NECC Live: Video Games

This post was moblogged on my Treo and I’m going to leave it largely as is. Chris Walsh (far right) interviewed Chris Dede, Damon Talley, and David Gibson. Chris Dede, on the left, is from the Harvard GSE and is responsible for a good deal of research into Multi User Virtual Environments (MUVEs) and the River City educational simulation. Damon Talley, in the middle, is involved with the NASA Toys in Space program, about which I know very little. David Gibson, on the right, is responsible for SimSchool and something called the Global Learning Challenge, which I also know very little about. Here are some highlights of the dialog that caught my attention:

CD: Immersive shared simulation as new definition of games, including engagment and problem solving
DG: games can bring challenges, goals, self-discovery – simulations bring mode building… We’re bringing them together into something that doesn’t have a name yet.
CW: How do we do more than just engage?
DG: are you desinging games or just playing them?
CD: kids are figuring things out when playing games
DG: self determination is key
DT: ours has curriculum integrated
CW: mmo’s and augmenter reality games are hot – can we define and talk about these things.
CD: exqmple: klopfer environmental detective… Also virtual revolutionary war battlefields
DG: in SL we will have handhelds with augmented virtual reality, too. Also our existing tools will be integrated in.
CD: the challenge is replacing what teachers are already doing – not adding to it. These environments do save time spent on classroom management.
CW: where are we going with this?
DG: increase in computational tools…
DT: more videoconferencing
CD: a big issue is research… The power is in the pedagogy and content, not in the tool
DG touched on collaboration.
CW: what are the first steps for teachers?
DG: there are a lot of things out there that are free for the searching and taking, but time is needed to understand it and create the pedagodgy.
CD: there’s much that’s been research
CW: one thing?
DG: learningarcade
DT: nasa kids club
CD: biology materials (didn’t catch it)
Participant: what kind of research is happening?
CD: lots… And some of it is not as rigorous – but is still valuable for making classroom decisions.
What kinds of things do u see happening in 5 years?
GD: I hope we see a turnaround in funding for experimentation.
DT: lower costs for video conferencing.
CD: hopefully breakthroughs in assessment… Games capture a ruch stream of data… If we can find ways of automating understandinh parts of that data it would be an enormous breakthrough.
GD: more authoring toos for students and teachers.

Sadly, I didn’t have a good questions for the panel at the end. The entire interview, though, will be available as an NECC LIVE webcast. I’ll link to it as soon as it is posted.

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