"Spies with surveillance agencies in the United States and United Kingdom may have spent time undercover as orcs and blood elves, infiltrating video games like "World of Warcraft" in a hunt for terrorists "hiding in plain sight" online."
I find this very believable for this reason. I had a student in Teen Second life several years a go and he came across a "meeting" of sorts that was obviously something very strange. When he tried to interact with the players they had a way to throw him out and port him other places. It was obviously some sort of strange thing happening. I have no doubt that games are just another way to have "secret" meetings for those who want to hide. That said, it would be hard to tell the difference between those gaming and those doing other things as the games themselves have people plotting and planning so I'm thinking the language used would be hard to separate the real world from the game itself, which, in some ways makes it the perfect way to hide in plain sight.
Great article by Elliott Bristow on the Edublogger about Minecraft in schools and how it is being used. This is a great reference for those of us working to integrate this into our classroom.
Don't let the title mislead you, but yes, there are many uses of Minecraft in schools.This versatile, compelling but pretty low bandwidth tool gives us so many things Second Life never did - and with minecraft.edu it is affordable for most of us. This list is trending on Twitter which just shows how many people are interested (or how many people don't read to know it isn't really 1001 ;-)
You might just find one way to teach coding in your classroom for the Hour of Code coming up.
Many options for "making" video games (or simple animations) have emerged. In this short piece, Edudemic shares how one can use GameStar mechanic to make games along with a video. It is well worth a try although, depending on the type of game, Microsoft Kodu or Scratch may also work. There are also some very cool games with the Xbox Kinect SDK app that let you capture a person's body movements much like they do to create characters like Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
Anne Mirtschin, Australian teacher of the year for 2012, rocks. She's enrolled in the Games Based Learning Mooc and in this blog shares what she is learning. I'm inspired by this veritable well of knowledge, energy, and love for students. To know Ann is to love her.
"Having enlisted for the Games Based Learning MOOC, I am determined not to be a lurker, but a participator of some nature. I am not a’ gamer’ but I have participated in Second Life and worked with my students in Quest Atlantis. Having observed students at school being distracted, when bored, by playing games and willing to spend hours playing their favourite games, I am curious about the nature of such engagement. On Friday lunchtimes I open the computer lab for students to come in and play games. A group of 10-15 students will happily sit, just watching two or three players on their x-box. How can games be used for effective learning in the classroom. I want to learn more and this means having a go at some of them. During week 1, the following actions were completed and following observations made:-
Poptropica is coming to the DS. I love how these games are writing themselves to seem educational when, in reality, it may or may not be. Sure, kids can read but are they? I like Poptropica but I've found that parents should look into the apps that claim to be educational before buying it.
MPs have made a fresh call to ban the sale of violent video games after it was revealed that the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Breivik considered the popular game Call of Duty “training”. Keith Vaz, Labour MP and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, has sponsored an Early Day Motion that asks the government to “provide for closer scrutiny of aggressive first-person shooter video games”.
This competition to create a video game will teach you how to make a game and help you study about health. they are due March 15 in this competition. Comptetitons are a great way to get students outside the classroom and create. way to help kids make more than a 100. What is more relevant and engaging to students these days than video games? In a few short weeks, you and your students can go from no game design experience to publishing your health related online video games on the Green Ribbon Schools website. The best part is we will show you exactly how to do this. We understand that Game Design can be new and intimidating. So we have developed a simple Lesson Plan for teachers to follow. No matter how computer-phobic you may be, you can complete this Lesson Plan with your students in 4-5 weeks. No game design or coding experience necessary. (With game design experience you can complete this in a matter of days)." "
This workshop session at WebWise 2012 shows that museums are looking at gamifying just like everyone else. Anything to increase engagement. Whether you like it or not, it is time for some serious scholarly research.
"Last year, Nielsen Research found that online games overtook personal email to become the second most heavily used internet activity behind social networks. While most museum and library professionals aren’t aiming to create the next FarmVille or Angry Birds, games have the potential to be meaningful learning tools and prompt real-world action."
For parents who want fun things for their students to do over the summer that will help students learn more and move forward in math and literacy skills - this is a website to check out.
"Students enter the tournament by going to www.DimensionU.com/SummerChallenge. Once registered (parental permission is required) they will compete in math- and literacy-based games for a chance to win gift cards and summer-related prizes like inline skates, inflatable pools, beach volleyball sets, or tents. Five lucky players will be randomly selected to win an iPod Nano each.
New this year is a social networking component that encourages students to build online “learning communities” of friends, family, community members, or even teachers – basically anyone who wants to help support the child’s academic efforts during the summer. Participants who earn the highest number of social network points in each tournament round will win prizes separate from those awarded for game play performance."
Alfred Thompson's ongoing coverage of the Imagine Cup. I love this interview with the kids who invented a program about fighting a global pandemic.
"Aneesh Chopra, United States Chief Technology Officer, announced today the winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning by tapping into the natural passion of youth for playing and making video games, at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The first year of the Challenge featured competitions for students and developers. Twelve students from across the U.S. in grades 5-8 were selected as winners of the Youth Prize for their original game designs. In the Developer Prize category, for emerging and experienced game developers, the science themed game You Make Me Sick! was awarded the Grand Prize and a collection of math games titled NumberPower: Numbaland! received both the Collegiate and Impact Prizes."
Cool new Learning Game from Microsoft that Kicks off TODAY!
"During the first Thanksgiving NFL game, over 300 students will be playing the newly launched game InterroBANG, which you can follow live at www.interrobang.com. This educational game is now available for teachers/students through June 2011. Teams can play and compete for great prizes, including Xbox Kinect."
It is great to see organizations support educational gaming. Let's make learning fun!
This is in Spanish but some of my friends out there may like this site. This is from one of the founders, Raul, who just sent me an email:
"Greetings, First I would like to congratulate you for your blog, I have seen it recently and I have noticed that you deal with subjects related to educational teaching. Thus, I would like to tell you about a new project that we have developed in ADRformacion. We call it “educaplay”, and it is a platform, completely free, to create and use scorm compatible multimedia educational activities. In this platform you can make up crosswords activities, guessing riddles, dialogues, word grids, etc. In short, we are very excited about the project, we are still in the developing phase and we had thought it might be of interest for your blog followers. Here is the link, http://www.educaplay.com/ "
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