Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Cole Academy Staff Learns to Blog

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

I asked the participants these three familiar questions. Here are their answers.

What is a blog?

It’s a weblog. Web + log = weblog. we blog.
Messages posted on the internet.
It could be your opinion… a diary kind of.

What is the read/write web?

It’s the difference between reading information and producing web content.
Others are shaking their heads.
We’ve got nervous laughter…

How do you think you might use these technologies with your students?

The principal: I’d like to see interactive applications on their sites for students to explore and learn.
Cut down on paper.
Offers no excuses for missed homework.
Create skills they can use for the rest of their life.

So, we’ve got our work cut out for us, but this group is firing on all cylinders.

-Mark

Thinkfree challenges MS Office dominance

Monday, May 15th, 2006

Thinkfree challenges MS Office dominance (Via Moving at the Speed of Creativity.) I’m still sticking to higher priority stuff for another two months or so, but this was just too good not to share. Wes Freyer posted this about a week ago. I was wondering when something like writely, but for a full office suite, would emerge… and it has.

Direct Link – http://www.thinkfree.com

A big update is still on its way, too…

Shaffer and Gee on How epistemic games can solve the coming crisis in education

Friday, March 31st, 2006

Before every child is left behind: How epistemic games can solve the coming crisis in education. (Via David Williamson Shaffer.) This article Shaffer co-authored with Gee, and not surprisingly I found much I was interested in. Also, they build on the popularity of Thomas Freidman’s The World is Flat as they make their case for epistemic games, so some of you might find this a timely and relevant article.

If you are skipping these posts, don’t worry there’s only 1 more to go. In the meantime, these quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.

Introduction

- [ ] Re: The World is Flat: “But this crisis is not just a crisis of
economics or politics. At its core, this is a crisis in
education—a crisis in education unlike any we’ve seen before….
The coming crisis is this: Young people in the United States
today are being prepared—in school and at home—for “commodity
jobs” in a world that will, very soon, only reward people who can
do “innovative work” and punish those who can’t.” (Shaffer & Gee,
2005, p. 1)
- [ ] “The foundation for innovation ha to be laid from the start… it
starts in kindergardn and before” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 6-7)
- [ ] “But the problem is that innovative work is by definition
something that can not be standardized” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005,
p. 12)

Constructivism

- [ ] In a literal sense: “But today it is not nearly good enough to be
able just to read that textbook—you have to be able to produce
and not just consume, to make knowledge and not just receive it.”
(Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 9)

Engagement and Motivation

- [ ] “Contemporary video games are profoundly engaging and motivating
to young people.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 15)

Context-embedded

- [ ] “Epistemic games are about having students do things that matter
in the world by immersing them in rigorous professional practices
of innovation [23]. In this approach, students do things that
have meaning to them and to society, supported all along the way
by structure, and lots of it—structure that leads to expertise,
professional-like skills, and an ability to innovate. So we have
the immersion dear to liberal pedagogies and the structure dear
to conservative ones.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 12)
- [ ] “The key step in developing the epistemic frame of most
communities of innovation is in
some form of professional practicum [25, 26]. Professional
practica are environments in which a learner acts in a supervised
setting and then reflects on the results of his or her action
with peers and mentors.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 14) Also
social and ZPD related.
- [ ] “new technologies connected to computer games, video games, and
simulations—as well as handheld computing devices and the
Internet—can let students learn to innovate by participating in
simulations of professional practica” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p.
14)
- [ ] “with epistemic games students don’t have to wait to begin their
education for innovation until college, or graduate school, or
their entry into the work force. In these games, learning to
think like innovative professionals prepares students for
innovative work.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 19)
- [ ] “Instead of learning facts, information, and theories first and
then trying to apply them, the facts, information, and theories
are learned and remembered because they were needed to play the
game successfully.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 21-22)

- [ ] “Epistemic games of all kinds make it possible for students of
all ages to learn by working as innovators. In playing epistemic
games, students learn basic skills, to be sure. They learn the
“facts” and “content” that we currently reward. But in epistemic
games students learn facts and content in the context of
innovative ways of thinking and working. They learn in a way that
sticks, because they learn in the process of doing things that
matter. Epistemic games thus give educators an opportunity to
move beyond disciplines derived from medieval scholarship
constituted within schools developed in the industrial
revolution—a new model of learning for a digital culture and a
global economy.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 24)

Inquiry-driven

- [ ] Islands of expertise: “These islands may be rooted in dinosaurs,
mythology, computers, science, or art, but their real import is
the preparation they give these children for life-long learning
as they face the ever increasing demands of complex language,
symbols, and practices at higher and higher levels of schooling.”
(Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 7)

Socially Negotiated

- [ ] “Innovative practitioners use the knowledge, skills, and ways of
thinking of some professional community (in the broad sense of
professional). Learning to innovate always involves becoming part
of some group of people with a common repertoire of knowledge
about and ways of addressing problems in the world. What’s more,
these professional communities already know a lot about how to
make innovative practitioners. If they didn’t, the communities
would die out. So communities of innovative
practice—professionals in the broad sense of the term—can tell us
a lot about how to help students prepare for innovative work
[23]. ” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 13)

Play

- [ ] Hard Fun: “Rigorous learning requires lots of time and lots
of engagement and motivation [21]. But aren’t games fun and
learning work? Well, actually, no [22]. Skilled professionals (in
the broad sense of the term) draw deep pleasure from what they
know and do. That is what keeps them challenging themselves at
the cutting and ever growing edge of their competence. Innovation
is fundamentally playful, but far from driving away rigor, such
pleasure and playfulness drives the practitioner towards greater
challenges and higher standards of accomplishment.
In other words, epistemic games are games that let players learn
to work and, thus, to
think as innovative professionals. Epistemic games are games that
let students develop the epistemic frames of innovation.
Epistemic games are fun, but they are fun because they are about
innovation and mastery of complex domains. Epistemic games are
about knowledge, but they are about knowledge in action—about
making knowledge, applying knowledge, and sharing knowledge.
Epistemic games are rigorous, motivating, and complex because
that’s what characterizes the practices of innovation upon which
they are modeled.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 15)
- [ ] “To be clear: epistemic games are not necessarily games that are
played strictly for pleasure – but then pleasure isn’t what makes
a game a game in the first place. Pleasure is the by-product of
good game design and good game play. Play is the world someone
enters when he or she wants or needs to resolve in imaginary form
desires that can not be immediately gratified. In play, we
participate in a simulation of a world we want to inhabit, and an
epistemic game is play that gives learners access to a particular
form of innovative thinking. When it succeeds, it is fun, not
because fun is the immediate goal, but because taking on a new
set of values are an essential part of an epistemic frame, and
thus of an epistemic game.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 20)

Role of the Teacher

- [ ] “The structure that supported learning these skills and abilities
was built into the design of the game, and supported by adults
who held the players accountable to professional standards of
excellence” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 17)
- [ ] “schools, as currently organized, make it difficult to prepare
students for innovation through epistemic games. Teachers can’t
spare the time from getting students ready for the next
standardized test, and, not surprisingly, innovation is difficult
to accomplish in 40 minute chunks of time, spread from room to
room and subject to subject throughout the day… But schools
could be about epistemic games rather than assessment games—and
solving the innovation crisis in our educational system through
epistemic games would also address other crises that plague our
schools: crises that have received more publicity in recent
years. For example, research has shown for some time now that
even students who pass typical school tests cannot actually apply
their knowledge to solve problems” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p. 21)

Conclusion

- [ ] Re: The World is Flat: “So now here’s the good news—the first
good news we’ve had about our education system in quite some
time: The very same technologies that are making it possible to
outsource commodity jobs make it possible for students of all
ages to prepare for innovative work.” (Shaffer & Gee, 2005, p.
14)

Reference

Shaffer, D. W., & Gee, J. P. (2005). Before every child is left behind: How epistemic games can solve the coming crisis in education. Under review by Educational Researcher.

Shaffer on When computer-supported collaboration means computer-supported competition: Professional mediation as a model for collaborative learning

Friday, March 31st, 2006

When computer-supported collaboration means computer-supported competition: Professional mediation as a model for collaborative learning. (Via David Williamson Shaffer’s Papers.) This article was not explicitly game related, but dealt with many of the issues I’ve been exploring… and there were more Dewey references to boot. :)

Everything from this piece fell into the same category, but here’s the customary explanation… These quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner. With any luck, these will be helpful to someone else, and in the meantime, it’s motivating to me to post them as I go. :)

Socially Negotiated

- [ ] Shaffer explored”collaborative learning in a setting marked by
competition as much as cooperation” in which the “processes of
collaborative learning… were fundamentally similar to
collaborative learning processes observed in more cooperative
contexts.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 2)
- [ ] “Collaborative learning environments reflect the fundamentally
social nature of the
learning process, and the importance of developing contexts that
foster constructive and
productive interactions in support of learning—whether or not
those interactions arise in the context of working towards a
shared goal.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 3)
- [ ] “The pattern of collaboration in the studio was for students to
exchange reciprocal consulting on one another’s projects. Each
student had his or her own project, and in both one-on-one and
more public critique sessions, peers and experts offered feedback
on—and often co-designed elements of— those individual projects.
As a result, students were able to develop important
collaborative skills of giving and accepting constructive
criticism without simultaneously having to engage in the complex
process of managing a shared project.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 4)
Single player games are often played ina similarly social way.
- [ ] Apply or relate to other skills, including games “learning naval
navigation is inherently collaborative because it takes place in
an open, distributed system where different parts of the larger
task are delegated to different members of the navigation team.
The social organization of the team reflects the cognitive
structure of the task, in the sense that the person in each
particular role is responsible for a specific part of the process
of navigation.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 4)
- [ ] novices learn by observing and getting feedback from peers
(Shaffer, 2004, p. 5)
- [ ] “Dewey (1958) argued that any expressive endeavor involves
overcoming obstacles in the expressive medium, and that
understanding develops when those obstacles are relevant to the
expressive goal . DiSessa (2000), Erickson & Lehrer (1998), and
Shaffer (2003) have extended that argument, suggesting that
social interactions can similarly function as a productive
constraint on activity. These theorists suggest that as with
obstacles inherent in tool and task, working within social norms
demands reflective thinking.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 6)
- [ ] Simulated Negotiation (p. 8)
- [ ] “How did collaborative learning unfold in a competitive context?”
(Shaffer, 2004, p. 13)
– [ ] “First, interviews with students suggested a strong
relationship between the system of utility points that
structured the negotiation and students’ ability to enact the
role of one of the stakeholders in the simulated dispute” (p.
14)
– [ ] “Interviews further suggested that students came to
understand their own role better from the challenges
presented by peers in the competitive process of the
negotiation—and from the anticipation of those challenges”
(p. 14)
– [ ] “Finally, interviews suggested that exposure to multiple
perspectives in the process of the negotiation helped
students understand the issues” (p. 15)
- [ ] “In other words, simulated negotiation helped students understand
[the issues].
The system of utility points helped students adopt the role of
their assigned stakeholder.
Understanding of that role developed through preparation for
critical challenges from peers in the negotiation. And dealing
with other stakeholders in the negotiation helped students see
multiple perspectives on the issues.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 15)
- [ ] ZPD: In cooperative activities “a learner develops understanding,
in part, by observing work done by his or her peers within what
Hutchins refers to as the horizon of observation of the learner:
the parts of the task he or she can observe from his
or her role in the activity.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 16)
- [ ] “understanding also developed through the need to respond to
critical challenges from peers—what Hutchins refers to as error
correction.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 17)
- [ ] “Because the processes of collaboration are similar in
collaborative and cooperative contexts, such a tool— and, indeed,
any tool to support collaborative competition—would still need to
support (a) mapping between conceptual and social spaces, (b) a
broad horizon of observation that allows learners to see the work
of peers, and (c) error correction that provides learners with
feedback from their peers. In other words, many of the same
features that make the CoWeb (and by extension other
collaborative tools) good at supporting cooperative work will
also be important components of computer-supported competitive
activities.” (Shaffer, 2004, p. 17-18)
- [ ] Shaffer studied a “a computer-supported collaborative environment
marked as much by
competition as by cooperation” and concluded that
“computer-supported collaborative learning need not always be
synonymous with cooperative activity; however, the design of
tools to support collaborative competition may share many of the
properties of tools that support cooperation” (Shaffer, 2004,
p. 18)

Reference

Shaffer, D. W. (2004). When computer-supported collaboration means computer-supported competition: Professional mediation as a model for collaborative learning. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 15(2), 101-115.

Steinkuehler on Why Game (Culture) Studies Now

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Why game (culture) studies now? (PDF, Via c.a. steinkuehler – MMOG research.) This was a brief article, but with several quotable sections, some of them quite long, and as the title might suggest, many of them again relate to the social negotiation of meaning in games. As you now know, these quotes are categorized based on the section of my own paper they might appear in. They appear with minimal annotation, and they appear sans any formating – I’ve dragged and dropped from my outliner.

Incidentally, its fun to be writing a paper in March 2006 that cites sources that are dated 2006. This is current stuff we’re talking about here… a good thing in the field of educational technology I think. :)

Constructivism

- [ ] “Games are an extremely valuable context for the study of
cognition… [and of] how a given sociocultural context shapes
and influences individual activity and meaning making through
socialization and enculturation (Nasir, 2005) and how the
individual shapes and influences the culture in which he or she
participates in return.” (Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 2) This quote
might easily go in the social negotiation section below.

Socially Negotiated

- [ ] ZPD: “the valuing of seeking out challenges just beyond the
current level of one’s ability (cf. zone of proximal development;
Vygotsky, 1978), whether you are Level 5 or 55.” (Steinkuehler,
2006, p. 3)”
- [ ] MMOGs are ” learning environments, albeit naturally occurring,
self-sustaining, indigenous ones dedicated to play rather than
work or school.
They are rich settings for reciprocal forms of teaching and
apprenticeship, as successful in-game problem solving often
requires access to the collective intelligence (Levy, 1997/1999)
of the communities attending them.” (Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 3)
- [ ] “the networked learning communities that emerge around game play
exhibit many of the features orig-
inally sought after by research communities such as Computer
Support for Collaborative Learning (CSCL). Game communities also
exhibit characteristics and properties heretofore theoretically
and practically underemphasized, such as interaction among
community members with a wide range of skill, age, and maturity;
reciprocal forms of teaching and learning that occur in all
directions throughout the social network (in contrast to movement
from “periphery” to “core;” Lave & Wenger, 1991); and interwoven
forms of competition and collaboration that appear to foster the
high levels of engagement (Seay, Jerome, Lee, & Kraut, 2004; Yee,
2005) that periodically concern the American nongaming public and
press (a discussion typically framed in terms of “addiction”).
Understanding such indigenous, voluntary, self-sustaining,
naturally occurring learning environments may prove quite crucial
to the future theorization and development of contexts for
learning, both online and off, particularly as the “Nintendo
Generation” grows up with expectations shaped by just such
experiences. ” (Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 4)
- [ ] “MMOGs are social simulations” (Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 4)

21st Century Skills

- [ ] ” In the context of MMOGs, a game having “deep play” is typically
one that includes several overlapping well-defined problems as
its core mechanics (that typically increase in difficulty over
time), with a host of ill-defined problems enveloping them that
render the continuous solutions of those well-defined problems
meaningful in terms of one’s membership and identity within the
game’s community
of practice. Thus, MMOG game play includes all the traditional
characteristics of problem solving—problem representation,
conditions, goals, procedures, strategies, and metastrategies—as
well as shared practices typically found in problem-solving
contexts within formal and informal instructional
contexts—debriefings, theorizing about the problem space,
apprenticeship, and the valuing of seeking out challenges just
beyond the current level of one’s ability (cf. zone of proximal
development; Vygotsky, 1978), whether you are Level 5 or 55.”
(Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 3) This tail end bit also belongs in the
subsectino on the ZPD in the Socially Negotiated section of my
paper.

Conclusion

- [ ] Role of the Researcher: ” The ability to simulate entire worlds
and cultures populated by actual individuals working in concert
(or discord) with one another with which researchers can run
trials of full-scale social change is veritably unprecedented.”
(Steinkuehler, 2006, p. 4)

Reference

Steinkuehler, C. A. (2006). Why game (culture) studies now? Games and Culture, 1(1), 1-6.

Squire and Jenkins on Harnessing the Power of Games in Education

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Harnessing the Power of Games in Education (Via Kurt’s Research.) This is one of Squire’s articles (co-authored with Henry Jenkins) that is most relevant to my own research regarding the use of video games in formal k12 education, and the use of video games as constructivist learning environments in general. Again, the quotes I’m sharing at this point are only categorized by the section of my own paper that they may appear in… with some light annotations. It’s motivating to get something online related to the work I am doing for this Knowledge Area Module (KAM) on Principles of Societal Development at Walden University. Again, I hope you’ll pardon the format… this is what comes in from my outliner… and I hope this might prove useful for someone else.

Constructivism

- [ ] Orson Scott Card’s 1985 science fiction novel Ender’s Game:
“games teach by encouraging competition, experimentation,
exploration, innovation, and transgression… a constructivist
utopia.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 7)
- [ ] “Instead of replacing the textbook, [Card] argued, educational
games should be more like the school corridors, where kids
experiment, interact, create,
and share what they create with others, outside the rigid
structures that contemporary
games impose.2 At their best, games are imaginary worlds,
hypothetical spaces where
players can test ideas and experience their consequences.”
(Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 8)
- [ ] “[Card] predicted the more open ended, highly responsive
environments represented by next-
generation games such as Grand Theft Auto 3, Morrowind, or Deus
Ex.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 8)

Motivation and Engagement – I sometimes lose sight of this.

- [ ] “Games have the power to compel players to engage in disciplinary
practices, such as planning scientific investigations in
Environmental Detectives or reading primary documents in
Revolution” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 28)

Context-embedded

- [ ] In the millitary: “Games are used
in conjunction with real-world
simulations” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 9)
- [ ] revolution: “The game world is big enough so that each student
can play an important part, small enough that their actions
matter in shaping what happens” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 16)
- [ ] revolution: “a central assumption underlying the game is the
interplay between personal
and local concerns (making a living, marrying off your children,
preparing for a party)
and the kinds of national and very public concerns that are the
focus of American
history classes (the Stamp Tax, the Boston Tea Party, the shots
fired at Lexington, the
winter at Valley Forge)” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 17)
- [ ] revolution: “embeds primary documents form the period in the
game” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 18)
- [ ] a new concept: “ubiquitous gaming… Ubiquitous games can be
played anytime, anywhere and often play out across multiple
media.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 22) augmented reality GPS
handhelds
- [ ] “students learning in the context of solving complex problems not
only retain more information but tend to perform better in
solving problems.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 28)
- [ ] ”Games encourage role playing, which can… help students… to
adopt different social roles or historical subjectivities.”
(Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 28)

Inquiry-driven

- [ ] Civilization III: “Exactly what students learn from the
game-playing experience depends heavily on the goals they set for
themselves.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 13)
- [ ] More Civ III: “questions are also driven by the students’
personal histories” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 14)
- [ ] civ III: ““What if?” questions can motivate further reading or
discussion, helping
them to refocus on why the actual events unfolded the way they
did” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 14)
- [ ] “students can draw meaning from every element in their
environment to solve problems that grow organically from their
own goals and interests.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 15)
- [ ] Prospero’s Island: students can “reshape the world and reqork the
narative of the original play” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 21)
- [ ] Prospero’s Island: “This focus on the performance process suits a
nonlinear, more open-ended medium where no two players will have
exactly the same experience” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 21)

Socially Negotiated

- [ ] ZPD: Enders Game “and the games automatically adjust to the skill
level and objectives of each student” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p.
7)
- [ ] In the military: Learning is guided by more experienced members
of the military community, and the meaning of these activities is
negotiated through social interactions” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004,
p. 9)
- [ ] “Deploying a multiplayer framework allows the town to become a
real social community, reflecting the differing opinions and
competing interests that shaped how people up and down the
eastern seaboard responded to what were, for them, current
events.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 17)
- [ ] “The game can be consumed by individual students on their own
time and then brought into the classroom as an object for
analysis and interpretation” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 20)
- [ ] “Meta-gaming, the conversation that goes on around the game,
becomes a form of literary analysis” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p.
22)
- [ ] “Clearly, Biohazardis no replacement for experience—or even field
trials and manuals. Rather, it is a tool that responders can use
to explore ideas and talk about their practice.” (Squire &
Jenkins, 2004, p. 27)
- [ ] “games encourage collaboration among players and thus provide a
context for peer-to-peer teaching and for the emergence of
learning communities” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 29)

21st Century Skills

- [ ] systems content: “Civilization III players encounter history not
as a grand narrative but as the
product of several dynamic interrelated forces” (Squire &
Jenkins, 2004, p. 14)
- [ ] “Games are not replacements for traditional resources such as
maps, texts, or educational
films; rather, students are motivated to return to those media to
do better in the games.
They don’t memorize facts; they mobilize information to solve
game-related problems.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 14)
- [ ] “Cognitive scientists often talk about the importance of causing
perturbations in
students’ thinking, helping them see where their current
knowledge and beliefs break
down, and only then providing them with structured information
such as lectures or
readings.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 25)
- [ ] “Good games are about choices and consequences, and good
educational games force players to form theories and test their
thinking against simulated outcomes” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p.
28)

Role of the Teacher

- [ ] Enders Game: “teachers monitor the game play to increase their
grasp of each students’s potential. The teachers are counting on
the holding power of games to push these already gifted students
to their limits” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004, p. 7)
- [ ] “We leave it up to teachers how much they want to emphasize
cooperative versus competitive gaming.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004,
p. 24)

Conclusion

- [ ] “The real problem is that the kind of immersive, experiential
learning that games
support runs directly counter to contemporary trends in
education. Games may be seen
as suspect in an era of standardized tests, where knowledge is
considered measurable by
scan-tron sheets, where teachers are held in suspicion for their
practices, and where
education debates center around what instructional methods
produce the largest
increases in standardized test scores.” (Squire & Jenkins, 2004,
p. 30)
- [ ] “Using games to create rich learning environments in schools may
mean changing the “game”
of school itself so that routinized knowledge of facts or high
performance on
standardized tests are not the ultimate end goal. Instead,
students’ ability to participate
in complex social practices; learn new knowledge; and perform
well in novel, changing
situations needs to be considered valuable learning” (Squire &
Jenkins, 2004, p. 31)

Reference

Squire, K., Jenkins, H. (2004). Harnessing the power of games in education. Insight, 3 (5), 7-33.

Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, and Tan on Entering the Education Arcade

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Entering the Education Arcade (Via Kurt’s Research.) Mr. Ball seemed to appreciate my previous post of Kurt Squire quotes, so I’ll share the quotes I’ve pulled from a few other articles. This one Squire co-authored with Henry Jenkins, Eric Klopfer, and Philip Tan. There were many quotable segments, and here I’ve categorized them by the section of my own paper they might appear in. Some are lightly annotated. I hope these might be useful to others. There is quite a bit more to come tonight. :)

Intro

- [ ] In their vision for a public high school just a few years from
now “Games are enhancing traditional educational tools such as
lectures, discussions, lab reports, homework, fieldtrips, tests,
and text books. Games are being allowed to do what games do best,
while other kinds of teaching support those lessons.” (Jenkins,
Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, 2003, p. 1)
- [ ] 65% of high school and college students describe themselves as
gamers (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 2) “the challenge
is how to design games that communicate more sophisticated
content”
- [ ] “the medium is now robust enough to support a broad range of
school content” (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 3)

Constructivism

- [ ] “Knowledge developed through game play is not pointless
information to be recalled for tests, but is valuabe information
when confronting new challenges and solving problems” (Jenkins,
Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 6)

Context-embedded

- [ ] Supercharged is learning in context. (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire,
& Tan, p. 5)
- [ ] games are “motivating and authentic” without being “dangerous and
expensive” (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 7)
- [ ] Revolution builds on what we already know about the value of
combining research and role-playing in teaching history, that is,
the game offers kids the chance not simply to visit a “living
history” museum like Williamsburg, but to personally experience
the choices that confrunted historical figures.” (Jenkins,
Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 9)

Inquiry Driven

- [ ] Supercharged has inquiry and choice (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, &
Tan, p. 6)

Socially negotiated

- [ ] ZPD: “Future iterations [of Environmental detectives] might
provide greater scaffolding for this process by analyzing patters
of investigation and suggesting to students when it might be
appropriate to swtch modes if they are relyng too heavily on one
source of data or another.” (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p.
8) also inquiry!
- [ ] “This approach not only provides schools with customized versions
of the game, but can involve students and teachers in the
game-creation process as they design the specific scenario for
their location. By creating their own games, they can build an
even deeper understanding of teh issues at hand.” (Jenkins,
Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 8)
- [ ] “the power of a multiplayer game is that it is a living
community, in which each student has a different set of
experiences. Students can compare and contextualize experiences
through class discussion. By bringing the game into the
classreoom, students are forcedf to pull back form the immediate
play expreience and reflect on the choices they have made”
(Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 9)

21st Century Skills

- [ ] design: “these games often ship with their own level editors or
other mod tools allowing amateurs to customize the content,
design their own “skins,” and develop their own environments.
These tools are sophisticated enough and graphically compelling
as those on the market. They will also support the exchange of
customized materials among a global network of educators.”
(Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 3)
- [ ] Neverwinter Nights mods. (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 9)

Role of the Teacher

- [ ] COTS like SimCity, Civilization, and Railroad Tycoon: “these
games are being used in classes now but we need to develop
customized modification, curricular materials, instructional
activities, and teacher-training programs to assist development
in the schoolhouse.” (Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 3)

Conclusion

- [ ] “The next challenges will be as much economic (how do we pay for
the development of educational games); social (how do we train a
generation of teachers to integrate such games meaningfully into
their total curricular activities); and political (how do we make
a case for the kind of in-depth understanding these games
facilitate in an era of standardized testing?).” (Jenkins,
Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 2)
- [ ] the education arcade aims to “do for games what the Children’s
Television Workshop did for broadcasting: support experimentation
and implementation of fresh new ideas, which might not emerg
otherwise in the currnet commercial context.” (Jenkins, Klopfer,
Squire, & Tan, p. 3)
- [ ] “On average, students who played supercharged! did about 20%
better on the post-test than students in the control group.”
(Jenkins, Klopfer, Squire, & Tan, p. 6)

Reference

- [ ] Jenkins, H., Klopfer, E., Squire, K., and Tan, P. (2003). ACM
Computers in Entertainment, 1(1), article 08.

Introduction to the Read/Write Web: Full Day Format!

Tuesday, March 21st, 2006

We’re starting a full day class covering blogs, wikis, rss, and more!

I’ve started by asking the class these familiar three questions. (Their answers are in italics.)

1. What is a blog?

Like an online journal… a place where you can vent you’re opinion. I’ve seen all these angry people.

Anyone can access or contribute to it.

It’s a web log, hence blog.

2. What is the read/write web?

The web now, you can read it, but you can’t write to it. With the read/write web I have the ability to post to it.

It’s a new term.

3. How might you use these technologies with your students?

Giving them assignments and having them make their own journals, their own blogs.

As an open discussion forum with the teacher.

Their on line anyway, so you might as well make it work for you… anything that encourages them to write.

What about profanity… is this edited?

So, we’re off to a good start this morning with a small group… we’ll get to do lots of hands-on learning.

AB 75 Administrators on Blogs and the Read/Write Web

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

Today I’m with a large cohort of relatively tech savvy administrators. We’re discussing blogs and the read write web. I asked these questions… here are their responses.

 What is a blog?

A web based conversation area. (This woman blogs with her college aged children… since she can’t see them: “if they need money, they blog.”)

 It’s like you’re own private publishing company… you can write articles adn research ideas that other people can respond to.

(I told you they’re tech savvy!)

What is the read/write web?

(They are shaking their heads right now.)

You can post something on a wiki, and other people can make changes… enhancements.

What does this mean for your students?

They can create their own web sites… with partners and groups. They can post pictures and videos… it’s distance learning, with collaboration… even internationally.

 

So… I’ve got it easy today ;)

Participants on Blogs

Saturday, March 11th, 2006

I asked this session, “What are blogs?” Some answers were: online journals, web logs, and online conversations.

No one in the room knew what the read/write web was! So here we go…