Educational Technologies- Games, Simulations, and Virtual Environments

I believe in employing different methods to encourage, collaborate, engage, and facilitate a successful learning environment. Among different methods that can be used to support my beliefs are games, simulations, and virtual environments.

Gamestar Mechanic- is community base game where students can come together and learn “the principles of game design and systems thinking in a highly engaging environment” (Gamestar Mechanic, n.d.)

url: http://gamestarmechanic.com/

The rationale behind selecting Gamestar Mechanic would be the fact that students are getting involved in the learning process from hands on approach. Because education has become available to students online at any given time they select to study it is important for the game to have a social interaction aspect and Gamestar Mechanic has this. “The difference in many of today’s educational games is that they are online and social, allowing children to interact and collaborate to achieve common goals” (Olsen, 2009).

1. One of the ways that I would use Gamestar Mechanic would be to have assignment where students create a crossword puzzle on the website that focuses on interviewing. Or any other subjects matter for that week and then share the puzzles with their peers. Creating the puzzle helps learners to interact with one another and learn about the interviewing in different way besides reading from the book and share prior experiences. “Develop deep relations with the knowledge that’s there” (Laureate, 2012).

2. Another idea would be to set-up a game that simulations networking where students have to create the scenario and then pick a partner to answer the questions that were created or complete the appropriate networking responses.

Epistemic Games- this game “helps players learn to think like professionals” by using simulations (Epistemic Games, 2013).

url: http://edgaps.org/gaps/

The rationale behind selecting this type of game is that I teach a career planning course and I think that this would a game that could help students professionally.

1. I would use this game for group projects to simulate future work environments for students.

2. I could also use this game as way to keep students connected while not in class as epistemic games has a feature to use Twitter. Students can share their progress and update each other on Twitter feeds.

When looking back from when I was in school and playing games that were focused on vocabulary, math, and or science those games were engaging to me. I believe that I retained just as much information if not more because the learning was presented differently verses writing the vocabulary words five times each or writing the multiplication table. “To solve meaningful problems getting information as memorizing facts is no longer a part of our current process” (Edutopia, 2009).

References

Edutopia (Producer). (2009)). Big thinkers: Sasha Barab on new-media engagement [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/digital-generation-sasha-barab-video

Epistemic Games. (2013). Epistemic Games. Retrieved from
http://edgaps.org/gaps/about/

Gamestar Mechanic. (n.d.). Gamestar mechanic. Retrieved from
http://gamestarmechanic.com/faq/page/1

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012b). Learning through games. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Olsen, S. (2009). Educational video games mix cool with purpose. Retrieved from
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/technology/02games.html?_r=0

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4 responses

  1. Jennifer,

    The web based games you mentioned seems very interesting. Before reading your blog this week I was unfamiliar with Gamestarmechanic and Epistemic. However, after exploring the both of them, I am glad that you referenced them. As a GED instructor, I am sure both of them will help reinforce my teachings.

  2. The gamestarmechanic site seems interesting because while I firlmy believe in using games as a method to learn, I have never considered making them or who does. It makes us look at eductaion from another aspect. Great post!

  3. Thanks for identifying these resources. I like the opportunity for collaboration with both of these games platforms. I’ve often thought to give students time to reteach an objective through creating a game simulation and then provide these links to the whole class. I have found in my own experience that sometimes difficult subject matter is better understood through peer to peer interaction. The use of gaming just enhancing the experience by keeping students throughout the lesson. http://www.kubbu.com is another site where interactive gaming opportunities can be created to use in a classroom.
    -Michelle

    1. Hello Michelle,

      Thank you for sharing Kubbu I will look into this resource to see how it could possibly help me in the future.

      Jennifer

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