Interesting blog with specific ideas and strategies around designing classrooms incorporating key ideas from MMOs (Massive Multi-player Online) games, like World of Warcraft...

Saw a reference to it in this TED link...


I was intrigued with this recent article, partly because I'm a casual "gamer" fascinated with the implications of using games, but more critically game design principles, in educational settings to increase student engagement and deepen learning, but also because it made me wonder whether or not there were any kinds of math competitions for dev ed math students (through WAMATYC or other math associations) similar to the kinds of contest that exist for middle and high school students...? (I was surprised at how many there are; the current team project contest from the Washington State Math Council is interesting, though I wonder how engaged students actually are in that particular conceptual task!) Wouldn't it be interesting to try something like that for our students--maybe pilot something only for the project colleges first to see how it goes...? Or am I the only one who thinks healthy competition can be fun and seriously engaging? :-) We'd have to figure out some kind of decent prizes/rewards, I know, which could be a challenge, but I think it's worth exploring... (Bill)




And speaking of gaming, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about technology, games, digital learning, etc. and math--James Paul Gee (also http://www.amazon.com/James-Paul-Gee/e/B001HCYUDS) and Melissa Gresalfi (one of the architects of Quest Atlantis), among many others. The New York Times published an article this month (Connecting Gaming and Game Design Principles to Education) on this subject, and while the Times is not exactly the "mainstream" press necessarily, I think such coverage suggests an area about to explode in terms of visibility. I’m inherently skeptical about evangelists of any sort, and I’m not suggesting there’s a panacea in any of this thinking, but I’ve done enough video gaming myself to be fascinated by the issues raised: there’s no question an extraordinary number of people are highly engaged and motivated by gaming environments, but many of the same people are “bored” and unmotivated in educational settings, especially math—so what can we learn from the principles of game design that could be incorporated or approximated in math learning environments? That might include actual games in some situations, but it’s more about adapting the core principles than about designing math games…Anyway, here are TED Talks from a couple of people cited in that article:
Tom Chatfield


and
Jane McGonigal


(Check out Jane's web site as well, especially the article “The Engagement Economy”)

If you attended AMATYC you may have seen Maria Andersen present (using Prezi, a cool variation on PowerPoint) on her dissertation research related to measuring teaching and learning in mathematics; she also done Prezi shows focusing on the role and power of games and game design in learning, especially in math. Definitely worth checking out!


She also has a web site with a lot of interesting resources and links, including to a number of different math-related games...



Here are a couple of game designer-related sites recommended by Gee as interesting examples of some of the best work out there around game design and learning: Filament Games and Institute of Play...


Scott Dennis here on the eLearning team at SBCTC sent me this blog post from Todd Bryant at Dickinson College with lots of references and links to sites and games/game design and learning...