Looking Forward

posted in: Conferences | 9

Human Cog-nition

On the road again! Our PLC group is off to the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) conference next week.  The theme of this year’s conference is Looking Forward:  Innovation in the New World.  It’s being h[eld in Jacksonville, Florida at the Hyatt Regency Riverfront. Innovation. Technology applied to education. A changing world.  All right up our alley! We will also have the opportunity to chat with K-12 teachers to discuss their challenges, successes, and perspectives on higher education. A forum that I’m particularly interested in attending is Teaching with Technology: Classroom Applications for 21st Century Learning.
Topics that also pique our curiosity:  Games and Simulations, Graduate Education and Faculty Development, Mobile Learning, Digital Fabrication, International Education, to name a few. The conference advertises attendees from over 50 countries, so hearing about what others are doing in the field internationally will be informative and exciting! Keynote topics include The future of 3D Printing, and Dive Right In, The Gaming is Fine. PLC Fellows will be posting their impressions here at this blog during the course of our time here. Your comments are welcome too!

In the meantime, check out this video about connecting to the world through Google Glass.  We’re going the get some of those for our lab! We might not be jumping out of airplanes but you never know where our explorer tendencies will take us.

9 Responses

  1. I’m looking forward to exploring many of the same topics, but as a virtual participant I will be with you – virtually! It’s great that we have this blog so that we can share ideas and insights.

  2. What’s not to like? Sunny Florida and learning about teaching with technology. Plus learning how to use my new Surface more productively! (Love this cool keyboard, btw!)

  3. I will present two of my studies at the conference and also meet many educational technology peoples there~ Exciting~
    See all of you there~

  4. Looking forward to learning new technologies to bring back to the campus to improve our service to students. It is going to be a packed schedule, but maybe there will be great weather for the little time available to get out of the hotel.

  5. I’m attending virtually! See you on this blog! So my first comment is with regards to a Tuesday session on gaming:

    Cool, but with a caveat: Standard Mainstream Interpretation? or what’s the ideology behind the game?

    Below are several games featured in a session at SITE 2014 on Tuesday, March 18. I think games are a promising development that can and seem to have a positive impact on gamers’ learning. Some games have been re-purposed for educational aims, and some of them seem to be successful at helping students learn.

    I have a question, however, about the games themselves. Since these may be powerful ways of influencing learners, the content is critical in a number of ways and raises questions for me: what content is being taught, is is taught in culturally appropriate contexts, or only from a euro-centric point of view, and are the underlying beliefs and attitudes standard, mainstream ones, or are students challenged to go beyond their frames of reference and understand that there are other frames of reference? I guess I’m asking what the ultimate purpose of the learning is, and whether these kinds of learning, which may be implicitly embedded in gaming, need to be made explicit and discussed? Otherwise, we will be teaching the same old Western-is-wonderful, the West-is-the-best attitudes we have always taught.

    Since I do not know these games, I cannot answer to what extent the are euro-centric or ethnocentric.

    As we use digital technologies, we should be careful not to make the same mistakes that have been made in non-digital technologies. But even more, these games can, possibly, be more powerful at embedding not only content – facts, etc. – but also values, attitudes, and beliefs and culturally ethnocentric ones, too. My question is this: Are they simply re-purposing old values and beliefs? That’s the big question, as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps it is being discussed at research conventions such as Game Developers Conference, Serious Games Summit, Meaningful Play, Games Learning and Society, all mentioned in this paper.

    I do think that gaming can be more than this: “this generation of young people are experiencing innovative forms of computer and video game play and the continuing experience and exposure to these new forms of entertainment has an impact on their perceptions, abilities, and preference for learning (Prensky, 2001; Susi, Johannesson, & Backlund, 2007). Ultimately, DGBL is about leveraging the mechanisms and effects of digital games to captivate, motivate, and engage end-users for specific purposes of learning.” I think that gaming may actually be more appropriate for certain aspects of learning in our disciplines.

    Gaming could, ideally, put the student into the foreign language culture, into the lab, into the store or business, into the non-profit, into the doctor’s office, into the organizational culture. “It is not to be sneezed at!”

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    Connecting Contemporary Learning Theories to the Development and Design of Educational Digital Games: Pedagogical Considerations for the Adoption of Digital Game-Based Learning
    10:45-11:15 AM
    1. Min Lun Wu, Michigan State University, United States
    2. Kari Richards, Michigan State University, United States
    Playing History— Teaches history by letting players be part of history in the making through engaging in personal stories in larger world history episodes such as the plague, the slave trade, and the Vikings.
    Civilization—- Commercial turn-based simulation game repurposed for teaching humanity and history. Players select a historical civilization to develop sustainably to be the dominant and surviving civilization. Suitable for teaching principles of history and knowledge of geography.
    Quest Atlantis— Educational multi-player online game that teaches socio-cultural and environmental inquiry. Players take on the role of empowered scientists, doctors, reporters, and mathematicians who have to understand disciplinary content to accomplish quests. The game has demonstrated learning gains in science, language arts, and social studies.
    RollerCoaster Tycoon— Commercial game repurposed for teaching business planning, management, and marketing. Players are in charge of managing and construction of amusement parks; rides can be built or demolished, terrain and scenery can be adjusted, and prices can be controlled to keep visitors happy.
    SimCity— Commercial game repurposed for teaching political science and urban planning. Players build and design cities by zoning land, adding buildings, changing tax rates, and building power grids and transportation systems, enhancing their cities over time.
    Age of Empires— Commercial game repurposed for teaching history. Real-time strategy game focusing on historical events throughout time. Age of Empires covers the events between the Stone Age and the Classical period, in Europe and Asia.

  6. There are soooo many sessions to choose from.

    Lana, in Nursing we use a lot of gaming. We have used it in a couple of ways. One- to measure competency and two- to simulate the healthcare environment, providing a safe place to practice skills and clinical decision making.. I think gaming has a lot of potential, but not necessarily in all disciplines.

    I plan on attending a few of the gaming sessions here. At UTA CON, Judy LeFlore is our gaming “expert”. She has done several studies on the topic. Reading her work may shed some light on the topic and show you ways that we use gaming in nursing education

    Looking forward to a great conference.

  7. Yes, Jenny, I think gaming is great for learning. It actually puts you into the place that you intend to be in the future – but without hurting anyone! 🙂 I did an article for Jo Don Baker on cross-cultural issues and intercultural issues in the use of Second Life to train perioperative nurses. So I think it is a really good tool. I do think that there will be intercultural issues in the use of Second Life, to which I referred in the article, but as in any communication intercultural issues place a part. So taking that into consideration can enhance the interactions in such as Second Life. With gaming, we can create games that have all the inherent bias of popular cultural myths, or we can ensure that they are more nuanced and true.

    But you are right – they are a good idea, like most anything, if done well.

  8. Just returned from the SITE conference in time for this evening’s class. I am anxious to hear everyone’s reaction to the event.

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