Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Post 12

1.  Watch Tom Charfield's 7 ways games reward the brain (16:29)
Think about how he defines engagement and how video games can show us how we learn.  Write a post in regards to these concepts.

2.  Read Scott Mcleod's Do Most Education Games Suck
Pay attention to questions A, B, and C at the end of the post.  I read a lot of the comments and downloaded a couple of free (actually decent) educational games.

Why I chose to do a blog about video games?
Video games are an enormous part of our society.  They are a huge part of student's lives.  We need to understand why we love them, why they engage us, and how we can incorporate video games into educating future generations.

Tom Charfield does a magnificent job explaining engagement.  WANTING + LIKING = ENGAGEMENT.  I think teachers can learn and adopt what video game designers have almost perfected: an effective ongoing reward system.  What these games do is give out rewards at carefully calibrated percentages.  They get us to work hard to achieve a win.  A reward system can spark ambition and drive people to be continuously motivated.

I thought the "Do Most Educational Games Suck" was a really neat post.  Most educational games just look dinky and cheap.  They look simple.  I think a main problem of these games is that the developers are too focused on what the student should learn from playing these games.  They are focused on teaching first and fun second.  You might as well just get the students to do a worksheet.  It seems like anytime we force and control learning actually happens!

I think that video games (either actual games or the concepts of the games) can and should be used in our teaching...

Here's my mini out line of what I want to do in my science class (found at the end of blog assignment 11) plus the ideas of a video game style reward system.
  • My class has a blog
  • The student scientists have their own personal blog where they complete assignments I give them, and they can do freelance research.  
  • Freelance research.  I will encourage kids to become observant in everyday life and do research.  They keep up with their research by writing about their findings in their blog.  If they wonder why salt is used in making ice cream or if they hear on the news about dispersants used in cleaning up oil spills, they can look up information (site it) and write about what they learned.
  •  The reward system: I can give the student scientists experience points according to the work they are doing.  After gaining so many experience points the student can level up!  With each level up, the student scientist gets to choose a new ability to have (I'll have to get creative on this).  Some abilities they could pick... being able to choose his/her seat in class, picking a pseudonym that everyone has to call that person while in class, getting bonus point to add to a test, or they can get free access to my pencil draw.
I've heard about a college professor giving experience points instead of grades and giving experience points for things like coming to class.  Here's one link to follow up... Professor Abandons Traditional Grades for Experience Points.  I'm going to do some more research and post it later.


      1. Hi Josh,
        I really liked your blog post. I would have never thought about video games the way you present them, but it is a very good idea. The assignment you came up with was very good and I enjoyed visiting the sites. Also, I'd like to say I like the way you plan to run your science class it sounds like a great format for your students. I personally would have liked getting experience points in my former science classes. Especially getting bonus points on a test :) . I don't think you'll have a problem coming up with creative abilities, you seem pretty creative to have came up with it! Overall, I really enjoyed your blog post, and good luck with your future science class.

      2. Fascinating. I'm not a gamer. My son is. Generation gap. But your links helped educate me. I was especially fascinated by experience points. But your other two link very well with 2 suggestions from Tara Watson. Check out her Blog #12.


      3. Hey Josh!
        Your blog post was excellent. I would have to say your post is much better than mine. You are actually incorporating what you have learned into what you are going to do in your science class, and I think that is really great. I definitely agree that we need a better reward system for students, especially today. Thank you very much for your comment and I wish you the best of luck in your future classroom.