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 ...

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  • Trip report: Games and Learning Conferences 2008

    1. 1. 14.08.08 Games and Learning Conferences 2008 <ul><ul><li>Steve Vosloo </li></ul></ul>Trip report
    2. 2. <ul><li>I presented at the 2008 Games, Learning and Society and ED-MEDIA conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Projects, insights, sessions notes etc. at or </li></ul><ul><li>In this presentation are broad themes related to digital game-based learning ... </li></ul>
    3. 4. Themes <ul><li>“Ecology” of games </li></ul><ul><li>Expanding definitions of literacy to include skills developed through gaming: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New media literacies, visual literacy, gaming literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kids as game creators </li></ul><ul><li>Games: mobile games, language learning games, MUVEs, ARGs </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges: assessment, design, etc etc </li></ul>
    4. 5. <ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul><ul><li>Katie Salen (2008) </li></ul>
    5. 6. Ecology of games <ul><li>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: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy, dialogue with peers, mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Players belong to communities of practice: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News, FAQs, discussion forums </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Develop community-related social practices </li></ul>
    6. 7. Kids as game creators <ul><li>“ Creative production as a pathway to critical reflection” (Peppler & Kafai, 2007a/b) </li></ul><ul><li>Scratch (software) and ScratchR (community) </li></ul><ul><li>Gamestar Mechanic </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An online multiplayer role-playing game designed to teach middle school children key principles of good game design </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A design tool to create games </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A community of learners </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Interactive fiction for History lessons (stand-alone) (PTO) </li></ul>
    7. 8. Recreating Past Worlds <ul><li>An approach to student-designed, text-based history simulations ( Link ) </li></ul><ul><li>High school learners design their own historical simulation games using Inform 7. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ 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.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LA: History but ... the Skills: writing, imagining, interpretation, argumentation, etc. </li></ul>
    8. 9. Mobile games <ul><li>Mostly augmented reality games, where a virtual game is overlaid onto physical space </li></ul><ul><li>Players as field researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced (GPS): location-aware </li></ul><ul><li>Simple (SMS): location disclosure </li></ul>
    9. 10. Language learning games <ul><li>Open Language Learning Initiative (OLLI), funded primarily by the Hewlett Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>EFL: English to Mandarin-speakers </li></ul><ul><li>ESL: English to Spanish-speakers </li></ul><ul><li>2 games: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Episodic (comic and games) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community (social network and games) </li></ul></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>“ Games can immerse kids in learning experiences that are rich, engaging and improve their disposition to constructivist learning.” </li></ul><ul><li>Melissa Gresalfi (2008) </li></ul>
    11. 12. MUVEs <ul><li>Quest Atlantis: 3D multi-user virtual environment to immerse children, ages 9-15, in educational tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Improved disposition to information and learning, specifically science topics </li></ul><ul><li>Want to pilot in SA </li></ul>
    12. 13. ARGs <ul><li>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) </li></ul><ul><li>“Puppetmaster”, “rabbit hole” </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: i love bees, The Lost Ring </li></ul>
    13. 14. The challenge of assessment <ul><li>Difficult to assess game-based learning </li></ul><ul><li>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 </li></ul>
    14. 15. Design challenges <ul><li>Beyond “chocolate covered broccoli” (Bruckman 1999) </li></ul><ul><li>There can be a contradiction between playing the game and learning </li></ul><ul><li>There can be too much interactivity with a game and not enough reflection </li></ul><ul><li>Learning happens through social interaction – how to achieve this? </li></ul>
    15. 16. Other challenges <ul><li>No panacea </li></ul><ul><li>Violent / stereotypical / misogynistic </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers: “Play” is not work </li></ul><ul><li>Gaming is not for everyone (is anything?) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Competing” against commercial games </li></ul><ul><li>An emergent field: Theories of learning are new </li></ul>
    16. 17. Some opportunities <ul><li>US researchers interested in working with us (Gee, Steinkueler, Parsons, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile games / MIM, e.g. Interactive fiction games </li></ul><ul><li>Open area in SA (in Africa) </li></ul>