Liveblogging the GLS Conference: Wednesday

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This is my first attempt at liveblogging.  The plan is to take notes on each session here in textuality, then to later write some entries in greater depth on particular topics.

After the jump: notes on the sessions!
Session 1: Designing Games for Learning: PostMortems, Insights, & Challenges

  • Embodying, Designing, and Learning Multimodally with SMALLab SMALLLab was used for the project
    • Okay, so there's some overhead for liveblogging.  I'm having a hard tim catching up to this session.
    • it's tough to get learners to think about writing as a process, and how to use writing to think, rather than as a static and faithful representation of thought.  That's a problem with wikis, too.
    • thnk about difference between games as tool to teach and games as spaces where learning is relevant
    • it's almost impossible to use smalllab to teach content ... so it's useful or getting users to think about it as a (physical *and* mental) space for learning.
  • In Retrospect: Outcomes of Cosmos Chaos!
    • Cosmos Chaos!- RPG that focuses on social studies.
    • Dang!  I just lost out on a prize because I didn't bring my DS!
    • worked with San diego school district
    • Berkeley Policy Associates - evaluator
    • Using the DS became a motivator to get homework done, and quickly ... of COURSE.
    • They'd like games to be good enough that schools require them.
    • Games on the DS are social ... how much of this is the physical mobility? 
    • They were surprised that much of the engagement was social - mentor roles among students, etc.
    • The game was designed for readers ... not to teach decoding, but interpretation.
    • How much the facilitators were game-players themselves mattered a lot - more engagement among kids because the facilitators encouraged community around play more.
    • When the weather improved, they lost kids to outside.  Migrant workers also disappeared by season.
    • Open questions - what about special ed and ESL?  Football players in American Samoa in high school ... really enjoyed the 4th grade-level game.
    • If we could do it again - only lost 2 DSes out of 300.  !!!
  • The Best of Both Worlds? Design Challenges for Developing Playable Historical Games for Classroom Learning
    • Mission America - an old-school adventure game in 1770 Boston just before the Massacre
    • yay, they're engaged.  But is it that it's a game (any game), or that it's interactive, or somethign made for them?  I wonder what it would be like if the teacher ran this as an RPG session.
    • The class stopped periodically and strategized about the game.
    • Penny whistle game that ripped off Guitar Hero and was a real success.
    • Corporation for Public Broadcasting American History & Civics Initiative Grant, with wNET/Channel 13 as a partner.
    • wanted to show increased student historical knowledge and historical thinking as well as enhances civic participation *AND* to create a process that is replicable for other topics/content.
    • Karen Schreier, producer.
    • Pedagogical Drivers - situated learning, ethical reasoning and reflection, identity formation, and media fluency.
    • Do kids get media fluency, or could they prove fluency, without media *creation*?
    • Historical Objectives - convey chaos, perspectives of eyewitneses, sense of Boston, and the role of ordinary people in the revolution (not just founding fathers).  showing different perspectives and the role of perspectives/experience in historical accounts.
    • Game Design - early on, game design defined playground; later, historical and pedagogical objectives drove game design.
    • evaluation - multiple choice exam?!? more richly, looked at engraving and judged how well students could see the engraving as a argument rather than fact.
    • Saw cases of (Jim Gee's term) "projective identity" ... separation between student's perspective and the student's choices for the character's actions.
    • Colleen Macklin, for Petlab
    • played at CO&P in 2008; also with students
    • game visits sites of activism in NYC.  semi-simple scavenger hunt ... go there, and answer questions that require the locale; many challenges would require re-enactment, with bonus points for pulling people in.
    • enact acts in the location to unerstand perspectives.  Shirtwaist factory fire enacted by doing chalk drawings of kids on the sidewalk.
    • learned from playtests that giving legit-looking materials really helped validate the game with passers-by.
    • a team that lost ... lost because they found some great people to talk to.
    • they revised the game to allow those rich experiences to pay off, so that it's not just about the quantity of sites.
    • big games are in the real world.
    • racing mechanic fought against the goal of deep engagement with sites.
    • levels of learning - the designers learned the most to build the game; players learned a lot; but public learned, too, watching the
    • next up: photopolis in beijing
    • would repeat for 20-40 people!
    • How do you deal with the contentious nature?  they send chaperones, esp. with kids.  warn about photographs.
  • my q: are these spreadable beyond the mediated context?
Symposium: Emerging Models of Game Development & Publication
  • P is for Partnership: How A New Game Publishing Model Can Advance Children's Learning Across Settings
    • Levine from Koontz Center & Alan Gershenfeld from E-Line Ventures.
    • Levine: gap between formal and informal learning.  Getting industry to respond to the challenge, and to think about "24/7"
    • Gershenfeld: Activision had a rigorous greenlight process that included publishing, business model, portfolio, etc.  But in G4C world, there's little rigor in the business side or a holistic publishing strategy.
    • What does a 24/7 publishing model look like?  What models include moderated play (and what are the modes of moderated learning/play)?
    • E-Line: use the consumer market as the basis; if it won't work there, it won't work elsewhere... BUT, they want an organic connection between the model and the project and its viability in the learning community.
    • BrainPop (I don't know about this.)  They have light animations that are teacher-friendly, low tech requirements
    • Levine: We've lost co-viewing for television.  Can we get a version of it back?  How about intergenerational play?
    • Gershenfeld:  Intergenerational play is changing how they're thinking about Fab game design.
  • The Interactive Social Language Education (ISLE) Platform
    • Process network: organization of groups that do various parts of the project, but not full-time or all in the same place.
    • Labyrinth ... meant to help with algebra, though it's never mentioned.  icue, NBC's project on history and social studies.
    • - wanting to create a space where kids could get involved in raising money for childrens' medical programs  "Generation Cures"
    • useful slide goes here outlining the "Generation Cures Process Network" and the order in which they gathered various groups.
    • central need.  vendor group. stakeholder group. knitting the two together.
    • designed the program not around getting money, but about incentivizing players/participants to build their own networks - to work with parents, friends, etc. by seeking sponsors and advisors.
    • It's a "game-a-thon".
    • yay, steampunk!  designed game  not to be completely brain-candy, but to do hospital-aligned activities, at least at some level.  They want the world to make the medical and scientific worlds appealing.
    • Kids are excited and involved, fine.  Getting parents involved and interested is tougher.  They ignore email!
    • This entire conference is jazzed about getting teachers the right games for their classes.  How do we do that?
    • XEOS-ISLE Process Network is very different.  grntor and grantee. Learning Games Network for design consulting, help; brough in implementation vendors; HP for platform, state department for activities within platform. GLS & South African group.
    • This model looks a lot like DYN,
    • You can't just build it and expect them to come; you have to get groups involved (stakeholders) and their users immediately.
    • Matches people who know the language with people who are learning the language.
    • Construct sentences using shared words on cards, then link them and people vote for the best sentence.
    • I played xenosisle for a bit.
  • Science Education-Fundraising Project
    • Sandstone - deliver games in browser with java plugin, 3D
    • Setting immersive 3D as a goal feels like a mistake - expensive and a visual time-sink.  Why set the tech bar that high?
    • Smart to make multipayer built-in.
    • (nice slide showing the game service)
    • got a tour of the game... I checked backchatter.  *blush*

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This page contains a single entry by Scott Price published on June 10, 2009 3:06 PM.

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