ul><ul><li>Moursund - Games Talk </li></ul><ul><li>TV Ontario - The Agenda with Steve Paikin </li></ul><ul><li>Educause </li></ul><ul><li>Life-Role Development Group - Support Their Learning </li></ul>