games, simulations, and gamers

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Games, Simulations, and Gamers in the Classroom: Why you want them & How to teach them:

Games, Simulations, and Gamers in the Classroom: Why you want them & How to teach them By Jeannie Justice

Overview – the “Why”:

Overview – the “Why” The definition of games & simulations Who are gamers? The facts & their mindset Why do we need games and simulations in the classroom? Overall Benefits Students at play!

Overview – the “How”:

Overview – the “How” What are your goals/objectives? Find your game/simulation Two examples for our purposes Define the specific learning goals/objectives of each lesson Keep your students in mind Designing the lesson Assigning the lesson A word of caution

Why you want games, simulations, and gamers in your classroom::

Why you want games, simulations, and gamers in your classroom: The “Why”

What is a Game?:

What is a Game? According to Wikipedia, structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work; however, many games are considered to be work. Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction. a game is a

What is a Simulation?:

What is a Simulation? According to Wikipedia, a simulation is the imitation of some real thing, state of affairs, or process. The act of simulating something generally entails representing certain key characteristics or behaviors of a selected physical or abstract system.

Who are Gamers? The Facts:

Who are Gamers? The Facts 97% of children (99% boys & 94% girls) ages 2-17 play video and/or computer games. 60% of all Americans (~145 million people) play interactive games on a regular basis. Approximately 80% of American families own a computer and 78% have video game equipment.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) 100% of college students polled on 27 campuses have played video games.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Parents are the driving force behind the video game industry. In 2004, 50% of parents polled said they were going to buy their child a video game for Christmas. – 90% of all video games are purchases by individuals 18 years or older.

Yeah, so, really, who are gamers?:

Yeah, so, really , who are gamers? But why are they so “ different ?” Is it the digital divide or are they really pod people? Seriously, do they even know what “pod people” are?!?!

Yeah, so, really, who are gamers?:

Yeah, so, really , who are gamers? For the incoming “gamer generation:” GPS navigation has always been available. IBM has never made typewriters. Caller ID has always been available. – E-filing taxes has always been an option. – They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to their crib. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-PT3vEjw5g&NR=1

Who are gamers? Their Mindset:

Who are gamers? Their Mindset Gamers believe there is always an answer; therefore, nothing is impossible There is always a problem(s) that has a solution(s) which leads to an end result – the object of the game. Gamers expect trial and error. Failure is a learning experience, not an end result. If you do not win, restart, and try again.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers see various routes to success. Usually there are several different routes available to reach your goal or solve your problem. Rarely, if ever, is there only one right way or only one right answer.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers do their own thing. Within the gamer generation, leaders are considered irrelevant and often evil; ignore them...do your own thing.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Games are seen as governing). Gamers play well with others but accept responsibility and consequences for their actions. Gamers feel they have the right to choose their own path and are confident in exercising that right. In other words, you have the power to control your destiny…you can accomplish anything you want. autonomous (i.e., self-

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers want to dominate their culture. Gamers are risk-takers. They move fast and play hard. They are stars in their own adventure. They are responsible for their own success.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers embrace competition and collaboration. Competition is a motivating factor… but , competition doesn’t eclipse collaboration. In fact, collaboration is often an integral part of furthering a gamer’s success.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers see games as rule-based. These rules are equally applied to each player. These rules are well defined and not open to interpretation. Gamers, who are confronted with rules that are arbitrary and subjective, will often “shut down” and refuse to play.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers think roles are clear. In a game, characters are clearly defined (i.e., good guy or bad guy). The gamer chooses his/her role and accepts its powers and limitations. (i.e., the good guy is in a white hat and the bad guy is in the black hat – always!)

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers think that effort influences outcome. The amount of energy the player puts into the game invests the player with outcome. Also, the gamer is attached to the outcome. The player has an emotional attachment to the outcome of the game (i.e., happy when they win or sad if they lose). In other words, the content is relevant to them.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Gamers believe that games simulate real-life consequences. This is why medical colleges use video games to train surgeons… and the Air Force uses “virtual flight simulators” to train pilots… and many major corporations use “virtual models” to train their employees. Games can mirror the complexities of life without the drastic consequences.

Who are gamers? (con’t):

Who are gamers? ( con’t ) Games vs. School (in gamers’ eyes) Compared to the classroom, games are empowering, motivating, individualized/differentiated learning environments with set rules which value the efforts of the individual child. – In games, the structure is apparent; the rules are clear and unambiguous; and your role in the game is well defined .

Games vs. School (con’t):

Games vs. School ( con’t ) Games are seen as challenging and motivating – a platform for solving relevant problems. School is often seen as boring and monotonous with lots of irrelevant “busy work.” In games, the goal is always attainable. In school…well, not so much.

Why Do We Need Games/Simulations in the Classroom?:

Why Do We Need Games/Simulations in the Classroom? The immediate need (felt and anticipated) is to incorporate lessons that use technology while addressing various learning styles ( meaningful learning ), levels of motivation , and academic levels. Educational games and simulations are new technological vehicles for education because they provide a form of assessment, problem-based ( meaningful ) learning, a fail-safe environment, and a highly motivational learning environment . Many students consider themselves “ gamers ” and positively associate with games.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games:

Overall Benefits of Adding Games By incorporating games and simulations into the classroom, educators create curriculum that students consider highly motivating , but also, at the same time, improves student content knowledge, builds student conceptual knowledge, and increases student problem-solving skills.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games:

Overall Benefits of Adding Games Very often, in good games/simulations, students are actively taking new information and applying it to the task at hand. Therefore, they are active participants in applying their knowledge, allowing meaningful learning to take place.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games:

Overall Benefits of Adding Games Games/simulations offer immediate feedback with positive and negative reinforcement. The positive reinforcement may be the player moving on to the next level. The negative reinforcement may be losing a life. Either way, the player learns without the consequence of failure . Actually, failure is often expected to learn the game.

Students at Play!:

Students at Play! Conspiracy Code http://www.flvs.net/areas/flvscourses/ConspiracyCode/Pages/CourseOverview.aspx DanceDanceRevolution in K-12 Gym classes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs0zw7TuwdI IRSC Biology blog http://irscbiology.blogspot.com Wii & Xbox in class In progress – I’ll keep you posted!

Writing lessons with games and simulations:

Writing lessons with games and simulations The “How”

What Are Your Goals/Objectives?:

What Are Your Goals/Objectives? Use these resources to help you decide what your learning goals and instructional objectives are: Check the state standards. Read the course descriptions. Research various textbooks. Explore educational websites.

Find Your Games and Simulations:

Find Your Games and Simulations Gaming platforms: Xbox, Wii, Playstation Each have various good games (i.e., CSI, Trauma Center, Monster Garage, MLB Front Office), but many are just recreational too (same as books or movies).

Find Your Games & Simulations (con’t):

Find Your Games & Simulations ( con’t ) Computer games: For example, Sid Meier’s series (i.e., Civilization IV), the Tycoon series (i.e., Zoo Tycoon, EcoTycoon , etc.), Ubisoft games, and so on.

Find Your Games & Simulations (con’t):

Find Your Games & Simulations ( con’t ) Internet games: nobelprize.org science.discovery.com hhmi.org free + educational + game = 35,700,000 results

First Games/Simulations Example::

First Games/Simulations Example: Natural Selection “Who Wants to Live a Million Years?” Players choose variations of a species and see if http://science.discovery.com/interactives/literacy/darwin/darwin.html their new, combined species will live a million years.

Second Games/Simulations Example::

Second Games/Simulations Example: Blood Typing and Transfusions “Blood Typing” Players must save three accident victims by identifying their blood type and giving them the correct blood transfusions. http://nobelprize.org/educational_games/medicine/landsteiner/index.html

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Natural Selection Game::

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Natural Selection Game: By playing “Who Wants to Live a Million Years,” students will: explore how several varieties of a species can, through natural selection, evolve into one new species with the most successful and heritable traits. identify the natural environmental processes and interactions with other species that may cause extinction (i.e., disease, climate change, predation, etc.) see that Natural Selection is a primary mechanism leading to evolutionary change (i.e., survival of the fittest / those with the traits to live pass those traits on to their offspring). This will allow them to apply, analyze, and synthesize their own species to try to succeed, evolutionarily speaking.

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Blood Typing Game::

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Blood Typing Game: By playing “The Blood Typing Game,” students will: understand that blood cells have characteristic structures and functions that make them distinctive (i.e., antigen A, antigen B, etc.) so that students can comprehend the differences in blood types. learn about the genotypes that make up the blood phenotypes. Analyzing the genotypes involved in phenotypic blood types (i.e., inheriting an O from Mom and a B from Dad results in a BO genotype and Type B phenotype, and so on) allows deduction of where the genes for each blood type originates.

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Blood Typing Game: (con’t):

Specific Learning Goals/Objectives for the Blood Typing Game: ( con’t ) By playing “The Blood Typing Game,” students will: ( con’t ) evaluate the process of blood typing and determine how to interpret the results (possible genotype and phenotype) so that the student can apply this information to patients in the game. analyze the process of blood transfusions and the problems that can occur if done incorrectly (i.e., patient may die) so that students may apply this information to patients in the game.

Keep Your Students in Mind:

Keep Your Students in Mind AHS students: have withdrawn from public school for various reasons.  can be over 18, but the majority of students are under 18 years old.  have a variety of social and cultural backgrounds and learning levels.  All curriculum has to be varied to fit a variety of learning styles and attention spans. 

Designing the Lesson:

Designing the Lesson Each lesson begins with an introduction. This pre-instructional material will help introduce the topic and, by contextualizing it, draw the student into the assignment.

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) The objectives are clearly stated so that the student understands the purpose of the lessons. Materials are also listed so students can gather what they need to successfully complete the assignment. This allows students to be autonomous with clear roles and contextual goals.

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) A list of procedures, step-by-step instructions, and diagrams help guide the student and reduce confusion. This generation is on-demand and used to instant gratification; there-fore, they don’t handle frustration well.

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) Questions are designed to assess pre-lesson knowledge, post-lesson knowledge, and engaged knowledge during the process. Pre-lesson Questions (#4) Post-lesson Questions (#23 & #24) During the lesson Questions (#13)

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) In these example lessons, all questions are designed to match the standards set up by the Florida Department of Education. Example: Benchmark: SC.912.L.14.34 (which states: Describe the composition and physiology of blood, including that of the plasma and the formed elements (FLDOE 2009))

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) Feedback from other teachers. Two biology instructors critiqued the lessons. One English teacher, one social studies teacher, and one administrator also reviewed the lessons and watched my demonstration. I received very good feedback from everyone and addressed any concerns.

Designing the Lesson (con’t):

Designing the Lesson ( con’t ) Practice (find some guinea pigs!) Seven students tried the Blood Typing lesson and two students practiced the Natural Selection lesson. The students were a great source of constructive feedback. All students were highly motivated and completed the lesson rather quickly compared to the time they took to com-plete other assignments of similar length. Some students also ran the game/simulation extra times. I am assuming they did this because they were highly engaged and wanted to see the outcome when trying different scenarios and options.

Assigning the Lesson:

Assigning the Lesson Timing (setting them up for success) The two new lessons are placed in the appropriate area of curriculum to allow students to obtain background information from various reading assignments and worksheets. Once students have this information, they can do the new lesson.

Assigning the Lesson (con’t):

Assigning the Lesson ( con’t ) Share the value of the assignment Letting the students know the value of the assignment can be thought of as letting the gamer identify the value of the outcome.

Assigning the Lesson (con’t):

Assigning the Lesson ( con’t ) There is always an answer. The student can use the work they have already done in the class, their textbook, the computer, and the internet to complete the assignment. The teacher may also be considered a resource.

A Word of Caution:

A Word of Caution Remember game is a four-letter word! In education, games aren’t always easily accepted as teaching tools. The unfortunate attitude of many educators:

References::

References: Beloit College Mindset List for the Class of 2012 http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/2012.php Florida Department of Education. (2009). Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Retrieved 12 June 2009 at http://www.floridastandards.org/Standards/FLStandardSearch.aspx Simpson, E. S. (2005). Evolution in the classroom: What teachers need to know about the video game generation. TechTrends , v. 49, No. 5, pp. 17 – 22. Wikipedia. (2009). Games & Simulations. Retrieved 4 November 2009 at http://www.wikipedia.org

Just for fun!:

Just for fun!

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb Don’t take Half-Life too seriously, you’ll never get out alive.

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb:

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Mentality:

Gamer Mentality

Are There Any Questions?:

Are There Any Questions? Jeannie Justice ljustice@irsc.edu (772) 462-7388 www.jeanniejustice.com (look under “My Presentations”)

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