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From Shanghai, China. A volunteer in Walnut Valley Unified School District.

As the only child brought up

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As the only child brought up by my parents in China, I experienced almost everything that you, as well as your children have been experienced. I remember that when I was a 4th grade elementary school pupil in 1998, my father was playing Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit through CD ROM. I was so curious and even wanted to have a try, since there were so many sports cars which we have been dreamed of purchasing. However, he didn't let me and said this game would teach me something bad. So I have to switch on the computer and played NFS3 when both of my parents were not at home. Finally, I somehow mastered the time period they arrived home, and would turn on the electric fan for cooling the monitor down one hour before they arrive back home. :-)

Now that I am 25 years old already, I have to admit that students learn by playing computer games. But a selection of computer games is rather important. Usually, computer games which teach them how to solve problems will help them grow in an effective way! :-)

Project manager, Conscious Dimensions LLC.

Games and Learning

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Our group is struggling a bit with financing and getting up and going. Seems investors think gaming is a risky investment, but as I read (your article and ESA and what we put in our business plan), the current industry of parents and children, are very supportive and parents are more involved than ever. And ours/ the game is based on learning self awareness. We found that many adults do this after they have been through college and even their 1st job, but nothing happens in the early years to develop self awareness.
As our CEO and founder Dr. Ooten states "When people understand both their own gifts and challenges, and those of their co-workers, school mates, friends and family, the result is a high performing and happy member of society".
So much more to say, love this article, hitting home!

I think the idea of an art

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I think the idea of an art form coming from a video game is a very interesting concept. I've heard people accomplishing a task in their lives and then stating "I learned that from something I did in a video game". I'm curious what implementing ideas such as these into a classroom would result with, or in the future as new variety of games are being created what classrooms will end up looking like.

Fortunately, there are new

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Fortunately, there are new ideas and platforms rolling out in the world of game design. Jane McGonigal's' work with alternate reality games, ARGs, reflects a more holistic approach to gaming. Jane uses games to engage large numbers of players to accept quests that address real world challenges. The game Evoke - A Crash Course in Changing the World, http://blog.urgentevoke.net, was developed by the World Bank Institute and directed by Jane McGonigal. In 2010, Evoke won the award for Social Game of the Year from Games for Change, the leading global organization for games designed to have a positive real world impact.

There is a definite trend in game design to focus mass participation in games that overcome real learning challenges, real social issues, and real world environmental threats by overlaying the successful elements of gaming; optimism, enthusiasm, engagement, collaboration and persistent effort to create real solutions.

I recommend watching Jane's TED talks and reading her book, Reality is Broken - Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World. Good game design does provide opportunities for not only individual reflection, it provides for the type of collaborative reflection that ensures all players level up.

Interesting stuff - as you've

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Interesting stuff - as you've noted, there are a variety of types of games for learning, not all simulations. For many foundational kinds of learning, the 'compete and repeat' kind of casual game can be an excellent way to get students to be engaged enough to bother reviewing and memorizing some key words and concepts (e.g. times tables/vocabulary/periodic table etc) needed before higher-level thinking is possible. I've been working on games to use with flashcard data to make this kind of review a more enjoyable experience. I am a university EFL teacher in Japan, so my primary learning goals were language related e.g. English vocabulary for my students, and Japanese kanji for myself. One game I've .made is online at www.lexwordgameapp.com
It can use any text-based flashcard lists imported from Quizlet. Try it out, I'd love some feedback.
Best,
Oliver

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