Games in 21st Century Learning

LA Noire is a detective game based in 1947 Los Angeles that challenges players to solve several murder cases. During the game players navigate the city in faithfully rendered vehicles and through historical landmarks. I learned a lot about American culture from this decade. There was a lot content like news papers and documents that inform players about events from that time period, along with exploration of nightclubs where players can listen to music from that period and interact with AI dressed in 40s fashion.

Gaming allows players to explore new universes, concepts and systems that would otherwise be incredibly expensive or impossible to duplicate. One thing that video games do exceptionally well is create interlocking systems for players to manipulate. This can be incredibly helpful for science  and math instructors that are attempting to expose students to new and complex processes without simply writing out complicated procedures on the board. Additionally, students are much more likely to pay attention to audio and video elements displayed on a screen rather than a plain chalk board.

 

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4th Reflection: Visual Literacy

1. Why is visual literacy important in 21st century teaching and learning?

There are a plethora of new technologies that enable the creation and sharing of visual content for the purpose of education and entertainment. It is important that teachers fully utilize these technologies in order to efficiently communicate information to students. It is important that visual information is clear and concise in an era of information overload.

2. Visual literacy is so common in our daily lives…Can you give some examples?

Visual literacy is as simple as navigating a web page. We constantly decipher information when  we read and browse the web. It is important to understand how we process information and how we can design our presentation to better help students understand.

3. As a 21st century learner and some of you will be future teacher, how would you help yourself or others to develop visual literacy?

The most important thing is helping sustain a basic understanding of typography rules and aesthetic sensibilities. If it is hard to read or process anything if it is not presentable.

4. Do you think keeping this blog with different visual representations is challenging? Why or why not?  In your own words, describe how this experience influence your visual thinking and writing?

What’s important is representation of information. I always try to present my information in a clear and concise manner.

Iconify Commercial – Web 2.0 Tool

Iconify

 

I chose Iconify as my Web 2.0 tool because this site was easy to navigate and it is useful for curating visual content. Some aspects of the tool need to be better explained, but over all I would encourage teachers to use it. This site provides a good example of an online portfolio can be used in the classroom to help students promote their own content.

Here is a link to my commercial:

http://screencast.com/t/0N6naGnzE5as

and a link to the official website:

http://iconify.co/

It took me several attempts to finish this commercial because of technical issues and stumbling over lines. The commercial ended up being a tutorial rather than an actual commercial; this was definitely my biggest problem. I could not figure out a concept to introduce Iconify without simply showing a step by step tutorial of how the site works. I tried to add music but the process was too frustrating so I gave up and uploaded the video without any background sounds. The process of placing the correct images on Powerpoint slides and then recording the Jink video was very time consuming and I became frustrated with the process several times.

20% Design 2-15

I have begun looking into current “edu-games” in order to get a general idea of how educators can effectively use a gaming space as an educational tool. The game that appears to be the most recommended by educators and avid players alike is The Typing of the Dead series published by Sega. The most recent iteration, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill, was recently released on the digital distribution platform Steam for $19.99.

typing of the dead

The game challenges players to quickly type words and phrases in order to incapacitate zombies before they come too close to the screen. The game can be graphic and is not recommended for younger players, but it can be a fantastic tool for educators who wish to improve typing skills in older students.

Horizon Report Reflection

The report shows a lot of optimism towards tablets and their utility in the classroom. This optimism should be restrained with some amount of cynicism. The selling point of tablets is their functionality and intuitive control, but they still lack the utility most students can find in a PC. There are important tools and applications that are either limited or completely absent on tablets. Given their size and price, tablets should be comparable to laptops as a learning device. Both are easily portable, but tablets are far more expensive and easier for younger students to damage. 

The horizon report’s key trends present the most interesting concepts in the article. The third trend highlights an issue that I consider during every step of my education; the workforce demands skills from college graduates that are more often acquired from informal learning experiences than in universities. The clubs, activities and internships I have participated in have offered my more opportunities to create a bullet point on my resume. In other words, school does a fantastic job of reinforcing research skills and a desire to learn, but the opportunities outside the classroom are the main selling points to potential employers. 

The other point that caught my attention was that the demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported in current technology practices. It’s hard to cater to everyone’s needs, especially in a large classroom setting, but teachers can utilize technology to help them better meet individual needs. According to the horizon article using data-driven approaches to effectively utilize technologies for personal use is in its infancy, but these developments would be a massive help for instructors attempting to cater to a wide variety of needs.

Reflection 1

The outline of learning attributes in the first chapter of Meaningful Learning with Technology helped me identify my own learning strategies and motivations. The most important factor for me is an attribute the book describes as constructive or reflective learning. Exposure to new ideas and concepts is my favorite aspect of learning in any setting. In other words, I like to connect new experiences to persistent themes in my life in an attempt to become a more holistic person. This concept directly ties into the authentic or complex attribute of learning. I am often annoyed by professors who only lecture on generalities and theories rather than concrete and usable systems. I attend the University of Georgia to acquire useful skills to build a career from and I feel that many class structures ignore this student motivation

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills appears to be an organization that I can fully support. I often feel that students are limited in public schools because of the few students that would not allow for independence and full collaboration. Most people know what general areas they are interested in by their mid teenage years but are still required to study areas that are not related. Since the evolution of technology, students are better able to independently peruse interests more than ever, but public school systems are still rigidly structured, standardized test machines. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills emphasizes life and career skills rather than government enforced standards. Until institutions learn to embrace student variance and the full access to data that modern age technology allows, students will not be able to fully reach their potential.

Taking notes for my Spanish class does not involve constructive or authentic learning. This means that I do not derive any satisfaction from this learning experience and I am less likely to do well in this class. Taking notes for my Spanish class does not involve authentic or constructive learning. This means that I should change my note taking style for this class or I am likely to perform poorly and less likely to learn applicable skills in the class.
Taking notes for my Spanish class does not involve constructive or authentic learning. This means that I do not derive any satisfaction from this learning experience and I am less likely to do well in this class.
Taking notes for my Spanish class does not involve authentic or constructive learning. This means that I should change my note taking style for this class or I am likely to perform poorly and less likely to learn applicable skills in the class.
The new ELC set up is extremely frustrating and is a poor utilization of the technology. The new format does not allow creative avenues of information display for teachers and students. By attempting to stream line all the options behind a toolbar, the creators made searching difficult and did not consider individual needs that can be accommodated if technology is utilized properly.
The new ELC set up is extremely frustrating and is a poor utilization of the technology. The new format does not allow creative avenues of information display for teachers and students. By attempting to stream line all the options behind a toolbar, the creators made searching difficult and did not consider individual needs that can be accommodated if technology is utilized properly.