Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let the world changing online video games begin!

Are you a gamer? Have you played Massively Multiplayer Role Playing Games like World of Warcraft? Maybe you've anwered 'yes' to one or both of these questions. Now how about this question: have you played Massively Multiplayer EDUCATIONAL Games? Well, Jane McGonigal from the Institute of the Future argues in her recent TED talk entitled 'Gaming Can Make a Better World' that the world needs people to play more video games and specifically the world needs more people to play games that have goals that relate to solving real life problems. Real life 'Epic Wins'!

If her name sounds familiar then it might be because you may of heard of one of the games she has designed: EVOKE. I wrote about it on this blog just 10-day ago.

Check out her TED talk and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brainstorming with Web 2.0

There are MANY ways to brainstorm. But how do you brainstorm with a team of people that are geographically dispersed? How do you brainstorm with a group of people when you are alone at your desk? It’s impossible right?


Welcome Wallwisher. It’s basically a free online page (aka. wall) that anyone can post a note to. When you look back on Bruce Tuckman's 1965 model for team development of Forming-Storming-Norming-Performing, then I think Wallwisher is a great Web 2.0 tool for the 'Storming' phase. This phase is the time for members of the team to share ideas, to propose a method of working together, to divide and assign tasks to individual team members. Wallwisher works well for this because it will easily and quickly allow team members to post multiple short notes (max of 160 characters) to a common wall as well as post links to other web-hosted pages or files. Team members can move these notes around on the wall and organize them in whatever way they wish. For example, similar notes could be grouped together, notes outlining a process could be placed in a hierarchy to better illustrate the start and the end of the process, some notes that are proposed for deletion could be segregated to a specific area of the wall until all team members agree that they can be removed. Combined with a wiki, which could best serve the team in the 'Performing' phase, Wallwisher is definitely a useful tool for teams working together at a distance.

It’s catching on to. Last week I attended a series of CUE presentations and Wallwisher came up. Also, eCollegeFinder has recently written about Wallwisher as well.

Try it out! Let us know if you have any creative and innovative use for it!

Friday, March 05, 2010

Educational Games are a BIG SCAM!

Have you heard someone say that educational games are a big scam? They are just a way to generate a new revenue stream for game designers? That some of them have more entertainment value then educational value? I have heard conversations where some of these sentiments were expressed. While in some specific cases these arguments may be valid, in general I believe they are false. If you DO NOT feel the same way as I do then I have a challenge for you.

Watch this trailer and then take this 10-week crash course on saving the world:

EVOKE trailer (a new online game) from Alchemy on Vimeo.

Evoke is a Massively Multiplayer Online Educational Game! It’s free and in some cases if you want to take on a Mentor Role in the game, the game makers will PAY YOU! Over 7000 people from around the world have signed up to play in the first 3 days. Wow! It is 'student-to-student engagement' at the largest scale!

I am playing. The question is: will you? The world may depend upon it!