Friday, November 7, 2014

Games and Learning

I received an email newsletter from Merlot (a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community.) and in reading it, one link lead to another, to another link, and so on...

I arrived at a website with a very intriguing presentation made with Prezi. It was about games and learning--video type games and learning. It is worth taking a look, although it takes a few minutes to get through it--especially if you click on all the links and watch the embedded videos. But of course that is what made it so intriguing.

Playing to Learn by Maria Andersen.

What do you think? I think learning should have more fun in it. Research is telling us that learning happens when students are engaged and having fun. How can we do that without making the content seem trivial? How can it be done with authentic activities--so it doesn't seem contrived?

Want more on this topic? Then check out this article from THE Journal: Five Skills That Games Teach Better Than Textbooks, by Dian Schaffhauser, 11.05.2014 .

In the Spotlight

Have you seen Osmo? It is used with an iPad and lets you "play outside the iPad"--so to speak. The Osmo website describes how Osmo works:

"Osmo has a magical ability to turn physical objects and interactions into digital game elements. The technology that makes this possible is called Reflective Artificial Intelligence (AI), a phrase we created to describe the process that allows the iPad to make sense of what it sees. There are two main components of Reflective AI: the red Osmo reflector (a mirror), and the computer vision algorithms that process the data. Working together, the reflector and our computer vision software give the iPad the ability to integrate physical objects into our games in real time." (from

Sounds complicated to me. But watch how kids interact with it:

Pretty awesome! I think it will go on my Christmas list this year. I hope my grandkids let me play it with them. :)

 Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.
AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

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