Showing posts from February, 2013

Game Based Learning, Gamification, & Game Design: A n00bs guide.

Lately, I've been doing a lot with games in my classroom. I've also been teaching other educators about ways they can use games and game design in their classroom. One thing that often frustrates and confuses newcomers to this discussion is the differences between Game Based Learning (#GBL), Gamification (#Gamification), and Game Design. Often the lines between these three distinct fields are blurred in conversation as well as practice. This isn't a good or bad thing; it just is. Sometimes though, it is helpful to make a distinction. For example, If I'm telling someone how successful Game Based Learning or Game design has been in my classroom only to have them ask questions about Gamification, the whole conversation can get confusing. Don't get me wrong, Gamification is awesome, and I use it to an extent, but it is not Game Based Learning or Game design. As a n00b* myself, I'm creating this n00b's guide to help clear up these topics and how they apply to our

Grades: Gamification, ABI, & PBL

Thoughts on learning, grading, gamification, and motivation from a n00b . I'm just wrestling with these ideas. Conversation is more than welcome. Games & Gamification: Addictive vs. Additive  When the concept of Gamification is mentioned to most teachers, the reaction is neutral at best. I'm sure many people are visualizing trying to turn their subject matter, which they take very seriously, into something resembling Dungeons & Dragons meets Angry Birds. I'm not saying that's good bad or indifferent (See my earlier posts on games). There are others who would (legitimately so) argue that great games function a lot like great teaching. Therefore, Gamification is just a gimmick and really just good teaching. For an example, see the below graphs on "Flow" (a key concept in game design) and Vygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (educational psychology). Flow: A key Concept in Game Design Zone of Proximal Development

Epic Tale or Epic Fail: Designing User-centric narrative experiences in Gamestar Mechanic

As mentioned in earlier posts, I've been using Gamestar Mechanic to facilitate technology fluency and systems based thinking in my Computer Information Technology class. Game Design, GBL, & Teaching with Portals Projects, Paradigms, Preconceptions & Survival?? The following activity, developed with the help of several of my students, is appropriate for lessons in game design, plot development, user-centric design, and creative writing, among other things. As mentioned in earlier posts, designing a balanced game, one with flow, involves system-based thinking, problem solving, collaboration, art, storytelling, and digital media literacy. It involves "Systems-Thinking" and "User-Centered Design". To develop even a simple game, a student must act as sociotechnical engineer , thinking about how people will interact with a system and how said systems shape both competitive and collaborative social interaction. This is the 21st Century Story Telle