Games Based Learning (Further reading)

There are many links and resources that are useful case studies when it comes to Games in the classroom.  Here are some amazing ones:
Gabe Zichermann: How games make kids smarter:Check out Gabe Zichermann’s TED talk to find out how video games can actually make kids smarter and better problem solvers.
Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks:Check out this video to see how you can turn a cheap Wii Remote into a sophisticated educational tool.
Professor Henry Jenkins on games-based learning at SxSWi 2009:MIT professor Henry Jenkins discusses why he thinks games are great learning tools in this video from SxSWi 2009.
Game-based Learning:This video offers an excellent introduction into the idea of game-based learning, exploring how digital games can share enriched learning experiences.
Games and Education Scholar James Paul Gee on Video Games, Learning, and Literacy:Learn about game learning from expert James Paul Gee, who explains the idea of situated and embodied learning, and how to helps students learn about problem solving.
Katie Salen on Game Design and Learning:Quest2Learn’s Katie Salen explains the philosophy of using game design for learning in the classroom in this video.
John Hunter: Teaching with the World Peace Game:John Hunter explains how he puts all of the world’s problems on a plywood board and uses the “World Peace Game” to encourage his 4th graders to solve them all, engaging them in learning and teaching complex lessons.
Game for Good Design Camp:Gaming in education comes full circle in this video from Generation Cures Game for Good Design Camp. Students learn about science, technology, engineering, and math while they design video games that help others learn.
Immersive learning: it’s game on!:Find out how immersive gaming environments can be useful for students and educators.
Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun:Dr. Stuart Brown discusses his research on play, explaining that gaming and play are important to healthy childhood development into adulthood.
What is Game Based Learning:Check out this video to find a brief introduction to game-based learning.
Game On! How Playful Learning Works:MIT’s video explains how playful learning works in an anywhere/everywhere state of play.
Teaching with Games: GLPC Case Study: Joel:This video case study explores Joel Levin’s work as a school technology integrator, following him as he shares MinecraftEDU with second graders in New York City.
Game-Based Learning:This video explains the application of game-based learning with video presentation and resources.
Classroom Game Design: Paul Andersen at TEDxBozeman:Paul Andersen’s classroom is a video game, and you can learn how he puts video games to work in AP biology.
Video Games and the Future of Learning:Jan Plass and Bruce Horner lecture in this video, explaining the research and science behind video games and their future in education.
Game Based Learning in Special Education:Andre Chercka discusses his experience with game-based learning and how it can be applied to special education in this talk.
Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond:View this talk to find out why Bulgarian Steve Keil thinks play is so important to education and society, and how we can reinvent learning to better share a sense of play.
Mission Impossible Physical Education Game:Check out this fun physical education game to see how kids can come together to think critically and work as a team.
The Gaming of Education:In this video, you’ll see how gaming can help kids learn and engage more deeply, and enjoy “The Great Brain Debate” as experts question whether gaming in education negatively contributes to digital information overload.
Brenda Brathwaite: Gaming for understanding:Game designer Brenda Brathwaite discusses how she created a game to help her daughter better understand the concept of slavery.
EdmodoCon 2011: Game Based Learning:Watch this video to see how high school teacher Hyle Daley integrates educational gaming into curriculum.
Integrating Games-based Learning: A Conversation with Tim Rylands:In this video, you’ll learn how to integrate games-based learning in your classroom.
Tim Brown: Tales of creativity and play:Designer Tim Brown explains how important play is to creative thinking, offering great ideas for bringing play into our lives and classrooms.
Teaching with Games: GLPC Case Study: Lisa:Check out this video with 4th grade teacher Lisa Parisi as she uses freely available games from BrainPOP and Manga High to challenge them in math and science content.
Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world:Jane McGonigal’s talk explains how we can harness the power of gaming to solve real-world problems.
Nolan Bushnell Talks About Making Learning a Game:View this video from Atari founder Nolan Bushnell as he talks about changing the way kids learn in and out of school with gaming.
Game-based learning: what do e-learning designers need to know?:What makes educational games different? This video takes a look at what e-learning designers have to do differently when it comes to learning games.
Dawn Hallybone, Teacher, Learning Without Frontiers, London:In this video, British teacher Dawn Hallybone shares her strategies for bringing commercial video game technology to learning in order to motivate her students and improve educational outcomes.
Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!:Sir Ken Robinson shares his ideas for a radical shift in learning, bringing personalization and creativity to education, and allowing kids’ natural talents to grow.
Games and Learning in the Classroom with Teacher PrantikaDas:Follow this Microsoft Most Innovative Teachers Forum winner as she explains how she uses games to stimulate learning in her classroom.
Net Gen Ed: Game-based Learning:This video from Net Gen Ed explains the fundamentals of game-based learning and how to use games for educational purposes.
A Vision for 21st Century Learning:Check out this presentation on game based learning to better understand the ideas behind immersive learning environments.
Ali Carr-Chellman: Gaming to re-engage boys in learning:How do you get boys interested in learning? Encourage them to play video games. Ali Carr-Chellman’s talk explains a great plan to engage boys in the classroom by bringing video games in.
Gaming in Libraries Class:See what Paul Waelchli has to say about teaching through game learning in this Gaming in Libraries course.
Ian Bogost on Serious Games:Get gaming expert Ian Bogost view on what serious games can do for education and beyond.
School Mods: Gaming the Education System:Jonathan Schneker’s talk is all about how video games can actually help us learn.
Education & business find uses for Serious Games:This piece from Euronews explains how computer games are breaking beyond entertainment and moving into the education and business world.
Game based Learning-How computer games and their design can be used in schools:Watch this video from the Festival of Education explaining why computer games are an essential part of 21st century curriculum.
James Paul Gee on Learning with Video Games:Gaming expert James Paul Gee shares his insight into why video games make great learning tools.
Tom Chatfield: 7 ways games reward the brain:Watch Tom Chatfield’s TED talk to find out how games engage and reward our brains to keep us going for more.
Consolarium on BBC News: Gaming in Education:Scottish educators explain how the Nintendo DS is making a difference in engagement and educational attainment for Scottish students.
Dr. Paul Howard-Jones – Neuroscience, Games & Learning:Dr. Paul Howard-Jones discusses the science of game-based learning as he explains how gaming engages the brain in education.
Welcome to the Digital Generation:This series of videos from Edutopia explains great ideas for teaching today’s digital generation.
The Money Game:In this financial education game, students learn basic money management and wealth creation principles, making personal finance education fun and easy.
Brenda Laurel:Brenda Laurel’s talk on games for girls offers interesting ideas for getting female students more engaged in game learning.
Game-Based Learning in Higher Education:Game-based learning isn’t just for kids. Watch this talk from the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching to find out why and how game-based learning can be used for higher education.
James Paul Gee on Grading with Games:Game-based learning expert James Paul Gee explains how kids can learn, and be graded, with games.
Teaching with Games: GLPC Video Case Study: Steve:Technology instructor Steve Isaacs discusses how he uses video game design and development in 7th grade curriculum, developing 21st century skills and helping to motivate students.
Douglas Thomas on Video Game Learning: Interacting with Media:Watch this video from the MacArthur Foundation to find out how video games can serve as powerful learning tools for students
This is a cross-post from content partners at

BETT 2013

What to look out for:

Prof Brian Cox keynote 12:30  Feb 1st
Tim Rylands 10:30 Feb 2nd
Sugata Mitra 1230 Feb 2nd

Learning Together area with

BETT video conferencing day 31st Jan lots of cool people doing seminars from 1030 until 1430

SEN zone – I am hoping for better things this year from SEN zone.  Last year was a little disappointing. 

Technology training live has lots of training on all day 30th jan from ipads to science and maths

Learn live MS theatre
Weds to Sat.  Again lots of fun stuff from seminars on BYOD…cloud computing and all that jazz

Learn live – sponsored by NAACE
Lots of cool stuff from people such as Leon Cych, Steve Bunce Miles Berry, Penny Patterson, Eben Upton, Tony Sheppard, David Rogers,l

Learn Live SEN also looks fab on Weds 30th January

The schook leaders summit at BETT has some really interesting strategic people from DfE and inspectorates across the world. 

Exam boards
WJEC stand f106 ..get some computer science resources

SMART technologies are on stand c240 and are showing new multitouch projector LightRaise 60wi

Learn live – Jan 30 to 31st Higher Education is quite good and has many good speakers talking about VLE, blended learning, MOOC’s, eportfolios, digital reputation (pete yeomans)

Learn Live – Learning at work 30th to 1st Feb.  BBC Academy and so on.  Good if you are CPD lead in corporate world too.

Links uk

…..and as its the new year im looking at

BETT 2012

I have realised the BETT show makes me paranoid!  As a head of department, Assistand Head of Sixthform, Class Teacher and Advisor.  There are always  teachers and companies with amazing ideas, practice and solutions.  So thats actually good then?  Yes, so what did I see today of interest.  Here are my very brief and badly typed notes:

BETT 2012 Day 1

Ok so spent last night planning my tour of duty through the BETT show. It is the first time we did not have a stand there so was happier looking around the place and having a coffee. I had planned to see all the big guns as well as take part in a MirandaMod or two about SEN and ICT. These are my highlights to the first day.

Michael Gove opened the event and created chaos, instability by using the most attended ICT teachers event to tell them computer science is back.

In summary :

The trends this year seem to be on content and upgrades rather than any new technology or devices. there seemed to also be more international suppliers available which makes good competition and innovative practice.

Software of interest

Capita emerging app by groupcall. This allows you to access SIMS from a mobile app on iPhone, iPad or Android devices. 2000 for Site license or 200 for one plus 99 per device there after.

Most publishers such as Hodder (stand D67) have some good resources and e-textbooks to put into your VLE for all GCSE subjects. Nelson Thornes (stand H6) are pushing their Kaboodle online blended learning system for secondary schools. Pie Corbett and Johnny Ball are there on Friday, think of a number.

Loxit (G20) have a good selection of laptop and mobile tablet storage units. To complement this Parat (stand S84) have lots of new parasync devices to allow the multiple synchronisation of devices such as iPads.

Zulogic have a new version of their popular Zu3D stop frame animation software and at BETT you can buy a copy with quite a nice webcam, green screen and plasticine for £50.

Clicker 6 (crick software stand F40) is out and has some some good new functionality. If you use clicker 5 there are special upgrade prices too.

The entwining and commenius project by the British Council are free and available online. They are at the upper level in gallery 1.

MLS (micro librarian systems stand C20) have a new solution which includes the loaning of ebooks via their librarian mobile app.

Google (stand E70) have some really good seminars throughout each day such as chrome books, google docs, google tools and so on.


Hardware of interest

SMART new interactive projector is worth a look. They are also unveiling the Notebook 11 software soon that will be available to schools which is fully HTML 5 and web compliant. It will be a free upgrade as well so kept an eye out.

Muraspec (stand J2) had some amazing paint that you could use on any wall or table which then becomes a wipe off whiteboard also good for short throw projection units. Great idea, low tech and pedagogically great value for money. ZU3D (stand k11) was showcasing their stop motion software. A cost effective solution for mulit layered animation and video/sound editing.



OCR Nationals course (new version) will be called the Cambridge National. This has gone through QCDA. Look at their website for further details for Key Stage 4 course information.

BT (stand J6) released their new ambassadors of IT course. It is an online course for Esafety and also for online mentoring.

Achievement for All have been funded by the DfE to create an inclusive curriculum and resources to support students with SEN and beyond. They are running some small scale conferencing events about ICT and SEN every day at 12:00 and 3:30 that are free to attend at Gallery room 1.

Media Smart (stand S61) has several excellent curriculum resources for teaching advertising and the media to 6-11year olds. pedagogy


Digital is not always best

I saw this blog post the other day and thought how apt it was as you can relate to all types of tech. So here it is in full:


Photography has been rapidly growing. Now, the experience of learning photography has been continually made easier by the technologies of the digital age. The dark room skill, which was once half of the photography experience, has been eliminated by the digital editing process. Now, editing can be done using various editing softwares such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Aperture. Now the problem is, with all these ease of the digital age, why do some people feel the science of photography hasn’t evolved? Or do you also feel this way? This post may provide some enlightenment of some of the reasons barricading the progress of photography in this digital age.

1. The ever-growing reliance of digital post-editing.
Digital photo editing is much easier and simpler than editing the photograph in a dark room. But now, many people are trapped in the convenience it offers. Many photographers become spoiled in that they think lightly of the production of a good on-site photograph, thinking that the ordinary can always be made extraordinary later during the post editing. This then reduces the will to be well prepared before a shoot, like preparing proper lighting, background, and model’s make up. This means these photographers will spend much more time in front of the computer editing than concentrating on being the best on shoot. True, setting a professional photo shoot can take more time and more complicate setups, but this is where the art lies. More prepared photos result in a more natural look that will not require much digital post-editing.

2. Lack of understanding of the camera used.
Digital cameras, both point-and-shoots and DSLRS, are now more easily obtained and the range in price is wider than ever. There’s now a wide variation of different features for a range of different budgets, from the very cheap to the very expensive. And in this digital era, most cameras now have the Auto mode feature, where photographers can press the trigger button, and the camera will do the rest. With the comforts this Auto Mode brings, photographers are now pampered by the simplicity and therefor lacks the understanding of the concepts of Depth of Field, ISO, or the effects of shutter speeds. Download this DSLR Photography guide to learn more about the basics of photography.

3. Good photographs are produced by expensive/advanced cameras?
Many beginner photographers think that only expensive cameras can produce good photographs. Let’s rethink this opinion. Do expensive cameras automatically find interesting objects? Do advanced cameras automatically compose photos? Do expensive cameras find the best lighting for a photograph all on its own? The answers are of course a resounding “no.” However great the camera is, there’s always someone behind it that controls its production in creating a photograph. And that person behind the camera is called a photographer. Good photographers are considered good because of their creativity, in composing objects, talent in capturing a moment, and their knack in determining the best time for shooting photographs. Cameras are mere enablers for photographers to create their works of art. A great photographer can use even the most basic point-and-shoot cameras to produce amazing photographs. Try and browse works of photography before 1990. There were plenty of photographs created by great photographers using analog cameras that didn’t have any auto mode functions. When an amateur photographer meets an advanced camera, does this guarantee an extraordinary photograph? I highly doubt it. The most important thing is the “man behind the lens.” Practice often and continue learning, even the professionals were once amateurs.

4. Influence of the online communities.
With the development of the digital era, many photography communities emerge online on the Internet. Indeed, these communities are a great way to share works of photography and share knowledge amongst photographers. The problem now is, most members of the online photography community are amateur photographers. So most comments in these sites are from fellow amateur photographers. Do not get easily satisfied when approvals are given toward your photograph in these online photography communities. High approval ratings of your photographs in these sites do not necessarily mean your photographs are ready for the professional world. If you want to go into photography professionally, don’t just showcase your work in online communities. Develop your skill by entering photography competitions, or send your works to print medias because photographs that make it into a print media usually go through an intense selection process selected by professional editors. So if your photograph is chosen to print, that means your photograph has gotten the approval of a person highly experienced in the field of photography.

iPadio online discussion with Scottish Educators

In May 2011, I participated on a discussion set up by Scottish teachers about iPod, iPads in education.  The folloing notes may be of use.

  • Some schools charge via USB multi plugs for large sets
  • Some deploy apps via three accounts and home sharing facility.  So basically on a school netowk set up three accounts and home share these to machines which then update the ipods.
  • To get around the costing for the apps some schools have gifted the APP’s to themselves.  So for example if they buy a copy of a GCSE D&T app then they buyt threcopies and do home sharing.  Then if they had thrity devices theywould gift 27 copies (having set up three accounts to deploy)
  • Ghosting is possible – Do a full backup and restore this to the devices.  this is the preffered way that museums do the deployment.  It will ghost settings too.
  • Proxys need to be transparent for wbe access
  • Lots of schools dont bother with parental restrictions
  • iPhone configuration utility can be downloaded to transfer settings to the devices.
  • If you want a feature added email (check address on the site) but these all get read and often incorporated such as the iPad2 screen visibility option.

BETT part 2

So I don’t know why I tagged this post with innovation. For me BETT got back to basics which was a good thing. Last year BSF meant that companies pitched for the grand prize and not the sector as a whole. The people that are here a teachers who want to innovate but have no money…show some respect. (rant over).

So what was good….well lots of Cloud based software and solutions. lots of software for subjects. APPs to integrate with software such as SIMS I found interesting. I however think I enjoyed the TeachMeet Takeover and TeachMeet BETT. These were all well prepared and interesting and more importantly done by teachers for teachers. Awesome..again if you want to know who presented you need to Google it.

It was great, I mean really great, to catch up with all my friends on twitter. Amazing
There are so many awesome, innovative educators around.

So with that we all head back to work hoping that some of our musings will change practice in schools and impact on the kids that we teach and support. Money well spent? Yes….Time spent with colleagues and educators….priceless.