http://xkcd.com/657

what if LOTR was a

course or a textbook?

**How DO**

children

learn?

children

learn?

they

give

it a

try

they push at boundaries

The brain is

ready to learn

by filling in blanks

We tend to LIKE something if we are able to "see" the patterns in it

When this happens, we begin to "groove" in the patterns ... to seek them out and to expect them.

conscious thought

the brain

functions

at three levels

of thinking

making lists

recalling facts

mathematical

assigning values

a simulation or a formal system where choices and rules are important

allows you to practice patterns and permutations of patterns

"Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun. In other words, with games, learning is the drug."

- Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

"Boredom is the brain casting about for new information. It is the feeling you get when there are no new patterns to absorb."

Flower Power

**Factortris**

http://bit.ly/9uhSJF

http://www.funbrain.com/

Math Baseball

http://www.mangahigh.com

Question that game designers ask themselves ...

- Dr. James Gee

"How do I get somebody to learn something that is long and difficult and takes a lot of commitment, but get them to learn it well?"

"the best instruction hovers at the boundary of a student's competence"

- Andy diSessa, Cognitive Scientist

[Video games] tend to encourage players to achieve total mastery of one level, only to challenge and undo that mastery in the next, forcing kids to adapt and evolve.

- Dr. James Gee, University of Wisconsin

Wired Magazine, 2003

-Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

Tombstone City

Munchman

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dinah/239650274/

2

5

28

Think like a Babylonian

[ !?*!? ]

75

12

59

60

35

61

Babylonian

"Cheat Codes"

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/numbers/babylon/index.htm

Revelation #4:

I can still play the video games I played when I was a child.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobfoldsfive/2596985632/

Sorry bobfoldsfive, I am using this image without permission because I can't seem to log in to Yahoo to ask for permission. Please don't be mad!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kkseema/2042946052

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/959010447

they

try

over

and

over

and

over

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/3039389897

they seek patterns

**GAME**

Learning is not Linear.

Third Problem:

- Raph Koster, A Theory of Fun

Fourth Problem:

Second Problem:

We give away the "cheat codes"

for the game (learning) up front.

the act of

mentally

mastering

a problem

**fun**

some games just make games lame

IBL is great,

in theory, but ...

time-consuming

in reality.

Designing and using activities where students learn new concepts by actively doing and reflecting on what they have done. The guiding principle is that instructors try not to talk in depth about a concept until students have had an opportunity to think about it first (Hastings, 2006).

Inquiry-based Learning

addition & subtraction of integers

simplifying like terms

3x+4+2x-7

multiplication and division of integers

solving

one-step equations

x+3=6

finding points that

fit x+y=5

absolute value

e.g. |-8|

graph an inequality on a number line

where

do we want

our students'

brains to be?

why did

you go in to teaching?

AHA moment =

the brain having fun

See if you can figure out Babylonian without the "cheat codes"

On linear learning paths,

students often get stuck

because of

one concept.

autopilot

reflexes

running "scripts"

a game is a delicate balance between

boredom

and frustration

sorting and packaging

associative

integrative

intuitive

"common sense"

Revelation #1:

Technology is making "content" irrelevant. It's what you're able to do with the content that's important.

Revelation #2:

Revelation #3:

My students, some of whom can't seem to learn algebra, CAN seem to learn complex video games that require logic, memorization, and teamwork, and strategy.

We've been trying all sorts of untested strategies to improve student outcomes for decades, with little or no forward progress.

**children**

think

learning

is fun

think

learning

is fun

what is a

**?**

**PLAY**

what is

**?**

illustrations by

Mat Moore

as adults, we perceive that

play is

"frivolous"

and non-

serious

there are

many

definitions

and

descriptions

and yet, children learn a remarkable amount before

they ever enter

formalized education

"entrancing absorption"

http://www.flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger/2187892869/sizes/o/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wjarrettc/2135222193/sizes/l/

play involves a relaxed pace

freedom to explore

revelation #2

But, in education, we

have taken "fun"

out of learning.

addition & subtraction of integers

simplifying like terms

3x+4+2x-7

multiplication and division of integers

solving

one-step equations

x+3=6

finding points that

fit x+y=5

absolute value

e.g. |-8|

graph an inequality on a number line

This is what we do in math

(and I suspect your discipline is similar)

learning

^

So ...

what can

we do?

http://bit.ly/PlayLearn

http://www.kwarp.com/portfolio/grammarninja.html

Grammar Ninja

Vocab Sushi

http://www.vocabsushi.com/

http://lab.andre-michelle.com/tonematrix

Tone Matrix

You don't have to

"play" using a video game.

Darfur is Dying

The Forbidden City

Discover Babylon

Peacemaker

McVideo Game

Second Life:

The Ultimate Simulator

SimCity Societies

Places to Visit:

http://bit.ly/aAG7oX

**Simulations**

of the

Real World

of the

Real World

Immune Attack

Non-digital Games

Shift the "exploration"

to the students.

Handy Tip

**Maria H Andersen, PH.D.**

@busynessgirl

busynessgirl.com

@busynessgirl

busynessgirl.com

Not only can I still play this one,

I can get to higher levels

than I was able to as a child.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cmduke/3035453343/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/smiles_for_you/409382195/

from the time

we are very young ...

Surely, we can

take advantage of

this in adult learning

though it may require us to stretch our minds a little

If we're not careful,

we're going to take

ourselves out of

learning too.

Unfortunately, most

formal education focuses on

surface-level learning

boring

http://www.flickr.com/photos/zen/241745451/

this is what

we could

(theoretically)

do in math

**one solution**

4 in 5 young adults

half of adults

1/4 of seniors

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2008/Adults-and-Video-Games.aspx

who plays video games?

*disclaimer

some games provide practice

some games get it just right

Final thoughts ...

was it ...

Let's put play and fun back in education.

**Maria H. Andersen, Ph.D.**

Twitter: @busynessgirl

busynessgirl@gmail.com

web: busynessgirl.com

Twitter: @busynessgirl

busynessgirl@gmail.com

web: busynessgirl.com