From time to time we’ll post our thoughts about philanthropy, games, learning, games-based learning, digital literacy, and people and projects we like.
by Linda Breneman We talk here a lot about using games in the classroom, but it’s interesting to look at the issue more broadly: how does technology in general fit in classrooms? Some teachers use technology a lot; some fit it in where they can. And many are looking for funding to increase their use of technology. Let’s face it. Tablets are expensive. And so are gaming systems. We get lots of requests here at the foundation for funding for computers and gaming systems that we can’t fulfill. It seems most school...read more
by Linda Breneman GAME, the Italian Journal of Game Studies, often has articles in English, and it’s worth a look. Recently an article in GAME outlined the history of hysteria around videogames, and argued for a more nuanced, complex, and scholarly approach. In “Apocalypse Postponed, Discourses on video games from noxious objects to redemptive devices,” Marco Carbone and Paolo Ruffino made a convincing case that we should reconsider both the poorly supported arguments that videogames cause violent behavior (advanced often by...read more
by Chris Jaech Valve recently launched a website aimed at giving educators the tools to use Portal 2 as a teaching tool. In addition to giving the game away for free, the site offers a knowledge base including a wiki, example lesson plans, and a forum to facilitate collaboration among teachers. Having played and greatly enjoyed Portal 2 I can certainly see the potential for using it as an educational game in much the same way the WoWinSchool project uses World of Warcraft. As we’ve covered in our blog, fun, cleverly...read more
From Swathe Machinima’s “Murder on the Booty Bay Express” By Chris Jaech Machinima is the art of using of video game footage to tell a story. Your average machinimator is just a big fan of a certain game (any game really) who is handy with video editing software and can write a decent script. After all, machinima can be extremely cheap (or even cost free!) to make. I know from experience, having been half of a two person team responsible for the production of four World of Warcraft machinima. A...read more
Bloom’s Taxonomy By Chris Jaech I’ve written before about games in classrooms and the need to use them appropriately. At the Serious Play 2012 Conference, Andrew Miller of Edutopia talked about the same issue. He referred to Bloom’s Taxonomy, a system for categorizing types of learning, and said that games are better at teaching the skills near the top of the pyramid—analyzing, evaluating, and creating—than they are at remembering, understanding, and applying. That being said, games can be just about as good at...read more
By Chris Jaech Research Review #2: Part of a Continuing Series of Summaries of Current Research in Games and Learning. A new paper profiles games-based learning in Scottish classrooms. It’s called “Console Game-Based Pedagogy: A Study of Primary and Secondary Classroom Learning through Console Video Games,” by Jennifer S. Groff, Cathrin Howells, and Sue Cranmer. Here’s a summary of it. Recently, in Scotland, education experts conducted a study on the potential effectiveness of console games such as Mario Kart and FIFA (a soccer...read more