Learning about the game: designing science games for a generation of gamers

I’m excited to announce that a new essay I wrote, Learning about the game: designing science games for a generation of gamers, is up in Online First for the Journal Cultural Studies of Science Education. I wrote the essay as a response to the article,  Challenges and Opportunities: Using a science-based video game in secondary school settings. I’ve included the abstract at the bottom of this post, but I thought I would also include an excerpt that get’s at some of how my thinking about educational games has developed and changed through my work on several game projects.

Image from Glittarazzi.com

Here is a little teaser:

“This is what happens when we bring ‘‘video games’’ into the classroom: youth insist on playing them like video games. Those same video games they have at home, where players bulldoze right through our carefully crafted instructions, try to find cheats and work arounds, and wrack up points for bragging rights. As the authors articulated in their conclusion, since ‘‘most of the students were versed in some kind of game play and were
familiar with the mechanics of computers and computer games, they did not always
experience the game in the way it was intended, or necessarily follow the path the game
prescribed. What are educational game designers to do?”

Continue reading “Learning about the game: designing science games for a generation of gamers”

My Ed Tech Dissertation Proposal in Prezi

This semester, I’m enrolled in a doctoral proposal course. The purpose of the course is to help students about to defend their dissertation proposal with a community of critical readers. It is a great idea, imho, to keep us on track during a time when many doctoral candidates begin to lose their way.
I recently had to present my dissertation argument to my fellow students. Few candidates are dissertation in my fields of interest: science education and educational technology, so I wanted to build my case very carefully for an audience outside of my area. Furthermore, most students are interested in quantitative research and while I’ve taken courses through advanced statistics, I’m far more interested in the types of questions qualitative research can answer, so I knew I’d have a lot of explaining to do.
Anyway, here is the ensuing Prezi. Some reflections on how the project was received after the jump.

No student every needs to dissect anything, ever

Image originally from www.digitalfrog.com
Image originally from www.digitalfrog.com

My blood was a’ boiling this morning after reading an article on  edweek about an investigation done by the College Board:

… can a student get the same level of experience from a virtual dissection online, without actually smelling the formaldehyde or making a cut?

In recent years, the College Board, which authorizes AP classes and offers college-level material to high school students, has been trying to determine whether simulated labs in some science courses can take the place of real-world experiments. It’s a debate that online science providers and hands-on teachers are grappling with as well.

Continue reading “No student every needs to dissect anything, ever”