1. School administrator John Wetter took on an odd assignment over summer break at the request of one of his principals: Track down any PokéStops or gyms lurking on Hopkins school grounds. He asked game developer Niantic Labs to remove it from the game.
So far the game has only been blocked at sites such as the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.
2. Some educators are embracing the interest in “Pokémon Go” as a potential teaching tool. “Any time something becomes a big pop culture sensation, as a teacher I try to just kind of ride the coattails,” At St. Paul’s Washington Technology Magnet School, educator Eric Gunderson made a spinoff of “Pokémon Go” that students can play on their district-issued iPads. He created it using an augmented reality app called Aurasma. He printed pictures of eggs on sheets of paper. Get the printed egg in view of the iPad’s camera, and an animated animal appears onscreen, a knockoff Pokémon.
The Minnesota Department of Education said it hasn’t gotten inquiries from school districts concerned about “Pokémon Go.” A spokesperson for the Osseo Area School District noted that students face many distractions. “Our leaders are very skilled in dealing with whatever the distraction of the day is,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
Seeking to bring the qualities of well-designed games to pedagogical assessment, the University of Michigan created a learning management system that uses gaming elements such as competition, badges and unlocks to provide students with a personalized pathway through their courses.
a new type of learning management system called GradeCraft. GradeCraft borrows game elements such as badges and unlocks to govern students’ progress through a course. With unlocks, for example, you have to complete a task before moving to the next level.
Written in Ruby on Rails and hosted on Amazon Web Services, GradeCraft was created by a small team of students and faculty with additional software support from Ann Arbor-based developer Alfa Jango. Their work received support from UM’s Office of Digital Education and Innovation and the Office of the Provost. GradeCraft can work as a stand-alone platform or in conjunction with a traditional LMS via the LTI (Learning Tools Interoperability) protocol.
Here is how it works: Instructors create a course shell within GradeCraft (similar to the process with any LMS). Students use a tool called the “Grade Predictor” to plan a personalized pathway through the course, making predictions about both what they will do and how they will perform. When assignments are graded, predictions turn into progress; students are then nudged to revisit their semester plan, reassessing what work is available and how well they need to do to succeed overall. Students are able to independently choose an assessment pathway that matches their interests within the framework of learning objectives for the course.
Besides Unity, the platform used by Niantic to create Pokémon Go and other popular games, the course also introduces students to AutoDesk’s Maya, a program used for 3D animation, modeling, simulation and rendering.
problem-based learning, which brings the students together for team problem-solving.
The Games and Gaming Roundtable is now accepting conference presentation proposals on games and gaming in libraries for the American Library Association Midwinter Conference, January 20-24, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. Presenters will be required to provide either a twenty-minute presentation with Q & A or an hour-long hands on workshop.
Proposals are due September 9th, 2016.
Please include the names and email addresses of the presenters, and the title, a short description, and 200 word abstract of your proposal.
That’s when the MacArthur Foundation highlighted the winning projects of its Badges for Lifelong Learning competition at the Digital Media and Learning Conference in Chicago. The competition, co-sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation, had attracted nearly 100 competitors a year earlier. The winners shared $2 million worth of development grants.
Evidence of Lifelong Learning
A digital badge or credential is a validation, via technology, that a person has earned an accomplishment, learned a skill or gained command of specific content. Typically, it is an interactive image posted on a web page and connected to a certain body of information that communicates the badge earner’s competency.
Credly is a company that offers off-the-shelf credentialing and badging for organizations, companies and educational institutions. One of its projects, BadgeStack, which has since been renamed BadgeOS, was a winner in the 2013 MacArthur competition. Virtually any individual or organization can use its platform to determine criteria for digital credentials and then award them, often taking advantage of an open-source tool like WordPress. The credential recipient can then use the BadgeOS platform to manage the use of the credential, choosing to display badges on social media profiles or uploading achievements to a digital resume, for instance.
Finkelstein and others see, with the persistently growing interest in competency-based education (CBE), that badging is a way to assess and document competency.
There are obstacles, though, to universal acceptance of digital credentialing. For one, not every community, company or organization sees a badge as something of value.
When a player earns points for his or her success in a game, those points have no value outside of the environment in which the game is played. For points, badges, credentials — however you want to define them — to be perceived as evidence of competency, they have to have portability and be viewed with value outside of their own environment.
In the research project led by Ph.D. candidate Gabriel Culbertson, 48 students were recruited to play two versions of the game. In one group, students were connected via a chat interface with another player who could, if they wanted, offer advice on how to play. The second group played a version of the game in which they were definitely required to collaborate on quests.
The research group found the students in the second so-called “high-interdependence” group spent more time communicating and, as a consequence, learned more words.
The research then expanded to a larger group of 186 Reddit users who were learning Japanese. After reviewing gameplay logs, interviews and Reddit posts, they found that those who spent the most time engaged in the game learned more new words and phrases.
The Cornell research team presented its research results at the Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in May in San Jose, CA.
All Xbox One games that you already own, including Xbox 360 games, will work on Project Scorpio. All PlayStation 4 games that you already own will work on PlayStation 4 Neo. Any games released on those new systems will also work on the older versions.
This is a crucial component of the death of normal game-console cycles. It means that console makers like Sony and Microsoft could move to a more smartphone-like model, with upgrades coming out every few years. It means that, instead of a PlayStation 5, Sony puts out several versions of the PlayStation 4 that eventually evolve into the PlayStation 5.
Whatever Nintendo does, we’re already moving toward a new paradigm where the traditional agreement between console makers and buyers is going to change dramatically.