InforMedia Services (IMS)

Technology Instruction for St. Cloud State University

Archive for the 'gamification' Category

games for building and exploration

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 9th February 2015

Beyond Minecraft: Games That Inspire Building and Exploration

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/11/beyond-minecraft-games-that-inspire-building-and-exploration/

1. Garry’s Mod 

garryscreenshotGarry’s Mod (GMod) is a sandbox game like Minecraft but instead of building and exploring, students use a fun physics engine that simulates things like gravity and mass. They also use a virtual toy box of assets from Valve Software’s popular games. The tool is a step up in complexity from the elegant simplicity of Minecraft, but with Garry’s Mod, students are exposed to physics concepts while having madcap fun.

2. Kerbal Space Program

kerbal_screenshotKerbal Space Program has a robust physics engine too, but it’s more focused than Garry’s Mod. Players purchase rocket parts, put them together, and then see if they can get a ship into orbit, to one of two moons, or even to another planet. These aren’t easy tasks, so play is focused on trial and error testing, and, like Minecraft, seeking help from the community is part of a successful strategy.

3. Sound Shapes 

soundshapes_screenshotSound Shapes is a visually stunning platform puzzle game set to a rich musical soundscape. Even better: students can create and share their own levels – like interactive sheet music — using sounds and objects unlocked by playing the platform game. It’s an accessible entry point into musical composition as well as game design, and provides an experience that builds on the creativity of Minecraft while offering something wholly unique for music lovers.

4. DIY

DIYFor creative kids who want to get their hands dirty, check out DIY, a site where students can find things to build, instructions for how to build them, and ways to share their creations with others. All projects are aligned to 50 skills that run the gamut from outdoors to indoors, and feature various challenges to complete and cool badges to earn and display.

5. STENCYL

screen568x568Computer programming is a great next step for students who love to mod Minecraft or toy around with the redstone resource (which simulates basic logic and circuitry). One solid entry-level tool is Stencyl, a game creation program focused on codeless, cross-platform game making. By snapping blocks of code together, students can create games that can be published and played on a variety of platforms including mobile phones.

6. CODECADEMY

Codecademy is a web-based, self-paced site that teaches actual industry-standard languages like PHP, Javascript, Python, Ruby, HTML, and CSS. While students don’t create publishable games like they would in Stencyl, their learning is purpose-driven and contextualized, e.g. JavaScript for web development or Ruby for app development. And students do get to see their code’s output directly onscreen.

Minecraft has introduced a lot of youth to games as well as the critical thinking, problem solving, and creation skills necessary for self-motivated learning. The games and sites on this list have the potential to extend that learning, providing fresh outlets for self-expression in the digital world and beyond.

More on gaming in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=minecraft

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=games

Posted in gamification, gaming | 1 Comment »

badges

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 4th February 2015

4 Benefits To Using Badges In Online Learning

http://elearningindustry.com/using-badges-in-online-learning

greater autonomy for students, greater levels of feedback, and a variety of assignments.

More on badges in this blog:

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=badges

In each of the classes for which I use badges I have 24 different badges that students can earn. Each one is a “micro-assignment” which asks students to apply some concept or set of concepts we are covering in the class. Students submit their responses and if they meet the badge criteria they earn the badge. When they earn a badge they receive the points for that in their grades and also receive a badge graphic uploaded to their own personal profile which only they can see. One feature I would like to incorporate is the ability to share these badges via their social networks but I am not sure about how this would work with regard to FERPA requirements. More research on my part is needed regarding this.

If the student does not earn the badge, they are provided with detailed feedback and allowed to resubmit to try and earn the badge. They can submit as many times as they want or need to in order to earn the badge. Students need to earn a minimum of 14 badges to earn a C in the course and 18 badges to earn an A.

Posted in gamification, gaming, instructional technology, learning, mobile learning, online learning, pedagogy | 1 Comment »

Super Mario gets artificial intelligence

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 25th January 2015

Researchers create ‘self-aware’ Super Mario with artificial intelligence

http://mashable.com/2015/01/19/super-mario-artificial-intelligence/

A team of German researchers has used artificial intelligence to create a “self-aware” version of Super Mario who can respond to verbal commands and automatically play his own game.

Artificial Intelligence helps Mario play his own game

Students at the University of Tubingen have used Mario as part of their efforts to find out how the human brain works.

The cognitive modelling unit claim their project has generated “a fully functional program” and “an alive and somewhat intelligent artificial agent”.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/30879456

Can Super Mario Save Artificial Intelligence?

The most popular approaches today focus on Big Data, or mimicking humansthat already know how to do some task. But sheer mimicry breaks down when one gives a machine new tasks, and, as I explained a few weeks ago, Big Data approaches tend to excel at finding correlations without necessarily being able to induce the rules of the game. If Big Data alone is not a powerful enough tool to induce a strategy in a complex but well-defined game like chess, then that’s a problem, since the real world is vastly more open-ended, and considerably more complicated.

http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/can-super-mario-save-artificial-intelligence

Posted in Digital literacy, educational technology, gamification, gaming, student-centered learning | No Comments »

Games in the library

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 13th January 2015

Games in the library

bibliography and research

http://scottnicholson.com/pubs/index.html

Playing in the Past: A History of Games, Toys, and Puzzles in North American Libraries
Author(s): Scott Nicholson
Source: The Library Quarterly, Vol. 83, No. 4 (October 2013), pp. 341-361
Published by: The University of Chicago Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671913

demonstrate the different ways in which libraries have used games, toys, and puzzles over the last 150 years through bothcollections and services
p, 342 Defining games -
p. 348 Games as the Subject of Collections\
p. 350A significant shift in academic libraries is a focus on providing services to students. Since agrowing number of academic publications both current issues and back volumes

are ac-cessible online through library subscriptions, the physical space of academic libraries is notneeded for collections of periodicals. The concept of the “learning commons”has become
popular on US campuses in the past decade; it combines traditional library resources and
the availability of library staff members with group work spaces, computer access and assis-
tance, and writing assistance to provide one place where students can get assistance with
course work. In addition, many of these learning commons also include cafes, social spaces,
and other support of the social lives of students, and it is in this role that academic libraries
provide access to collections of games.

p. 357 Another upcoming area of gaming in libraries is gamification. Gamification is the application of game design elements to a nongame setting ðDeterding et al. 2011Þ.

————————————-

Nicholson, S. (2013, June). Exploring Gamification Techniques for Classroom Management. Paper Presented at Games+Learning+Society 9.0, Madison, WI

The concept of meaningful gamification is that the primary use of game layers is not to provide
external rewards, but rather to help participants find a deeper connection to the underyling topic

——————————-

 

More on games in education in this blog

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=games

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gaming

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/?s=gamification

Posted in educational technology, gamification, gaming | No Comments »

Jeopardy-style Game in Google Spreadsheets

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 30th December 2014

How to Create a Jeopardy-style Game in Google Spreadsheets

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2014/11/how-to-create-jeopardy-style-game-in.html

use Flippity

Posted in gamification, gaming, Google +, instructional technology, student-centered learning, technology, technology literacy | No Comments »

Minecraft for Math

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 15th December 2014

6 Minecraft lesson ideas for your Common Core math class

http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/12/01/minecraft-lesson-ideas-243


Minecraft EDU – Part 3: Mathematics on the Farm

http://www.classthink.com/2014/01/24/minecraft-edu-part-3-mathematics-farm/

Engage NY Module 3 Area and Perimeter Minecraft Math activity

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Engage-NY-Module-3-Area-and-Perimeter-Minecraft-Math-activity-1570866

Mathematica Minecraft

http://mathematica.stackexchange.com/questions/19669/mathematica-minecraft

 

Posted in educational technology, gamification, gaming, learning styles | No Comments »

3D printing Curriculum

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 10th December 2014

Stratasys launches Free 3D printing Curriculum

http://campustechnology.com/articles/2014/12/04/stratasys-launches-free-3d-printing-curriculum.aspx

Here is a link to the first unit: web.stcloudstate.edu/informedia/3dprint/U01.zip
The documents are big (up to 400MB). Please let us know, if you want to work together.

Posted in educational technology, gamification, instructional technology, Project Based Learning, student-centered learning, technology literacy | No Comments »

wearables

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 9th December 2014

Virtual Reality Aims for the Mobile Phone

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/532351/virtual-reality-aims-for-the-mobile-phone/

The “Oculus Platform” Marketplace For Virtual Reality App Launches This Fall

http://techcrunch.com/2014/09/20/oculus-platform/

more at:

https://www.google.com/search?q=marketplace+tech+samsung+virtual+reality&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

Posted in gamification, interactive apps, mobile apps, mobile devices, mobile learning, student-centered learning, technology, technology literacy, virtualization | 2 Comments »

game-based learning

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 30th November 2014

The underlying assumption of an education system that relies so heavily on test-based assessment is that content is what matters.
For those who prioritize learning that can be measured using only quantitative assessments, game-based learning probably just looks like a way to increase student engagement and content retention. It might seem like a complex workbook, or an entertaining quiz. Perhaps game-based learning looks like a great tool for practice and drilling, like a super sophisticated flash-card system that makes memorization more fun. But this kind of thinking doesn’t take into account the broader understanding of what matters. Game-based learning is a great classroom tool because it allows for interdisciplinary learning through contextualized critical thinking and problem solving.
Games in the classroom can encourage students to understand subject matter in context — as part of a system. In contrast to memorization, drilling, and quizzing, which is often criticized because it focuses on facts in isolation, games force players to interact with problems in ways that take relationships into account. The content becomes useful insofar as it plays a part in a larger multi-modal system.

Definition
Game-based learning is an instructional method that allows students to experience, understand, and solve problems in the world of a particular subject, or system, from the inside.

One promise of game-based learning is that it has the potential of building comprehension and literacy rather than retention. It does this by combining instruction, practice, and assessment. Teachers become the facilitators of a process where instruction is experiential. Practice is project based, requiring students to solve new problems and address new challenges using the new ideas to which they’ve been introduced. And assessment no longer measures a student’s ability to regurgitate information, or to choose among multiple answers, but rather, to use the content, or subject matter, in context. Even more impressive is that in order to successfully manipulate one piece within a comprehensive and complex system, the students must understand every piece of the system.
http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/tag/games/

 

Posted in gamification, gaming | No Comments »

Digital Games + Learning

Posted by Plamen Miltenoff on 19th November 2014

Guide to Digital Games + Learning

http://www.kqed.org/assets/pdf/news/MindShift-GuidetoDigitalGamesandLearning.pdf

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/11/the-mindshift-guide-to-digital-games-and-learning

ey ideas in game-based learning, pedagogy, implementation, and assessment. This guide makes sense of the available research and provides suggestions for practical use.

http://www.instituteofplay.org/

 

Posted in gamification, gaming, teaching | No Comments »