Episode 18

"Learning to Play"

Duration 00:18:18      Recorded on March 19, 2007

Susan and Dan tackle a big topic: games. They survey different kinds of games, discuss how games function in learning contexts, cite games that are currently making news in education, share several resources, and interview a LearningTimes member immersed in an interesting game-based approach to learning.

Show Notes:

Big topic!

Games come in all shapes and sizes, online and offline. Start with taxonomy. One model Susan found listed: action games, strategy games, adventure games, simulation games, puzzle games and educational games which included stand alone games like Carmen Sandiego and immersive multi-player games. Susan thinks we need a new taxonomy. From functional to immersive to massive multiplayer.

Clark Aldrich blogs about games. Might want to check that out at http://clarkaldrich.blogspot.com/ - A condition where students happily spend more time than necessary with the educational content, often in a flow state.- Games that are getting a lot of attention: immersive and serious games. Check out what's happening at the MacArthur Foundation. There is a webcast listeners might be interested in on the topic of games and learning - link on the main page. The Spotlight blog that corresponds also has some very good pieces about games.

Serious games today are immersive and collaborative, require players to make frequent decisions, and have learning goals and outcomes. http://www.seriousgames.org

Some people take off the shelf games and retrofit them. http://www.socialimpactgames.com...

Dan asks why games are now getting attention when good teachers have always used some kind of a challenge in the classroom - the pair then turn to a Skype interview with Angelo John Lewis who is doing some innovative work with games and personal coaching with the Game of Games.

Angelo shared his thinking about why games work: trial and error, scoring points, complexity, and the enabling of the player to be engaged in active learning, experiential learning and problem based learning all at the same time. He notes today's games are more collaborative than competitive.

He then explains the ten week Game of Games and how it works. Listen for details! Interesting to note there are 4 ways to win and that Angelo is using fairly common products (Moodle, teleconferencing, discussion) to accomplish the goal.

Again, Angelo referenced Thiagi, who is doing quite a bit with games in training. Angelo's game is catching on big in Australia!

Dan and Susan wrap up. Susan offers 2 more great articles for readers.Future Lab's Literature Review [PDF] of Games in Learning Learning in Immersive Worlds [PDF] by Sara de Freitas Dan sums up the 4 E's on why this is important to him. Engagement, Elusive, Expectations, and Excruciating (Susan warns against sucking the fun out of it).

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
Special Inspiration