Connecting dots of digital learning

Join The Journey of 12 Educator Bloggers Gamifying Learning

Do you like to connect with educators who already pilot game-based learning in classrooms for years? These educator bloggers have put down meaningful amount of experience and resources in their blogs or wikis. They chronicled the endeavor or organized useful knowledge online, which is the most efficient way to share the real lesson learned. There might be more educators are using game-based learning in their classes, maybe they blog, maybe not. Let us know if we miss some really great blogs on this topic. (This list is in alphabet order of the sites’ names)

Alice Leung’s blog – Alice Leung

learning with technology

I am currently Head Teacher Science at Merrylands High School, a government comprehensive high school in Sydney, Australia.  My main project at the moment is working with teachers to implement the Australian Government’s Digital Education Revolution, which is a 1:1 laptop program for high school students. This is my third year in this role.

I like to use commercially produced games that are designed for entertainment rather than educational games.

Games for learning is her recommendation on using commercially produced games for classrooms.

Bozemanscience.com – Paul Anderson

Paul Andersen has been teaching high school science for the last eighteen years.  He has been teaching science on YouTube for the last two years. Paul is currently a science teacher and technology specialist at Bozeman High School. Paul was the 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year, and was also one of four finalists for the 2011 National Teacher of the Year.

Paul’s science videos have been viewed millions of times by students around the world. In the recent TED talk he gave, he shared something valuable from the experience of re-inventing his class as a video game, it’s highlighted in this post: 3 Ways the Gamification in Classrooms Could Fail. And this post about Using Game Design to Improve My Classroom is another good pick.

Busynessgirl – Maria H. Andersen

What are you learning?

I am the Director of Learning and Research forInstructure (we build Canvas).  Prior to this, I spent ten years teaching full-time at Muskegon Community College (in Michigan).  I am an author, a speaker, a blogger, a game designer, and a learning futurist. (her previous blog is “teaching college math”)

She is a prolific blogger, you can find a lot of resources for using games in classrooms on her website, it’s a great place to find right games(not limited to digital games) for your teaching, for example:

Edurealm – Lucas Gillispie

WHERE GAMING AND EDUCATION CONVERGE.

Lucas has been an educator for more than a decade now, working as a high school science for ten years before taking a position as a district-level instructional technology coordinator for Pender County Schools in southeastern North Carolina.  Lucas holds a MS in Instructional Technology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington where he completed thesis work researching the effects of a 3D video game on middle school students’ achievement and attitude in mathematics.

His current projects include the WoWinSchool Project, a collaborative effort to explore the impact of using World of Warcraft in both an after-school program and as part of the regular instructional program, Minecraft in School, which seeks to explore the use of Minecraft in with elementary learners, and iPod Games for Learning, a program that uses the iPad and iPod Touch as platforms for game-based learning.

Refining Game-Based Learning clarify the differences between simulations and games, “using games to teach” and “gamification of education”, it’s a good start for learning game-based learning.

Games in Education –  Adrian Camm

This wiki from Adrian Camm is an awesome directory organizing recommended games into categories and subjects.

game-based learning

Adrian Camm is an educator, speaker and presenter who is passionate about providing students and teachers with  engaging and authentic learning  experiences. His main interests lie in gaming, cryptography, physics and mathematics and he believes that all students are capable of achieving success in these areas. He has worked in a variety of roles as an educator including work with the Innovations & Next Practice Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. And he has been recognized with many awards like Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence, Victorian Education Excellence Awards and many more.

Playing to Learn – Lynette Barr

Exploring the vital connection between play and learning.

I am currently teaching a grade 5/6 class at Pentland Primary School in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. I am currently involved in projects investigating the power of games-based learning in Literacy and Numeracy. We use Nintendo Wii, PlayStation2, Flip Cameras, iPod Touches, Nintendo DS and online games in our learning.

She was named most outstanding primary school teacher at last year’s Victorian Education Excellence Awards, devotes 20 per cent of class time to games-based learning. She embeds games into every part of the curriculum, for example, using Lure of the Labyrinth – an online puzzle game from MIT Education Arcade for math classes, and using Super Scribblenauts on Nintendo DS for writing classes – students must use right adjectives to clearly describe the nouns to defeat monsters. She also discussed about using Lure of Labyrinth and Villainy for grade 5/6 classrooms, and more.

Team – Drill Head – Ananth Pai

I support making a law so that technology is available in all classrooms for children to use. (Visit his site to submit your support.)

Classroom Teacher, 3rd Grade. I offer a Data driven, scalable, multi-player, game based curriculum and deliver two years of academic growth.

On Location TV featuring Robert Stephens of Geek Squad, Rep. Carol McFarlane, Lori Swanson, WBL School Board Chair, parents, students and Mr. Pai. Features scalable, game based curriculum using Flower Power of Mangahigh.com, Timez Attack, Tutpup.com, Nintendo DS, Brain Age 2, Raz-Kids etc. (check out his site for more recommendations from him)

The Fiction Engine – Edwin McRae

battling the forces of boring education with computer games and apps!

Edwin is a game writer, blogger, and kids books creator. He is an educator in Garin College in New Zealand(a BYOD school), and just ran a workshop “Game to Learn” in Aukland. He frequently shares how he integrates games into his curriculum, and recommends on great games for specific educational purposes. For example:

… and much more! “Teachers need to stop talking and start playing.” he said.

The Minecraft Teacher – Joel Levin

I am a computer teacher at a private school in New York City. This blog chronicles my foray into using Minecraft in the classroom. The results were far from expected. I am also the co-owner of TeacherGaming LLC, creators of MinecraftEdu the official version of Minecraft designed for teachers and students.

The Playable Classroom - Dean Groom

Play Like It Matters

He works for Macquarie University in Australia, currently focus on a game-based learning model called Massive Minecraft.org. This post “Differences between game-based learning and educational games” is recommended for your reading. His own blog covers the following topics:

  1. Demands by parents that education work for all children;
  2. The increased push for accountability from education officials;
  3. The information and communications revolution;
  4. New research and greater understanding of the way we learn as children and adults – though play and imagination
  5. Practical frameworks for teachers to deliver games and project based learning as a blended learning experience.

Trails Optional – Jen Deyenberg

Jen Deyenberg’s Journey Through Teaching with Technology

She has taught for ten years in classrooms in Alberta and Scotland.  She is the Learning Services Coordinator – Education Technology for Northern Gateway Public Schools in Whitecourt, Alberta. She recently completed her Masters in Education with a specialization in Information Technology Leadership at the University of Lethbridge.

Her work around Kinectimals, using the Kinect device made the Horizon Report as an example of Natural User Interfaces. The project is described on p. 34 (p. 38 in the pdf): Microsoft Kinect in Grade 1: go.nmc.org/microki.

The Horizon Report focuses on the post about using Kinectimals for Inspiring Active Play and Motor Skill Development. It details how the kinect is really different from other technology as it uses the natural gesture technology to aid in the development of motor skills such as throwing and catching.

I’ve also written about Literacy, Science, and Art connections with Kinectimals: http://www.trailsoptional.com/2011/05/kinectimals-literacy-science-and-art-connections/

It was part of a larger project all about Cats and Dogs using Kinectimals and Nintendogs: http://www.trailsoptional.com/2011/05/kinectimals-and-nintendogsa-games-based-learning-project/

And a summary of using Kinectimals in the Classroom – please add to it!! http://www.trailsoptional.com/2012/01/interesting-ways-to-use-kinectimals/

Video Game Design – Kevin Hodgson

game-based learning

My hope is that my own sharing out of our science-based video game design project will inspire you to consider doing the same for your students, moving them from the role of “player” into the role of “creator.”  The main project overview for our gaming unit available for download. There is also a resource page with links and more downloads. –Kevin Hodgson, Sixth grade teacher, Norris Elementary School, Southampton, Massachusetts, USA

He shared details of every step in his project from pre-game design ideas, brainstorming ideas, storyboarding, to constructing video games (using Gamestar Mechanic), assessment , showcase, review, reflection. The connections to common core curriculum(6th grade) was provided.

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