Posts tagged ‘VLEs’

Heated Debate on Game-Based Learning

Mark Oehlert, who owns and write the e-Clipping Blog, commented on a post today by Paul McNamara which has caused some heated debate “I wonder if maybe we should continue the debate about whether or not games are good for learning or maybe, here is an alternative…just shut up, accept the data and start really figuring out how to do it write and for PETE”S SAKE understand that design principles, ESPECIALLY design principles (except they aren’t really design principles are they Adriana? ;-))…are not crafted in stone and can and should change and that BY ALL THAT’S GOOD AND PURE the classrooms and instructor-led training were probably NEVER studied RE their effectiveness as learning environments but rather as production environments. I’m sure that the Romans thought their empire wold stand for all time as well and look what happened to them.”

The original post can viewed here and be sure to read the comments which currently run onto a second page. There are comments from people of varying ages and opinions and it is all well worth a read!


April 22, 2008 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

Digital Dissection

Digital dissection software to replace physical dissection in science classes:

“There is also a new technology called “digital dissection”. There are various computer dissection programs such as Drylab Dissections and Catworks that take students through an actual dissection using realistic graphics, as well as a full-motion video. Programs exist for many commonly used dissection specimens, including frogs, rats, earthworms, fetal pigs, and even cats.

Other programs, such as Digital Frog 2 and Visifrog, use high-quality computer animation to simulate an actual animal dissection. Animal rights organizations such as the National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) applaud this new technology and have started free-of-charge loan programs through which schools can try out software.”

Author: Heather Clark, 11th April 2008

Full article available here.

April 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm Leave a comment

Digital Vaults: National Archive Social networking for primary sources

Glenn Wiebe and Dave Warlick have both recently posted on Digital Vaults, a new website by the US National Archive that brings elements of social networking to primary history and social science resources.

Digital Vaults is an interesting concept and one I think works well with it’s logical tag organisational structure. The digitisation of sources and Web2.0 twist makes the wealth of knowledge highly accessible and even allows the user to create their own collections.

Read Glenn Wiebe’s post and Dave Warlick’s post for more information.

April 13, 2008 at 10:58 am 2 comments

‘Hybrid’ courses show promise

One educator demonstrates that blending face-to-face and online instruction can lead to better student grades and understanding.

“Hybrid courses,” or courses that deliver part of their instruction in a traditional lecture manner and part in an online environment, are becoming increasingly popular among schools and colleges. Proponents of the concept say it capitalizes on the benefits that both face-to-face and online learning can provide—and now, there is some evidence to suggest that hybrid courses can help students learn more effectively.

Brian McFarlin, a professor at the University of Houston’s Laboratory of Integrated Physiology, decided to conduct an experiment in one of his classes to observe the strengths and weaknesses of hybrid courses.

Author: Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News, 3rd April 2008

Full article available here.

April 10, 2008 at 5:02 pm Leave a comment

Virtual Chore Rewards for Kids

To be fair to Barbie Girls it isn’t the only virtual world for kids that worries me – with its not-so-implicit goal of training children to be good little consumers. Reinforcing the concept in children that rewards come from playing games, watching shows (themselves somewhat promotional, I’d guess) and from buying products does not seem a good one, and I was despairing of seeing a model other than this. So while I’ve yet to delve deeper, Handipoints appears to be the first imaginative alternative.

Author: Daniel Livingstone, Learning Games Blog, 7th April 2008

Full article available here.

April 8, 2008 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

A student not engaged is a student not learning

I believe technologies that engage and motivate students by offering opportunities for self-direction, inquiry, discovery, and creativity are the best way to meet the needs of all students. One of the most significant things I’ve heard said about 1:1 laptop programs is that when you walk into the classroom, you can’t tell who the Special Ed students are or who the GATE students are… because everyone is fully engaged and working at their own level.

Some technologies that might be readily available to most teachers and which might help provide this sort of individualized engagement include commercial off the shelf videogames with educational value (such as the Sims series, the Tycoon series, or the “Age of…” series of games), read/write web tools (such as blogs, wikis, and podcasts), and multimedia creation programs (for editing images, audio, and video). These things are nearly free and ubiquitous and ought to be used creatively in support of the base program.

Author: Mark Wagner, Educational Technology and Life Blog, 7th April 2008

Full article available here.

April 8, 2008 at 10:57 am Leave a comment

7 Ways Teachers Can Use Online Tools to Keep Students Interested

A 22 year old gives advice to teachers and parents on teens and young adults. Interesting post on how teachers can use onlines resources effectively to engage this generation with learning:

“Can schools keep up with their net-generation, text-savvy students? A lecture and a white board pale in comparison to online videos, cell phone games, interactive virtual worlds and 3-d animation. Already, schools have been incorporating more high-tech technology such as smart boards and projectors in the classroom. My old high school uses ipods to test and record listening comprehension. This is great–and really expensive.

I plan on writing a few blog posts on this topic, but I first wanted to review a few free resources teachers (and parents) can use in the classroom or for homework to keep kids interested in learning. Most of all, by employing new technology you will be speaking in this generation’s language, appeal to what already interests them and therefore make school really relevant to their lives.”

Author: Vanessa Ven Petten,, 16th March 2008

Full article available here.

Also great interview with Vanessa available from here.

April 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

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The purpose of this blog is to provide insight into the impact of computer games and pop culture, and effective ways of incorporating the positive surplus into learning experiences.

Please feel free to add comments and email me with any queries. I am also interested in relevant project collaboration.

Name: Alexandra Matthews
Location: UK

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