Tag Archives: Game Based Learning

The Connected Age

Learning Technology at the core of The Connected Age? #LTHE

Enjoy this video from Educause. I hope you can see where I am coming from and why I’ve added this video to the #LTHE project as I see the Learning Technologist as an enabler, facilitator, manager, specialist, and even student in these ‘connected age’ Education settings:

“Higher Education is a connected community, and connections can do transformative things. When education is connected it forms a pathway; formal and informal learning are no longer separated. Learners can connect to an ever-widening circle of mentors, peers, experience, knowledge, games, simulations, collaborations tools, and augmented reality can help learners connect the dots in ways never before possible.”

The Connected Age from Educause on Vimeo.

ECAR STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 2013

Students and Information Technology 2013 #edtech #eLearning #educause

ECAR STUDY OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 2013The Educause Centre for Applied Research (ECAR) has recently published their “ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2013” report.

The report summary has the following key points and recommendations:

Key Findings

  • Students recognize the value of technology but still need guidance when it comes to better using it for academics.
  • Students prefer blended learning environments while beginning to experiment with MOOCs.
  • Students are ready to use their mobile devices more for academics, and they look to institutions and instructors for opportunities and encouragement to do so.
  • Students value their privacy, and using technology to connect with them has its limits.

ECAR Recommends

Badges - New Currency for Professional Credentials

Blackboard, Student Achievements, and #OpenBadges

Badges - New Currency for Professional CredentialsAs many of you will have heard, either from the tweets or Blackboard notices, there is building block for Blackboard that allows you to assign and issue badges of achievements to students which they can copy to their Mozilla Back Pack.

I think there still needs to be some proper consideration on what the badge is being issued for: the video below states the badges are issued based on “specific student performance metrics” (don’t get me wrong, I’m in favour of badges and some gamification of learning, but it needs to be an appropriate badge for an appropriate activity) such as:

  • a section of a course … possibly using the ‘mark as reviewed’ status? This is not meaningful as the students can just mark everything as reviewed and get the badge (I’ve done it before).
  • complete assignments … why give a badge for this? if they complete the assignment they get a mark and progress to the next module (would a student want to show a badge for a B grade when their friends are showing A’s)?

I would argue that a badge issued to a student who shows a skill learned, not a score or grade given, is more meaningful: e.g. debating skill, team or group management, individual goal attainment, etc. The badges could be carefully aligned to skills and metrics that are as much about the learning and subject as about the professional nature of the course – something the student can use to demonstrate a skill and understanding, something that an employer or interviewer would want to see from an applicant? That would make it more valuable to the student, and increase the importance of the badge.

There are more to badges in learning than just being able to show that the student passed an assignment or activity. What do you think?

YouTube: Blackboard Learn – Achievements

OCTEL: Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning

Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning #ocTEL

“Poor use of technology is a significant waster of time and money in the public sector. UK Higher Education is not exempt from this problem. This course will help those planning and delivering teaching in HE to make the best use of technology in their work and avoid pitfalls and hiccups.”

OCTEL: Open Course in Technology Enhanced LearningI’ve just signed up for yet another MOOC, this one provided by ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) called the “Open Course in Technology Enhanced Learning”.

Starting in April 2013, and running for 10 weeks, the online course will “help those planning and delivering teaching in HE to make the best use of technology in their work and avoid pitfalls and hiccups”.

  • You can follow the course, and the run up to it, on Twitter with the hashtag #ocTEL and Twitter account @ALTocTEL

The course will cover aspects of (and is not limited to … nor is it finalised yet either):

  • Induction: how this course works, who can help
  • Openness and standards
  • Options for the material, sizing effort, lead times, hardware and software needs, costs
  • On line assessment
  • Accessibility
  • Students in transition between sectors
  • Environments and administration
  • Using social media and games
  • Continue reading

How Students Learn

How Students Learn

How Students LearnWhile we may think we know ‘how students learn’, do we?

This post called “The virtues of daydreaming and 30 other surprising (and controversial) research findings about how students learn“, from Julie DeNeen, has some interesting findings, of which the following are interesting (to me – read the full list on the link above to see what gets your interested):

  • Scary/violent video games … “can be an alternate way to release negative emotion, and help children alleviate their innate desire for risk and adventure.” I’ll sit on the fence on this one: while there may be some positive benefits to these kinds of games I’m not sure if they outweigh the negative?
  • Science practicals … “isn’t always as effective as it may appear on the surface.” This statement says that science  or lab practical work isn’t working – is it the actual time spent in a practical or the actual experiment itself that isn’t working? I enjoyed my science lab work, even more so when it didn’t work, but (and this was more down to the way it was taught and not the subject, I think) I was not given the opportunity to ‘try’ out different things.
  • Chess … “forces students to slow down, concentrate, use precise thinking, active both inductive and deductive reasoning, as well as recognizing difficult and complex patterns.” Yes, but so do lots of other ‘games’ in different and equally beneficial ways. Let’s not single out a specific game, we should be able to advocate all game-based learning, especially when there is scope for the student to “understand that ‘losing’ the game is as valuable as winning.”
  • Building blocks … “one of the simplest and longstanding toys, teach geometry, patterns, shapes, colors, and physics” not to mention spatial awareness and dexterity?
  • Music and movement … help children to “learn to appreciate the pacing of words and how to speak more clearly” through rhyme. “Children who engage in music from a young age have a more finely tuned ability to speak and communicate” therefore are more articulate when it comes to reflection and critical thinking in later life?
  • Drama and comedy … induce a “vibrancy of emotion that shows a student’s entire mind and feelings are engaged in the activity” and learning, in various ways, is a result from an engaged child – “one who is more likely to absorb information, retain it, and make real-life associations with the knowledge.”

These are just a few of the interesting ‘findings’ on how students learn, so be sure to read the full article on the link above to read more about these and:-

  • “Children who construct their own video games experience increased cognitive and social growth”
  • “Engaging children in planning and reflection enhance their predictive and analytic capabilities”
  • “Children are not blank slates on which adults imprint knowledge”
  • “Children learn more when they initiate an activity and are actively engaged in it”
  • Children behave better when parents are involved in their education at home and at school”

Enjoy.

Games for Learning Infographic

Here’s an interesting infographic on “Can Gaming help Kids Learn?

Can Gaming Help Kids Learn?
Click to view the full Infographic

 Here are some little factlets:

  • 74% of school administrators feel that digital education technology increases student engagement (while 50% think it helps to personalise instruction).
  • 90% of school children (2-17 years old) play electronic games.
  • Kids are motivated through games due to ability to manipulate objects and events, they have control over actions, and engage in ‘experiential learning’ (even if they don’t realise it).
  • A study found students improved skills through game playing, which in turn taught teamwork and life skills including problem solving, communication, collaboration, and negotiation.
  • More than half had played (recognisable) education games.
  • Mobile “edu-apps” are becoming increasingly popular, with toddler/pre-school ages children accounting for over half the apps targeted at them.

What ‘games’ or ‘simulations’ to do use, with what age children/students, for what purpose, and why did you start using it/them (and do the students enjoy them)?

FOTE12

Future of Technology in Education App #FOTE12

FOTE12Future of Technology in Education Conference (iPhone/iPad/iPod): If you’re considering attending the Future of Technology in Education FOTE conference this year then you may want to think about downloading the dedicated App for it (also available for Android devices).

“The FOTE12 app offers delegates of the conference all relevant event information in the palm of their hand.”

Future of Technology in Education Conference (Free): http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/future-technology-in-education/id392685651

It has been updated from last year at FOTE11 and doesn’t show you much at the moment, but it’ll come alive on the day with details and information on:

  • Flick through the days agenda with information and find out more about keynote speakers and their talks
  • Connect with fellow delegates,
  • Connect with exhibitors and sponsors during the event,
  • Visit the FOTE Archive for highlights from past conferences,
  • Receive alerts and announcements using Push Notifications, and
  • Receive the latest news about the conference.

You can already look through the recordings of past events and watch them through Archive section, which I guess is where you will also be able to find details and recordings of the FOTE12 event in due course!

Update 28/9: New features have been added since I wrote the app, including delegate list (currently empty), maps and location, details on the #playFOTE12 game (sounds good!), and agenda for the day (inclusing bio and outline of the session).

Infographic: ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012

Students and Information Technology 2012 #edtech #eLearning #educause

ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012The Educause Centre for Applied Research (ECAR) has recently published their “ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012” report.

The report summary has the following key points and recommendations:

Key Findings

  • Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
  • Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
  • Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or “better” technology.
  • Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.

ECAR Recommends

  • Look to emerging or established leaders (other institutions, other countries, other industries) for strategies to deliver instruction and curricular content to tablets and smartphones. Learn from their exemplary strategies for IT support and security with student devices as well as planning, funding, deploying, and managing instructional technologies, services, and support.
  • Prioritize the development of mobile-friendly resources and activities that students say are important: access to course websites and syllabi, course and learning management systems, and academic progress reports (i.e., grades).
  • Bridge the gap between the technologies that have seen the greatest growth (e-portfolios, e-books/e-textbooks, and web-based citation/bibliographic tools) and students’ attitudes about their importance. Focus training/skill-building opportunities for students, professional development opportunities for faculty, and support service opportunities on these emerging technologies.
  • Use e-mail and the course and learning management system for formal communication with students. Experiment with text messaging and instant messaging/online chatting, and don’t focus efforts on using social networks and telephone conversations to interact with students.
    (See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, supporting data, and actionable results.)

While it’ll take some time to digest the report and it’s findings/recommendations, they have also produced this wonderful Infographic:

Infographic: ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2012Click to view the complete Educause Infographic

Some figures from the Infographic:

  • eReader is only important to 31% or respondents, where as laptop (more important than desktop or tablet) is important to 85%.
  • Laptop ownership is up 83% form 2004.
  • Android smartphones are more widely used (only just) than iPhones (46% vs 44%).
  • Accessing courses from a mobile device is more important (66%) than checking grades (57%) or accessing library resources (26%).
  • 54% of students more actively involved in courses that use technology
  • 70% of students say they learn most in blended learning environments.
  • 55% of students wished their instructors used more simulation or educational games.
  • Only 16% of students skip class when lectures recorded and made available online.
  • 57% want to keep academic and social lives separate.
  • 29% of students want their instructors to use Facebook more, while 43% want SMS text messages and 53% want more face-to-face interaction.

Show students’ skills along with degree #OpenBadges

YouTube: Digital Badges for Learning

This is the first instance I’ve heard of where a major University (Purdue U) is using Open Badges, and have called the system/process ‘Passport’:

“[Passport] is learning management, mixed with gaming, meets ePortfolio. Students earn badges by completing learning activities presented as a series of challenges. Passport guides students through each task by providing a framework to submit documents, share links, complete quizzes, or gather approvals. Instructors can follow each students’ progress and connect badges with course objectives. As badges are collected, they can be shared online as Mozilla Open Badge or through the mobile portfolio.”

This is what Open Badges can do when implemented across, and through, the whole Institution. They’re going to be far more important and recognised when used for course related activities (simulated business exercise, research, etc) as well as giving the students the ability to showcase their other activities (portfolio, careers, sport, societies, charity, etc?) and when applying for placements and graduate jobs.

Whether employers will embrace badges is another question, but anything that can make it easier for an employer see the best candidate from the noise of the good candidates should be a good thing, yes?

 

This is Learning Without Frontiers

Ever wondered what Learning Without Frontiers (LWF)  is about? Wonder no more, and watch this ‘review’:

“Learning Without Frontiers (LWF) is a global platform that facilitates the ongoing dialogue about the future of learning. LWF attracts an engaged and open-minded audience who are forward thinking, curious and receptive to new ideas and perspectives about education, teaching and learning.”

I was lucky enough to be able to go to LWF12 event (read my review here). For 2013 LWF I think I might prefer to make the 2 day Game-Based Learning rather than the 3 day follow-on of the main LWF event, but that’s less about my current role and requirements and more about personal interest in seeing what is happening on the gaming/simulation front.