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Bonnie Sutton

The future of Gamificationi - 6 views

games in the classroom gamification Pew. game elements

started by Bonnie Sutton on 18 May 12
  • Bonnie Sutton
    The Future of Gamification
    A new Pew Internet/Elon University survey of more than 1,000 Internet experts, researchers, observers and users points to significant growth in the use of game elements in online activities.

    Roughly half of those responding to the survey said the use of game mechanics, feedback loops and rewards to spur interaction and boost engagement, loyalty, fun and/or learning will gain ground between now and 2020. While many of those surveyed said there will be limits to the growth of gamification, the tech experts generally believe that game elements in some form will become more prevalent in the everyday activities of many of the people who are actively using communications networks.

    "The development of 'Serious Games' applied productively to a wide scope of human activities will accelerate simply because playing is more fun than working," observed Mike Liebhold, senior researcher and distinguished fellow at The Institute for the Future.
    Read or download the full report:
  • Harry Keller
    Interesting observations. Game elements will creep into serious educational software. It's inevitable because some students seem always to require some sort of carrot/stick aspect. For most, however, the key is engagement. Especially in K-12 learning, there's too much learning for learning's sake and memorization.

    I do not agree that playing is more fun than working. Much play can be dull and repetitive. The right work can be exhilarating. Succeeding at a game may provide some feel-good feedback for a while, but success in the real world brings better and longer-lasting good feelings. Playing games is usually easier, requiring less effort, while even the most wonderful work takes real effort. Too much gaming encourages laziness despite the idea that it may take hundreds of hours to reach some goal in a game. Those hours are just entertainment hours whose primary value is relaxation.

    Having reviewed a number of educational games, I find that they tend to take too long for the amount of learning taking place. The "game overhead" is just too great.
  • Bonnie Sutton
    In working with gaming, one of the things that interested me was that kids who had absolutely no interest n in learning at the elementary level, those kids would do a game over and over again to win. and for the joy of not being redpenciled while learning.

    I doubt that there are elementary classes where there is too much gaming . But perhaps I
    am leaning on my own experience. If doing Dinosaurs, I would use a game, a book, the library references, movies, a serious DVD about them, clay and art that would be done through the
    art teacher, claymation as well, and then the vocabulary, and written essays and topics.
    The game would be one of an integrated sets of things that technology facilitated learning would produce in the way of whole class learning. Trips would be to the Smithsonian and I would probably have a dino scientist work with the class.

    When DinoTycoon a game came out I was not as a teacher prepared to teach about dinosaurs, so I found a game, a scientist, a data based DVD, books, and
    the field trip to the Smithsonian to start the learning. Seymour Papert talked about hard fun.
    Kids would want to have a good score. Their scores were often better than mine and I was
    always scrambing to up my personal score. The affirmation that they were good at the game helped. Writing books and sharing information helped. I had a Laser disc on dinosaurs and they had to create their own movie. We also learning about amber and fossils. It was quite a journey facilitated by the interest in the book, the movie, and the game and interdisciplinary
    wiork. The math embedded in the game was amazingly learned by all.

    Frank Withrow did the same thing with the Voyage of the Mimi 2 , which was about the Mayan Civilization. The topics were hard science experiments that we saw on video some of which we were not able to replicate, but used the video for learning, there were Mayan codes and codices to learn and create products for, there was archaeology, to understand and a culture to explore, with the movies and there were games which I don't remember being so much a part of the enthusiasm, as learning about scorpions, the astronomy of now and then
    the making of a coil pot, exploring Mayan foods and plants and learning how they conttibuted to the world several things. that kids found exciting. chewing gum, venom from the scorpions to cure diseases and they were interested in the smuggling of the artifacts and what the Mayas held special. Ok some of the Mayan tortures and the huge bowl of hearts, and laceratino of tongues , the boys liked, twas a bit gory, but not in the program, instead we learned that at the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian because of the resources gathered from the "Seeds of Change". Immigrant kids learned that their civilizations had many outstanding elements. Most interesting were the movies that they made, calculating
    how the Beailik Lizard walks on water, trying to understand the geological landscape, what is a cenote and making a movie and a book about that. There were girls and boys fascinated with the plants and animals from the region , and we used Alexander Repennning's work to create a game of walking through the jungle, with the real elements of the jungle, the various story levels of the canopy, inserting animals that correctly lived in the areas of the canopy,
    and inserting a few dangerous animals in random events , a jaguar, spiders, and scorpions,
    and special kinds of ants. We failed at making a hammock , but we understood why one would not sleep on the ground , snakes and scorpions and all of that was embedded in the game that was written and kid -peer tested for mistakes.

    I think the games were navigation, to get to the channel to smuggle the cultural artifacts,
    Pok a Tok a game played by Mayans, some game that shared astronomy and the
    tides , faces of the moon. When I retaught this for the Smithsonian summer camp, I could take the kids to Amazonian , to learn some of the elements of the habitat and to see some of the living animals, we could walk upstairs to the exhibit space on trees, and canopies and of course we examined and ate fruits from the area. I don't know what was the best FUN for the kids, I think accumulating the knowledge and learning the maps, geography and elements of culture.

    So games when talk about it .. is a piece of the learning landscape. Not the whole day.

  • Harry Keller
    I have to admit that I'm thinking about grades 6-14 when I write about this. I cannot speak learnedly to grades K-5, and I suspect that you're quite right about games and younger children. It seems right to me, anyway.

    By the time we're talking about 11th grade, the landscape is different, IMO. Let's also not forget that having a series of incredible free museums in your backyard is unusual.
  • Bonnie Sutton
    I know that the free museums is a plus for living in Washington. I have found that the Exploratorium , and the COSEE Sites as well as the Smithsonian sites are really good information. I also attended the Science Expo in DC. All the while I was thinking but what if you see all of this cool stuff and no one teaches it in your area.

    I taught in a career based high school and I was allowed to do some of the things I talk about only because of an unusual principal. We actually had a half day on Wednesday and four hours on Saturday where we were paid to indulge kids in this kind of learning. In the summers we took a week to do a subject for middle school students and there was a culminating field trip to a place of interest on Friday, the Zoo, the Chesapeake Bay, Mount Vernon, a toy factory.
    You are right .. online is not the same as all the resources within a museum.

    I had been teaching the plate technology to kids, which did not seem to make sense to them.So when we went to the Sant Hall of Science, and there was this big globe
    on which things were projected from NOAA, they loved it and looked at it as it was a visualization of the process of plate techtonics. I think there is one in Hawaii and in lots of other places , but that's not the same as being able to do that one and the National Geographic at a pop on a bus field trip.
    I am taking a long field trip to Maui soon.
  • Harry Keller
    Plate tectonics is one of the more difficult science concepts to have a lab in. However, it's not necessary to have labs in every topic. Labs, beyond elementary school, are really for understanding the nature of science and the like rather than getting concepts.

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