Reality is broken

I’m not sure any of my research is going to really help with my assignment for Judy but I was quite excited when my blog came number 1 in the search for digital citizenship and gamification. That tells me that not many people seem to be writing/blogging about this area yet. I’ve also found it challenging to find anything that points to an obvious link between gaming and digital citizenship in the research.
However I did find a few more interesting links out there. Adventures in Educational Blogging pointed me in the direction of Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal.I haven’t read it yet but I’m hoping it will shed more light on the games/ digital citizenship arena.

Further posts worthy of exploring are The Dangers of Gamification in Education. and the reply by Kathy Sierra.
It appears that gamification and gaming are very different. Games work because people enjoy playing them but gamification seem to imply that we need to create a points system so learners will be motivated and engaged. However research by Pink has demonstrated that points/ rewards work on manual tasks but anything cognitive is actually damaged by the reward system. So first point I need to be very careful about the terminology I use. Games NOT gamification.

Off to the Philippines tomorrow for some R and R. I have more to read than I can possibly cope with and I’m hoping to come back with a large chunk of this assignment in place. Hopefully the family will disappear off diving and then I can get down to some serious study. Hope the internet connection is not too wobbly!

Blue Orchid Resort here we come.


Games and learning

Reading this article by Oblinger has made me think further about education games and the gamification of learning and education. Games engage us and motivate. They have a powerful potential which could enable students to learn information, skills and change attitudes and ways of thinking.

They provide an opportunity to be involved in a  collaborative community in which older or more established players act as mentors for novices. The community share ideas, solve problems, socialize and work together to move things forward. Players are required to accept a set of values so they can integrate with other members of the community.

This is all very well but how does this link to digital citizenship. I looked very closely at the iste nets standards for students. They state that being able to use technology is no longer enough and that today’s learners must be able to use technology to analyze, learn and explore. Under 5b Digital Citizenship they state that students should display a positive attitude towards using technology that supports collaboration, learning and productivity. 5c Digital Citizenship states that learners should demonstrate a personal responsibility for life long learning and 5d exhibit leadership for digital citizenship. I would argue that using games does all of this. Games allow learners to take on leadership roles whilst collaborating with others in the virtual environment. Being engaged, as many gamers obviously are, illustrates that life long learning is more than just a label but a true possibility. And finally that the opportunities through games for collaboration and learning are endless. In fact most of the 6 standards would be able to be achieved through game play.

However it is here we need to be a little more circumspect. The key is how the teacher utilizes the game and for what learning outcome. Just like another tools thought needs to be given as to how it is going to blend with the curriculum and to what effect? Can it be blended successfully with the current educational tool kit?

Other question the gamification of education raises are;

1. What happens to internet addiction when study and learning are linked closely to games?

2.  Is the hardware up to the job? is it appropriately configured and available for extended hours? Is the right equipment available such as headphones and working mics?

3. Are all the other networking tools that gamers need available?  Networked communication systems are a must. (Chat, IM, e-mail?)

 Games are still in an early stage of evolution. Although they can be effective learning environments, not all games are effective nor are all games educational. Games are now being designed based on learning theory and research. Their effectiveness rests on the massively multiplayer immersive worlds they create, where learners “learn to be” and a social network surrounds the learner. The time has come for games to be reintegrated with education, ending a longstanding rift between work and play. Oblinger (2006)

Are we ready for this change or do we remain rooted in the smoggy industrial past? Is the recent interest and push for games based learning based on research? Is it the educational tool of choice or just a current fad? Further reading and learning required!


Machine Learning

Game on!

Yippee. Judy has accepted my proposal for assignment 1 so I am now able to start researching in earnest. it also gives me loads of time to work on the presentation.
Hopefully I can do a good job.
Here is my outline.
Information Policy Issue: Developing digital citizenship amongst students; the role of games and gaming.
Proposed Title of Presentation: Game on!
Proposed Framework of Presentation:

1. What is a digital citizen? Features/ requirements of a digital citizen.
2. The digital challenges ahead
What challenges are on the horizon? How will these affect how learners (Teachers, TLs and Students ) work and learn? An outline of the developments that are on the horizon. In particular gaming.
3. What possibilities are opened up because of gaming?
Similarities between games and how students do research..leading to information literate students.
Benefits especially pronounced with so called digital natives.
Game playing meets most of ACRL info lit standards ( this needs to be checked to see if this covers digital citizenship) Info literacy skills key to digital citizenship.
Collaborative learning
New culture… see book!
Able to cope with change
Teaches participation which could lead to civic engagement

4. How do games aid the development of digital citizenship?
Citizenship… online community Does this impact behavior? Supports community, fosters community like behaviours
Taking on of a new identity…sharing of personal information. Avatars “ extended commitment to self”
Community of practice and take on new identity leading to a shared understanding
Development of digital norms of behavior
Teaches participation which could lead to civic engagement
A sense of membership / belonging
Rights and responsibilities?

5. Conclusion
Gaming is an important tool that should not be ignored. However need to remember its not just about tools but about the quality of teaching and the ability of the teacher to provide engagements that empower learners. Are schools making the use of the research? How should they move forward?
Questions for discussion…not decided yet, more thinking required.

Judy commented “Can I suggest that in terms of standards that provide a context and relevance (particularly in the scenario that has been posed for this assessment) that you investigate/refer to ISTE NETS standards student and perhaps teachers. If you are not familiar with these, you will find them particularly helpful.” So that’s my next step. That plus lots of reading. And yes the title is cheesy but as Judy says “Let’s have fun!”
Game on

Poster downloaded from.

ETL523 Get into the game.

So first draft in and I knew it would be rubbish as I’d really not done the reading. However Judy has been really helpful. What I had written was far too generic and really didn’t hit my interests. I’ve decided I’m really interested in games, gamification and the culture of change. I know I’ve not made my life easy but I just can’t bring myself at this point to work for hours on copyright or plagiarism. (Yes I know it’s important but I just can’t do it, or even spell it!)
I’m taking on the game pattern.I want to seek novelty, think creatively, challenge myself and I, sometimes, like to do things the hard way. It also means I need to network, so I’m hoping that someone will read this and help or at least post some ideas. If not poor Judy will just have to be my network buddy.

Most importantly I need to consider how gaming is different to other types of learning and how that connects back to Digital Citizenship. At this point I’m still reading around and thinking but I do feel really motivated so hopefully I’ll get an ‘ah ha’ moment where I begin to see those connection. My son, a WOW gamer, has already shown some interest in my work and pointed me in the direct of this TED talk. I’m sure there’s lots to work on here and plenty of references to follow up.


I love the whole group value thing he talks about and how games enable access to a global world. Generation G use games to train their minds, to engage thinking and to solve problems. All this through collaborative play… sounds too good to be true.

A new culture of change.

A new book delivered today, A New Culture of Change; Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change by Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
A very interesting read about learning and the invisible learning happening outside of schools and universities.
They argue that we need a new culture of learning in which we harness the power of the collective and our desire for play. They illustrate how imaginations can be empowered and learning become life long, and engaging, through the use of new technologies that enable us to connect and collaborate. They believe that if we are driven by a passion, use our connections and play, then we are able to extend our ability to think, innovate and discover.
They see inquiry as vastly important in this as it helps us to stockpile experiences. They encourage us to ask the ‘where’ questions rather than the ‘what’ stating that the questions are more important than the answers. Inquiry then becomes a tool for harnessing the passions of our learners and enables the stockpiling of tacit knowledge ( knowledge gained from experience) to be developed.
An easy read that raises lots of questions. I was quite interested in the arguments about the positive aspects of online games, in particular World of Warcraft. I agreed but wondered how I could harness this in my primary library and classes. It makes me consider whether I should look at games for assignment 1 as the Horizon report indicated that games were 2 to 3 years away from being adopted in the classroom. I’m not sure whether it fits under the digital citizenship umbrella but I can see how it would raise issues in this domain.
If you get a chance read it, it will engage you and make you think.

Information Transliteracy

Information literacy is vital to our learners so that they can evaluate and synthesis information so that they can then use it. However is this now enough? Information literacy now need to be part of a whole set of 21st century learning skills that need to include the ability to self evaluate and to be responsible users of information. (Digital literacy) Our learners are usually quite adept at finding the information they need but often have no skills in evaluation or analysis.

As teachers many of us grew up with a very strong sense of cognitive authority. Those books and journals we used could be trusted however now that information can be gathered from a wider range of sources we and our learners need to be more critical. In fact the format becomes totally irrelevant (information transliteracy) and what most importantly needs to be considered is the perspective the information comes from and its validity.

Learners need to know what is important to know. They need to be able to make judgements about the information they have and consider whether it is what they need. They need to question the answer. by being critical thinkers whilst still remaining open to new ideas and information.
new ways of thinking