January 23, 2012

Games in Schools Teachers' Handbook now available in Polish

The Games in Schools teachers' handbook has been enjoying a lot of interest since it was published in August 2009 in English, French, German, Spanish, and Italian. Since then it has been translated by some of ISFE's (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) other member countries, including Norway and Denmark, and now in 2012, also Poland. Go to ''Research results'' in the right-hand navigation menu of this blog, and then ''Teachers' Handbook'' to download all language versions, including the new Polish translation.

November 17, 2010

Games for learning recommendations published

Clearer definitions and a taxonomy of games for learning, a central repository, integration into textbooks, evaluation, localisation, a team approach to development, professional support and bridging home and school - these are some of the fifteen recommmendations of the two-year IMAGINE project.

One of the key outputs of the two-year project, funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme, is a report and a set of recommendations to increase mainstreaming of games for learning in schools, vocational and adult education. The report outlines conclusions related to the use of digital games for learning, as they affect education policy-makers and decision-makers in school, vocational and adult education, presents the underlying evidence behind them and makes a series of recommendations arising from the conclusions and evidence.

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November 15, 2010

Report: Moving Learning Games Forward

"This grand vision of the integration of gaming culture with school culture will require a tremendous effort on the part of all involved – schools, parents, academics, government agencies, non-profit agencies, gaming professionals, and others. Providing access for all students to the kind of playful, investigative, collaborative and well-supported education that we envision in this document will necessarily depend on school culture and gaming culture coming to a respectful, mutual understanding and comfortable integration. Certainly, teachers and schools will have to take brave risks to innovate, but the learning games community will need to meet schools, understanding the constraints on the system and individual teachers."

This is the conclusion of an important paper on games for learning from the Education Arcade at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The paper starts by making a case for learning games grounded in principles of good fun and good learning. From there the paper explores the commercial games market, gleaning lessons from this rapidly growing and diversifying place. In order to address the concerns of those who see “edutainment” as a dead market, the paper analyzes the downfall of edutainment in the 1990s and establishes how the current movement differs. As
there are many applications of games related (more or less) to learning games, the paper lays out the ecology
of games with a purpose beyond play. Much of the rest of the paper establishes principles and best practices
for moving the field forward in a positive direction. The paper should provide a good grounding in the field
and both motivate and inform those wanting to participate in this rapidly growing domain.

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October 06, 2010

Quest To Learn: going with the flow

"What if, instead of seeing school the way we’ve known it, we saw it for what our children dreamed it might be: a big, delicious video game?" asks Sara Corbett in a recent New York TImes article that has aroused considerable interest.

In Learning by Playing: Video Games in the Classroom, Corbett describes the Quest To Learn project running in New York schools. A carefully watched educational experiment funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, among others, Quest To Learn provides equipment to schools and enables children to learn through collaborative and individual play and to design games themselves.

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June 10, 2010

Games in Schools Teachers' Handbook available in Danish !

The Games in Schools teachers' handbook has been enjoying a lot of interest since it was published in August 2009 in English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and recently in Norwegian. More of ISFE's (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe) member countries are interested in translating the teachers' handbook into their national languages. The next translation available is the Danish version of the handbook, so watch this space for this and other translations to come.

May 27, 2010

Football-based learning games: now schools can play against each other

Harness children's interest in the World Cup by organising football-based competitions between classes using the popular and free Footee. With 50,000 users and numbers doubling every six months, Footee builds on football’s appeal to young people 6 to 12 and their love of games, competition and social networking to make learning maths, language, science, geography and history effective and fun.

Coinciding with the World Cup is a new feature, enabling children to pool the reward points earned playing games and a class can then run their own Footee team and take on other teams in the same or different countries. Users only see their own language which means, for example, that an English school class can take on a Spanish one and each sees it in their own language. This motivates the children to try harder so the whole class / team can benefit.

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April 20, 2010

Resources: Football and science - do they mix?

With 50,000 users, Footee is a highly popular free online education resource that builds on football’s appeal to young people 6-12 and their love of games, competition and social networking to make learning effective and fun. European Schoolnet is working to make the resources relevant to learners across Europe and among the many games are 14 that develop scientific understanding. Do topics like Forces and motion, materials and their properties and physical processes sound dull? Maybe not Beach Dodger, Floodlight Failure and Hit the Target though, but children can learn about science while playing these games.

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April 14, 2010

Games in Schools Handbook for teachers now in Norwegian!

The Games in Schools Handbook has now been translated into Norwegian. You can access it here on the blog:

http://games.eun.org/2009/09/teachers_handbook_on_how_to_us_1.html#more

ISFE (the Interactive Software Federation of Europe who commissioned the study) say that there has been much interest in the handbook, and they are considering to translate it into other languages. Watch this space for possible further translations in the future!

The handbook, in addition to the full Games in Schools study, has received a lot of interest also in countries outside of the study's focus group. The study has now been presented in Sweden, Austria, Italy and Switzerland, where the handbook was particularly appreciated for being a user-friendly guide for teachers interested in starting to use games in their lessons. The study was also presented at the European Parliament at the European Internet Foundation's breakfast debate on ''Smart learning: video games and other technologies” on 14 April 2010. The link to the programme (and soon the presentation) can be accessed here:

http://www.eifonline.org/en/fiches/events/upcoming-events/10-04-14-breakfast-videogames.cfm?event=11067

April 09, 2010

Citizenship through football-based resources

With a summer of football ahead, harness children's passion for the game by using free resources to stimulate discussion related to personal development and citizenship. UEFA have published ten free lessons based on being in a team and winning and losing for the Grassroots Day campaign and European Schoolnet is supporting the initiative. Each 90-minute lesson is, like a football match, divided into two halves. Teamwork topics covered include What makes a great team, Developing and achieving goals, Co-operation and communication, Developing confidence and self-belief, and Respecting and taking care of yourself. Winning and losing topics are Does losing equal failure, Pros and cons of winning and losing, The benefits of rules, Accepting the consequences, and What makes a good supporter?

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October 08, 2009

Learn English with MovieStarPlanet

Pupils aged 10-15 can now experience a new, free, social virtual tool called MovieStar Planet to practice and improve their English skills by creating cartoons in a fun and innovative environment. This virtual world for students has been developed in collaboration with researchers from the Danish University of Education and a number of Danish primary school teachers. It has been financially supported by the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and is part of the research and development project dedicated to games in education, entitled Serious Games on a Global Market Place (see post below for further information).

To start learning with MovieStarPlanet click here: http://www.moviestarplanet.com/noflash.html

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