Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category
New publication: Beyond gamification: reconceptualizing game-based learning in early childhood environmentsJune 28th, 2013
EDGE lab is proud to announce a new publication from lab director Jason Nolan and graduate RA Melanie McBride. Their paper, ‘Beyond gamification: reconceptualizing game-based learning in early childhood environments,’ presents a new theoretical framework for conceptualizing Digital Game-Based Learning (DGBL) that emphasizes the role of autonomy, affinity, play and space as critically overlooked dimensions of children’s informal and out of school learning and play with games. As well, they seek to help educators distinguish some of the differences between game-based learning and other game-associated trends such as gamification and so-called ‘serious games.’
With much of the current conceptualization of DGBL reflecting the increasingly standardized and ‘data-driven’ priorities of K-12 and Post-Secondary education, Nolan and McBride ask whose identities, priorities and cultures are advanced or ignored when schools attempt to appropriate and relocate games in contexts far removed from those in which they are typically enjoyed. Finally, the paper interrogates why, if play and engagement are really at the heart of learning with games, we aren’t we starting with a model of learning that definitively play-based — that of the early years? From the abstract:
The recent promotion and adoption of digital game-based learning (DGBL) in K-12 education presents compelling opportunities as well as challenges for early childhood educators who seek to critically, equitably and holistically support the learning and play of today’s so-called digital natives. However, with most DGBL initiatives focused on the increasingly standardized ‘accountability’ models found in K-12 educational institutions, the authors ask whose priorities, identities and notions of play this model reinforces or neglects. Drawing on the literatures of early childhood studies, game-based learning, and game studies, they seek to illuminate the informal contexts of play within the ‘hidden’ and ‘null’ curricula of DGBL that do not fit within the efficiency models of mainstream education in North America. In the absence of a common critical or theoretical foundation for DGBL, they propose a conceptual framework that challenges what they regard to be the institutionally nullified dimensions of autonomy, play, affinity and space that are essential to DGBL. They contend that these dimensions are ideally situated within the inclusive and play-based curriculum early childhood learning environments, and that the early years constitute a critically significant, yet overlooked, location for more holistic and inclusive thinking on DGBL.
Gaming the imagination: counterpublics and the contestation of symbolic production is a video that addresses the political ramifications of the shift in production of videogames for oppositional groups known as ‘Counterpublics’ . What do these groups, and their contestation of who gets to be in control of symbolic production mean for society today? It is a digital report from the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, and the EDGE Lab at Ryerson produced and narrated by Lab RA Daniel Joseph. Enjoy.
GamingEdus is a project hosted at the EDGE Lab, and we’re happy that it has lit the way into the next year.
The Watchers teaches online privacy literacy skills to kids.
“Rather than teaching children to memorize ways they can avoid “stranger danger,” the game facilitates the development of autonomous privacy decision making skills.”
EDGE Lab researcher Melanie McBride was recently invited to give a lecture at University of Toronto’s iSchool as part of their 2012 Colloquium Series. Her talk,“Beyond -fications: The hidden and null curriculum of digital learning and play” was an overview of her lab research and MA coursework on gamification and informal game-based learning under the supervision of Jason Nolan.
EDGE Lab’s graduate student Melanie McBride was quoted in an article by Will Richardson entitled “Preparing Students to Learn Without Us” on the ASCD site (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
Mr. Richardson refers to Melanie’s paper, The Right to Learn (Anytime Anywhere Learning Foundation, 2011):
‘We need to shift our thinking from a goal that focuses on the delivery of something—a primary education—to a goal that is about empowering our young people to leverage their innate and natural curiosity to learn whatever and whenever they need to. The goal is about eliminating obstacles to the exercise of this right—whether the obstacle is the structure and scheduling of the school day, the narrow divisions of subject, the arbitrary separation of learners by age, or others—rather than supplying or rearranging resources. (p. 6)’
Ryerson alumnus Liam O’Donnell is an elementary school teacher for the Toronto District School Board. He recently wrote about his experience of creating a multiplayer Minecraft server that spanned across 3 schools using server space at the EDGE Lab.
“After realizing the deep, meaningful connection the game had made with some of my former students, I just had to introduce it to a new batch of kids. But this time I wanted to do something a little bigger. Already, I had used Minecraft to engage a small group of students who came to me for literacy support. Minecraft was the ideal game to let their imaginations and writing abilities go wild. From strategy guides to avoiding Creepers to documenting their scientific inquiry into the results of lava-water collisions, the results were impressive. I had to do it again. But this time, I really wanted to put the multiplayer into the game. This time, I’d have one new world but 30 students, from across 3 different schools: A Multi-School Minecraft Server.”
EDGE Lab Graduate student Melanie McBride will be presenting at the iSchool Colloquium Series at the University of Toronto on Thursday April 19, 2012. The session takes place at 140 St. George St., Room 728 between 4 – 6 p.m. If you would like to hear Melanie speak about the ‘hidden’ and ‘null’ curriculum of digital gaming and play, click here here for more details.