Friday, December 14, 2007

Teacher resource for Ed Games

This site offers a wide variety of different games for different grade levels and curricular content. The reason for mentioning it is that most of these type of sites I have come across are directed towards elementary learners, were as this site offered some resources for upper grades.

Here is the address:
http://www.funbrain.com/teachers/index.html

Teacher resource for Ed Games

This site offers a wide variety of different

Smart Cycle

Toy makers are targeting the younger ages with both mental and physical activity. Fisher Price has a interactive game for kids to learn and exercise, they call it the "Smart Cycle". I think that this approach makes sense, especially with the increasing obesity rate of Americans and American youth.

Quick & Dirty Tips: Traveling Avatar

A podcast from the same site as the famous Grammar Girl series:
The Traveling Avatar provides short and useful tips for getting the most out of SECOND LIFE™, a multi-layered 3D virtual world. Whether you're just curious, a new player, or an intermediate player, this podcast will make your Second Life experience more fun and efficient. Traveling Avatar is hosted by Will Ross. The Traveling Avatar is a Quick and Dirty Tips podcast.

Add it to your list of favorite podcasts!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Game Theory?

While at a team building event at work about two weeks ago, one participant exclaimed it is better that everyone loses the game, as opposed to just him. He said it's human nature and referenced "game theory". I just had to look it up.

Game Theory in Wikipedia




Older Adults and Educational Tech





I think it's fascinating that an entire series of educational games has hit the market targeting older adults. They are all written for the Nintendo DS so it appears that handwriting recognition may have been a real key to appealing to this audience. Check out Brain Age, Brain Age 2, Big Brain Academy and My Word Coach

Older Adults and Educational Tech





I think it's fasinating that entire series of eductaional gamnes has hit the market targeting older adults. They are all written for the Nintendo DS so it appears that handwriting recognition may have been a reall key to appealing to this adience. Check out Brain Age, Brain Age 2, Big Brain Academy and My Word Coach

Older Adults and Educational Tech

I am finsing it interesting that

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tactical Language and Culture




I don't know if I feel proud, or frightened by this finding, but this is a real world example of customized  simulations training our armed forces in multi-cultural interactions. I mean seriously, look at the email address: http://www.tacticallanguage.com/gettingthem.html. Also, the company logo is just itching for a cross-hair to be drawn across the dot in the "i" of "Tactical"!

The premise of this product is excellent, as this knowledge and skill-set is critical. Its training focuses on how to communicate in foreign languages and cultures. As it was designed for the U.S. Military, its current menu of activities include learning groups called Tactical Iraqi, Tactical Pashto and Tactical French. These courses are to be used in Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa and focus on teaching vocabulary, language and cultural knowledge. To convey this information, skill builders, arcade games and mission games are used. The interactivity and graphics resemble Second Life. And there is plenty of feedback with colored signs indicating if communicated correctly or not.


Tactical Language and Culture

I don't know if I feel proud, or freightened by this , but this is a real world example of simulations training our armed forces in multi-cultural 

SL Luxury Cruise Ship


We all need vacations so what makes us think that our avatars do not? You, well your avatar, can take a SL cruise and enjoy all of the relaxing activites found on RL cruises. SL cruises are similar to RL cruises except for one tiny element, the ship does not move. Avatars can run on the track, sunbathe, go to the spa, gamble, admire the art, dance, gamble, swim, shop, eat, or many other activities you would enjoy on a RL cruise. The ship is named the S.S. Galaxy and is employed by many SL residents and even has a ice-skating rink! The ship is run by Captain Seaton Skolnick, who takes time out to chat and answer questions with other avatars. Does your avatar need a vacation?
Thanks to Second Seeker for providing information about the S.S.Galaxy

SL Flying Spaghetti Monster


A flying spaghetti monster has been spotted in SL! I researched the issue and found some interesting information. Apparently, in 2005 a student, Bobby Henderson, in Kansas sent a letter to the Kansas Board of Education asking them to stop teaching evolution in science classes. He coined the flying spaghetti monster as a symbol of what he believed in against the teachings of evolution as a science in educational facilities. He even created CoFSM (Church of Flying Spaghetti Monster). Henderson had a large following in his spaghetti monster beliefs and fight against the Kansas Board of Education. His fight to stop the teaching of evolution in public education proved unsuccessful in Febrary 2007, when his request was rejected. However, the FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) has been spotted flying around Second Life to this day! Have you seen it?
Thanks to Wikipedia for providing background info on the FSM

Second Life and virtual games on TV

Has anyone noticed lately that TV is getting on the SL / virtual game bandwagon? Several popular TV shows have featured SL in their episodes this season. The October 24th episode of CSI: NY features a case of a virtual stalker turned killer and has its lead character Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) creating his own avatar so he can enter the virtual world to find the killer.

Viewers of the show were invited to become part of the plot by clicking a link on CBS' website to register on SL where a CSI virtual world has been created. The site is geared toward the CSI: NY fan and offers three different options depending on the level of SL knowledge and curiosity. Viewers can "walk" around virtual New York buildings and visit a CSI lab and play forensic games like "Facial Reconstruction". Or they can play a game called “Murder by Zuiker” (Anthony Zuiker is the creator of the show), a unique murder plot which can be solved by users finding clues. The 100 people who come closest to solving the murder win virtual gifts. The most involvement offers viewers the ability to become CSI investigators, complete with field kit and tools. They can interview suspects and try to solve the murder featured in the actual CSI: NY episode. The episode itself ended in a cliff-hanger and the solution will be revealed in an episode in February.

Other TV shows to feature SL or the virtual gaming world this season have been Law & Order: SVU, The Office and Numb3rs. Look for more references to SL and the virtual world in other shows - that is if they ever settle the writers strike!

Second Life on TV

Has anyone noticed lately that TV is getting into the SL

Second Life on TV

Has anyone noticed lately that TV is getting

Belgian Police decides to patrol Second Life after virtual rape case

secondliferape.jpgThe details about the case were not revealed, but two Belgian newspapers reported early this year that the Belgian Police would setup an in-game patrol unit to investigate virtual rape incidents.

Absurd as it sounds, the event spurred a myriad of discussions around the web, from sexologists arguing that even virtual rape can be a traumatic experience to online gamers that wondered the technical details that enabled a virtual rape to occur in the first place (in fact it is hard to conceive how someone would not be able to simply turn the computer off…).

Friday, December 07, 2007

Training the Gamer Generation

Anyone born between 1980 and 2001, plays any computerized game more than 5 hours a week and is Internet saavy can be considered what is called a "gamer". As Baby Boomers retire, the Gamers are infiltrating the workforce. To accommodate the gamers' technologically advanced status, training for these employees must be modified from the traditional static nature. Gamers need training that can engage and hold their attention in order to be effective. As a result, the job of training departments has increased in difficulty to accommodate this demand.


One example of modifying a popular game to help transfer knowledge more effectively while keeping the learner's attention is a spin on the game of Hangman. Instead of randomly choosing letters to guess the word, the learner is given the definition and must use this definition to guess the word. This tweak in game play encourages the learner to continue to think about the word's definition as the game is played thus helping to transfer knowledge of the word. One other tweak is rather than display a man getting hung, an image of a roadrunner getting caged in represents the time and amount of chances the player has. This change seems a bit more on the positive side. 

http://www.learningcircuits.org/2006/February/kapp.htm

Training the Gamer Generation

Anyone born between 1980 and 2001 and plays any computerized game more than 5 hours a week

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stagecoach Island

Wells Fargo has developed a virtual world complete with mortgages, checking accounts, and taxes as a means of teaching teens how to manage their finances.

News> Virtual Theft = Real Arrest

From BBC News:

'Virtual theft' leads to arrest

"A Dutch teenager has been arrested for allegedly stealing virtual furniture from "rooms" in Habbo Hotel, a 3D social networking website."