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#7643581 Apr 08, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Guild Officer
354 Posts
John Seely Brown and Thomas Douglas' Harvard Business Review article described a gamer disposition that described gamers as the following:

They are bottom-line oriented.
They understand the power of diversity.
They thrive on change.
They see learning as fun.
They marinate on the "edge."

Are you seeing this in your classroom? How would you design a game or assignment to bring this out of your students?

PBS Extended Interview with John Seely Brown - New Learners of the 21st Century.

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#7644862 Apr 08, 2013 at 05:01 PM · Edited 4 years ago
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Out of all we are doing this week, this fascinates me the most, because of what I see as a continuous loop of transfer of skills back and forth from reality to gaming and gaming to reality.

The gamers are looking for an edge, frankly we all are, but the gamers get to fail without real life consequences. In John Seely Brown and Thomas Douglas' HBR article - The Gamer Disposition, as Kae pointed out, he describes five characteristics of gamers:

They are bottom-line oriented.
They understand the power of diversity.
They thrive on change.
They see learning as fun.
They marinate on the "edge."

I was focusing on the augmented reality and its skills transfer to real life experiences and problem solving when I watched the PBS Extended Interview with John Seely Brown - New Learners of the 21st Century. He discussed how surfers get better, how they share knowledge, how they are using technology and thrive on change to get better. I do have to admit surfing is more fun than discussing how many words each character in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales spoke and how the number is significant.

I think we have to take into consideration that many of our life skills are transferable INTO the games as well as OUT of the games. Our students are bringing life-skills into any game we construct and applying them within the game. [If you don’t think that is true, just agree to go head-to-head with a Championship race car driver in a racing simulation game – I have, trust me you don’t win regardless of how good you think you are at the game!]

Those in the games we are talking about this week have been in real-life committee meetings or planning events, they have been leaders, followers, organizers, instructors, students, developers, coordinators and it all transfers. None of us like to do what we can’t do well, so we need to remind ourselves and our students, when we want them involved in an Augmented Reality Game for example, that they have transferable skills, it isn’t going to be 100% new to them and that we have faith in them that they will be ok and do well. They may need a guide. . .

In my own classes when taking students into a game, I have done well by paring a gamer with someone who isn’t and had them work cooperatively. We did this with WarHammer. One watches for a while and the gamer explained everything they were doing, then the gamer turns over the controls and helps by verbally guiding them. Finally, the new player will want their own character to play and their own adventure, and may tag along in the game with the gamer then finally move off on their own.

In response to the one criticism published in response to the Gamer’s Disposition article, they answer that “We do not contend that the workplace simply needs more gamers or that keeping gamers happy will lead to greater productivity or job satisfaction. The key, we believe, is that workplaces must acknowledge and facilitate dispositions that embrace change?”

I contend that private industry workplaces are easier to embrace the change (brought on by intense competition as well as innovations and technology). Or as we said, when I worked in high-tech, “You snooze, you lose!” I contend that in education where change is traditionally slow and measured, it is a challenge to bring on board administrators and policy makers when the status quo has served them so long and so well.

However, we are making headway, this MOOC and all who have joined us here are instruments of that change, we are the ones that not only may be fighting a war on a distant planet with dwindling supplies, we are also the ones saying there is a new and exciting way to engage our students, let me tell you all about it!

I am “augmenting the reality” of my students in about a week, we have studied cultural artifacts and the significance to culture (Cultural Anthropology) and we are going to a big auction of estates, storage lockers, dealers and private consignments. We will go through all the items for sale looking for interesting artifacts that tell us about the people who owned them. We combine our knowledge base, share finds, discuss possible uses for odd objects, put someone's life story together from a discarded picture album. [that relies a lot on knowing cultures/styles/cars/etc.) from different periods of history. Not exactly “garbology” Garbology as a College Class but close to it. Then they are using their smart devices to look up what they have found and telling each other about it and sending the pictures directly into the class shell in a discussion. I have prizes, for things like something from each decade, the souvenir from furthest away, the most embarrassing family photo, the oddest item, the oldest electronic game/technology... Last time a student found a Nixon Plate, it was a little odd, bought it for $5 and sold it on eBay for $205. True story.
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#7648281 Apr 09, 2013 at 09:53 AM · Edited 4 years ago
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In John Seely Brown and Thomas Douglas' HBR article - The Gamer Disposition, I think what struck me the most is this little gem:


They [gamers] understand the power of diversity


Of course! The WoW example is great...you must work with other players/characters that have various qualities/traits, OR you push the limits and attempt an Instance (dungeon) with an unorthodox, sometimes asinine, group configurations (i.e. no Healer, Tanks only?).

I may focus on this one characteristic while creating a game/assignment. The only question is HOW to design a game that requires students to work with one another? And by "requires," I don't simply mean group work in which a student can hang out and get credit, but a system in which certain individuals/groups of students are truly NEEDED in order to advance in the game, while also allowing the unengaged students to do minimal work. ***Let's face it, some students are determined to fail and/or content with mediocrity...we shouldn't create games that punish other students for being in that same class, but maybe, just maybe, the game might actually influence them for the better.***

An initial idea I had was modelling WoW's "profession" system, but instead of choosing actual Roman professions, students' "expertise" would be in a topic of choice about which to write/speak in Latin at various points of the game. In other words, one student may be really into gladiators, while another is interested in attire...they would be learning key topical vocabulary and cultural traits independently. Perhaps this characteristic of "the power of diversity" can be as open as requiring certain assignments to include viewpoints from students/characters from 3 or 4 different expertise areas. That may help to eliminate the tendency for friends to all work together on the same topic (you know that group in the corner who always come up with eerily similar responses...).

Someone mentioned having to look up "differentiated instruction" - this is good. I think it's perhaps the most important aspect of planning/teaching. The idea that students can choose what to focus on (without the curriculum being thrown into chaos) and HOW to complete certain assignments (formats, media, etc) is at the root of differentiating. The power of diversity can be increased if given proper avenues in game design and lesson/unit planning.
Latin Teacher
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#7648451 Apr 09, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Edited 4 years ago
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#7648281 MagisterP wrote:

In John Seely Brown and Thomas Douglas' HBR article - The Gamer Disposition, I think what struck me the most is this little gem:

Someone mentioned having to look up "differentiated instruction" - this is good. I think it's perhaps the most important aspect of planning/teaching. The idea that students can choose what to focus on (without the curriculum being thrown into chaos) and HOW to complete certain assignments (formats, media, etc) is at the root of differentiating. The power of diversity can be increased if given proper avenues in game design and lesson/unit planning.



I like this idea of students focusing on different aspects without chaos. It does lean on the Montessori philosophy, ok the explanation is from Wikipedia... shoot me... :)

(1) Student choice of activity from within a prescribed range of options
(2) Uninterrupted blocks of work time
(3) A Constructivist or "discovery" model, where students learn concepts from working with materials, rather than by direct instruction
(4) Specialized educational materials developed by Montessori and her collaborators

I think we are just expanding this idea through gamification. Why should 3-6 year olds have all the fun? This fits with your ideas on teaching latin (by the way I have two years of latin from high school and private lessons to pass the class, I am shocked at how few of my college students have taken it.)

I use this idea with sending students out on self-guided field trips looking for "cultural artifacts" (anthropology), see earlier post this forum. It does have them cooperating: I also remember doing this with my granddaughter (Grandma's Pre-School) with Whales -- explored in many ways and when she was in 3rd grade with Vikings (museum, all the activities - visited a real swordmaker and armorer I know, made chain mail, got to touch all the artifacts he had, watched film, drew things, threw runes).

I really think you are on the right track with what you are planning.

Cui prodest? We all are, especially the students, teachers need to have fun teaching and students need to have fun learning. . . gamification... go for it.
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#7651563 Apr 09, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
MagisterP,

Great brainstorming thus far!

It strikes me that you could try to take a page from some of the games that use other languages as the magic or fighting system a la Nihongo Master.

To expand a little on grasshopper98's suggestion, "I use this idea with sending students out on self-guided field trips looking for "cultural artifacts" (anthropology)", perhaps students could be sent out to document something completely in Latin. For example, the game could be that they are sent undercover back in time to get clues. They can't speak or record in English because that would attract too much attention. Each student could choose their form of documentation, including writing, video, audio, etc.
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#7651707 Apr 09, 2013 at 10:34 PM
Herald
60 Posts
I've been witnessing some of these dispositions in my First-Year Comp. II class this term. We're using immersive role play: each student has developed a persona based on predetermined roles (cold case detective, psychologist, or journalist) and works in a guild with others who share their role to investigate/analyze the texts we are reading. After consulting with their guild, each student creates an artifact about the case for their character's blog.

I did not prepare the students for the challenges of the class through direct instruction at all; I simply challenged them to do it and they've learned as they went. Over the course of the term, their work has become increasingly creative and complex in scope, creating an implicit challenge for everyone to improve the quality of their artifacts with each successive blog post.

For their final project, students are having to partner with someone from another guild and combine their expertise on a previous case in order to create a set of interactive media. Again, I have not provided any specific guidelines or direct instruction; I simply provided them with a list of creativity resources that they might find useful. The level of energy is unbelievable; the students are discussing and debating the texts in more detail and with more enthusiasm than I have ever been able to coax out of students through Socratic questioning or guided inquiry. I'm not sure if it's the game-like design of the class, the gamer disposition of the students (they're all gamers of varying levels and degrees), or both. But it's certainly a different type of learning.
a.k.a. Tanya Sasser
English Instructor
Jacksonville State University
@TanyaSasser
Remixing College English
“I'm trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show you the door. You're the one who must walk through it.” ~Morpheus, The Matrix
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#7653727 Apr 10, 2013 at 09:51 AM · Edited 4 years ago
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#7651563 Leedale wrote:

MagisterP,

Great brainstorming thus far!

It strikes me that you could try to take a page from some of the games that use other languages as the magic or fighting system a la Nihongo Master.

To expand a little on grasshopper98's suggestion, "I use this idea with sending students out on self-guided field trips looking for "cultural artifacts" (anthropology)", perhaps students could be sent out to document something completely in Latin. For example, the game could be that they are sent undercover back in time to get clues. They can't speak or record in English because that would attract too much attention. Each student could choose their form of documentation, including writing, video, audio, etc.



Very cool resource - will absorb that later today. I had a similar idea along the lines of this:

"The ability to travel time is inevitable...perhaps even possible in your lifetime. Just as Virgin has planned for the first space-flight, so too, will travel in history become a recreational passtime in the future. Not everyone can go, however, and much like our driver's license, you must go through extensive training in order to become Time Traveller Certified."

"In year 2279, something terrible happens. An organization must send people back in time to Rome in order to ______. You must blend in and be unrecognizable as a non-Roman...as someone from the future!" etc...
Latin Teacher
magisterp.com
MOOC III Week 2 Artisan
MOOC III Week 4 Collabrateur
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#7659409 Apr 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM
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#7653727 MagisterP wrote:

[quote_post7651563 user=767258]MagisterP,

"The ability to travel time is inevitable...perhaps even possible in your lifetime. Just as Virgin has planned for the first space-flight, so too, will travel in history become a recreational passtime in the future. Not everyone can go, however, and much like our driver's license, you must go through extensive training in order to become Time Traveller Certified."

"In year 2279, something terrible happens. An organization must send people back in time to Rome in order to ______. You must blend in and be unrecognizable as a non-Roman...as someone from the future!" etc...



I really like the expansion you did and I think I can steal an idea from you! ;) That would be applicable to Cultural Anthropology. I might be able to have them pick a culture and assemble what they would need to take (back in time) to fit in. You got me really thinking as I am going to re-do my Cultural Anthropology classes for Fall. . . Time to try something new.
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#7659434 Apr 11, 2013 at 11:14 AM
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#7653727 MagisterP wrote:

[quote_post7651563 user=767258]MagisterP,

I had a similar idea along the lines of this:

"The ability to travel time is inevitable...perhaps even possible in your lifetime. Just as Virgin has planned for the first space-flight, so too, will travel in history become a recreational passtime in the future. Not everyone can go, however, and much like our driver's license, you must go through extensive training in order to become Time Traveller Certified."

"In year 2279, something terrible happens. An organization must send people back in time to Rome in order to ______. You must blend in and be unrecognizable as a non-Roman...as someone from the future!" etc...



I think the idea of using AR and ARG in combination with a time travel game structure holds enormous potential. And not just for history content, but in every discipline. I, too, have been imagining how to construct such a game. It would be a wonderful thing to bring historical figures to life as NPCs with which the PCs could interact. And how about using primary source documents, like from the Library of Congress? Hopping through time within an AR game might really help learners build connections between the past and the present and construct deeper understandings of how and why things are the way they are now. This might be a fun project on which to collaborate. :-)
--DAB
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#7661664 Apr 11, 2013 at 06:36 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
Looks like the idea of time travel has taken off!

It definitely offers some advantages. It allows for suspension of disbelief when you say something like, "You can only speak Latin."

To expand a little on the idea MagisterP had, regarding sending people back in time in order to ________... It could also be that the organization is trying to track where others were sent back in time by examining subtly changed primary source documents for anachronisms.

I also like Grasshopper98's idea! "Back Your Time-Travel Kit! You're going to be going back in time today as a [profession] in [time period]. What do you need to get through your day?"
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#7664646 Apr 12, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Edited 4 years ago
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I have had some good experiences that are at this point are just in my face-to-face with time travel, I teach in a computer room so students are three to a row in two columns, I call each row a pod and they have "pod mates." I tell them something has happened and only all of us in the class, our parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren have survived, we are in Colorado 13,000 years ago, we do have our memories and anything we might be wearing or carrying on our person. Now how do we survive? Who has what knowledge to share, what about religion, social structure, political organization. That there are similar pockets of transported people in each of the seven western US states, that is all that is left of the world. How do we deal with the other groups that we will meet in the future. They really get into this project. Works for a 10 week class where we have two hours. They do use the internet to look up climate and environment and what animals were here, what plants. . . It does make them realize how much we rely now on information at our fingertips instead of oral tradition. One of the most interesting statements was "As we replace our clothes or other items, we must keep them, they are artifacts."

For those that don't know Colorado, we have a nice cache of 13,000 year old weapons found near Boulder when someone was making a path in their backyard. Check it out. 13,000 Artifacts found in Boulder The do watch this video to see what a tool kit looked like. It was assumed that we would find this cache.
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#7665938 Apr 12, 2013 at 03:02 PM
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#7664646 grasshopper98 wrote:


For those that don't know Colorado, we have a nice cache of 13,000 year old weapons found near Boulder when someone was making a path in their backyard. Check it out. 13,000 Artifacts found in Boulder The do watch this video to see what a tool kit looked like. It was assumed that we would find this cache.



Wow, Grasshopper98! That is so cool! Just exactly the kind of thing that should go into a time traveling ARG learning game. Love it! Thanks for sharing. :)

--DAB
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#7667351 Apr 12, 2013 at 08:58 PM
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I really like the idea of a time-traveling ARG. I like time travel in general, so that's not really much of a surprise. When it comes to teaching, this has an almost limitless array of possibilities. Since you would need to "blend in," you would need to learn the language, attire, and culturally acceptable actions for the time and place you were visiting. There are a lot of different goals a time-traveler could have as well.

I'm reminded of "Where in Time/Where in America's Past is Carmen Sandiego" where the infamous thief and her crew steal their way across time. Recovering artifacts is definitely a tried-and-true plot device for such things.
Here's to all the educated people who don't hate games!
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#7673508 Apr 14, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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#7661664 Leedale wrote:


To expand a little on the idea MagisterP had, regarding sending people back in time in order to ________... It could also be that the organization is trying to track where others were sent back in time by examining subtly changed primary source documents for anachronisms.



Oooooo, there you go. I was looking for some "grammar puzzles" to use in my teaching because, quite honestly, it is not necessary to understand grammar in order to communicate effectively (I would argue that MOST of the population has no idea what grammar exists in their native language). There are, however, obvious benefits to learning about grammar, but I think context and delivery of such instruction is paramount.

Inspired by your post, I can imagine puzzles that are more than just the simple drill of "find and correct the 10 errors present in the following paragraph." Instead, the discrepancies would/have result(ed) in dire changes to the narrative.
Latin Teacher
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MOOC III Week 2 Artisan
MOOC III Week 4 Collabrateur
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#7675909 Apr 14, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Guild Officer
187 Posts
[quote_post7673508]Inspired by your post, I can imagine puzzles that are more than just the simple drill of "find and correct the 10 errors present in the following paragraph." Instead, the discrepancies would/have result(ed) in dire changes to the narrative.[/quote_post7673508]

Cool! And this would help bring some urgency to it. It could be the Latin version of the difference between:
"Knowing your ****" and "Knowing you're ****" :-)

The other possible benefit is that students might have to identify where a "fragment" of Latin prose came from. It might also be a matter of identifying incorrectly conjugated verbs (from someone trying to ineptly change the past).

Or they could read (or watch a video) about someone interviewing someone else in Latin and determine if that person is a spy from the future based on their sentence construction. I've no idea what level of Latin you teach, though.

Regardless, it's a sight better than yet another crossword puzzle. ;-)
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#7696046 Apr 18, 2013 at 03:00 PM
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I am reminded of the action where the insertion of a comma, changes the story or the intent, maybe it could be an interactive fiction where the student chooses at a pivotal plot point (1) Larry walked on ahead or (2) Larry walked on a head. The choice of the correct Latin grammar would either throw you into a scenario that lacked pleasantries or got you to a new scene with new activities.

I am willing to try anything. I did "float an idea" with my anthopology class this morning, got shot down. LOL I had a 1000 piece puzzle that held clues and sayings that was historically accurate, it was on King Solomon's Mines. Since for some reason the college has put all three of my anthropology classes in the same room, (unusual) I figured I could have a table and then for each five pieces they put in place they could take a 'gold coin' The class with the most gold coins would win something. They could do it on breaks, before and after class. They all said "Na, doesn't sound like fun." I was so excited to start with! Puzzle wasn't cheap, was $55 new, of course I got it at a thrift store for $0.50, but still, why were they not excited? Was it because there was no computer application? What the hey?


King Solomon's Mines Buried Blueprints by grasshopper98, on Flickr


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