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Games for learning

Games for learning

Game-based learning: Typologies and butterflies

One possible challenge for anyone trying to get their head around the role of games in education is the semantics.  Which words should we use to describe learning that involves games? What’s the difference between “educational games” “serious games”, “gaming”, “game design”, or “gamification”?

By Rachel Bolstad

One possible challenge for anyone trying to get their head around the role of games in education is the semantics.  Which words should we use to describe learning that involves games? What’s the difference between “educational games” “serious games”, “gaming”, “game design”, or “gamification”?

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Gazing through the fog surrounding games and learning

By Rachel Bolstad

It’s winter in New Zealand. Here in Wellington we’ve had a wonderfully crisp and sunny winter except for a few days recently where the city disappeared under a thick grey blanket for a day or two. I think it lends the city a certain air of mystery. Is the city still there? If we can’t see it, how can we be sure? Isn’t it strange when you can only make out little bits and pieces?

Imagine if, when it rolled back, some of the things we knew from before were gone, and some other new things were suddenly visible?

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Digital gaming, coding, and makerspaces in NZ schools (Part 1)

Last year I wrote a blogpost called “games OR learning?”.  At the time, I was pondering over some of the data we’d seen coming through in NZCER’s 2015 national survey of secondary schools. One year on, we’ve now got some new national survey data, this time from the 2016 national survey of primary and intermediate schools. I’m sure you have all been waiting patiently to find out what new information we have about the role of digital games in Year 1-8 classrooms! 

By Rachel Bolstad

Today NZCER released a report called Digital technologies for learning which presents some findings from the  2016 NZCER national survey of primary and intermediate schools. 

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Games for learning: Opening all the black boxes

 I want to talk about boxes, curiosity, mystery, research, and the intriguing journey down the rabbit-hole of games for learning. 

A few months ago I found three small boxes in the NZCER staff room.

They'd been quietly abandoned on the “free to a good home” pile. Their dazzling holographic surfaces caught my eye; the cryptic labels A, B, C caught my imagination.

What were these boxes for? What was inside? Was this some kind of game?

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“Do games help learning? Where’s the evidence?” Simple questions with not-so-simple answers

“Do games help learning? Where’s the evidence?”

Of the many questions about games and learning that we’re exploring in our project, perhaps two obvious questions to ask are: “Do games actually help learning?” And “What’s the research evidence for this?”. They might seem like simple questions, but the answers are far from simple. In this post I explore some of the research on games for learning,  and discuss why answers to the simple question “do games help learning?” remain fascinatingly complex.

By Rachel Bolstad

Of the many questions about games and learning that we’re exploring in our project, perhaps two obvious questions to ask are: “Do games actually help learning?” And “What’s the research evidence for this?”

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“What would the principal think?” Game-using teachers on how their peers view their practices

The teachers in our project see lots of potential for games and play to support meaningful learning. But do they harbour any doubts or insecurities in relation to their game-related practices? Yes, some do. We asked teachers to talk about the source and substance of any anxieties they felt. 

By Rachel Bolstad

We’ve discussed some of the negative perceptions about games and gaming on this blog before.  These range from perceptions that games and play are frivolous, or distractions from real learning, through to more significant concerns about videogame addiction or violence.

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What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 5

Blog post: What motivates game-using teachers? Episode 5

In today’s post we will look at one final motivation shared by some teachers in our study: the use of digital games and game design in the classroom as a vehicle for the development of students’ digital capabilities and potential future prospects in STEM-related careers. 

By Rachel Bolstad

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