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Thoughts on Webinar

by exquisite.corpse on Oct 20, 2012 at 09:41 PM}
The Wow in Schools & etc webinar got me thinking about not just games but the effects of good andagogy/pedagogy. What I really loved was the level of excitement in learning (kids running down the halls to the class space) and the sense of accomplishment/competency/resilience that students experienced.
The last couple of weeks I have had some dove-tailing themes go on in a few of my classes. In my courses looking at the International Criminal Court, including the case against the president of the Sudan RE the genocide in Darfur, many students explored the DarfurIsDying website by playing the game on their own. Many talked to me before or after class about how far they got in the game, and some bragged they beat it. I reminded them that the game was assigned as extra credit to explore the difficulties of surviving in Darfur, and that age and gender played a part in survival expectancy. and many explored the issues/cases by doing research outside of class on whether or not Lubanga was convicted and when, and what was the current status of Joseph Kony. For my reading class, several shy and quiet students were suddenly very animated when I allowed them to bring up their favorite songs on YouTube (as content experts about what the main topic/point of the song was, as we had been doing more quietly with reading assignments. It took them awhile to understand that we were looking at more univeral meanings of songs, not what the songs meant to the students, but the fact that they had connected so deeply with these songs is something worth exploring. We are getting ready in nearly all my classes except for reading to create avatars and explore Dia de los Muertos in the three days of celebration set for Oct 31-Nov 2. The curator would love to have multiple student logins on the Smithsonian Latino Virtual (Music) Museum island, so be sure to check out:
Smithsonian Dia ...
Also, this week our college had a presentation on Bridges from Poverty and I kept thinking about the relationship of social class to poverty.
These are cursory thoughts, so if you have some further insight, please post! Thanks so much to the Academy, lol, for voting me Bard this week. I look forward to passing on the torch as we have a lot of great contributors here.


This reminds me of the exhibits that grasshopper98 does with her students for Day of the Dead. It seems that students are really more eager to get involved when they are doing instead of just receiving, so I agree with you 100% on the level of excitement factor.
I have just posted to twitter a link to a paper where it discusses the psychology of gaming and points out if you figure something out for yourself you are more likely to keep playing. Here it is Discovery of feature leads to more play
Thanks; gets my vote for link of the week! The practical bent of the articles offers some highly relevant and useful conclusions. For example, from Jamie Madigan "Trials Evolution, Social Comparisons, and Second Place" at :

The consistent finding across these studies was that people were more likely to compete when they were closer to a meaningful standard like being the top ranked poker player or being the CEO of a company ranked high on the Fortune 500 list. This despite the fact that cooperating would earn them more money in absolute terms. Interestingly, players exhibited the same irrational behavior in order to avoid being ranked too close to the bottom of the charts...

Game developers could hack this phenomenon into their design if their goal is to inspire competition or make the choice to cooperate more meaningful. More finely diced leaderboards ...they could plant additional goal posts along our paths so that it’s not just first or last place that we focus on...calling out to the player the fact that you’re SO CLOSE to hitting one of those milestones relative to a friend should cause them to grit their teeth and buckle down.
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