Tag Archives: Games in Education

New ‘Hello World’ Magazine & tribute to Seymour Papert [#BETT2017 @BETT_show @Raspberry_Pi]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

 

Hello World

I picked up a copy of the new ‘Hello World’ Magazine at BETT 2017.

The magazine is a collaboration between  The Raspberry Pi Foundation, Computing At School (CAS), The BCS Academy of Computing and British Telecom (BT).

Hello World is a magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more.

It is designed to be cross-curricular and useful to all kinds of educators, from classroom teachers to librarians.

Now here is the best bit. It is also my favorite price... FREE, forever, for everyone online as a downloadable pdf.  

Italy-makerspaces-41b8b664bcd33056714524a8c212a7d0018fb4d7fc4c1e9818faead4e593b96e

This first issue is dedicated to Seymour Papert, in many ways the godfather of computing education (and lots of other things!). Papert was the creator of the Logo programming language and the author of some of the most important research on the role of computers in education. Inside the first edition you will find articles exploring Papert’s influence on how we think about learning, on the rise of the maker movement, and on the software that is used to teach computing today from Scratch to Greenfoot.

You can subscribe to Hello World here and due to sponsorship from BT you can also get a nice glossy version of the first three editions straight to your door!

On the subject of Seymour Papert (February 29, 1928 – July 31, 2016). Here is a nice little video about this great man's work from the Lego Foundation.

 

New ‘Hello World’ Magazine & tribute to Seymour Papert [#BETT2017 @BETT_show @Raspberry_Pi]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

 

Hello World

I picked up a copy of the new ‘Hello World’ Magazine at BETT 2017.

The magazine is a collaboration between  The Raspberry Pi Foundation, Computing At School (CAS), The BCS Academy of Computing and British Telecom (BT).

Hello World is a magazine about computing and digital making written by educators, for educators. With three issues each year, it contains 100 pages filled with news, features, teaching resources, reviews, research and much more.

It is designed to be cross-curricular and useful to all kinds of educators, from classroom teachers to librarians.

Now here is the best bit. It is also my favorite price... FREE, forever, for everyone online as a downloadable pdf.  

Italy-makerspaces-41b8b664bcd33056714524a8c212a7d0018fb4d7fc4c1e9818faead4e593b96e

This first issue is dedicated to Seymour Papert, in many ways the godfather of computing education (and lots of other things!). Papert was the creator of the Logo programming language and the author of some of the most important research on the role of computers in education. Inside the first edition you will find articles exploring Papert’s influence on how we think about learning, on the rise of the maker movement, and on the software that is used to teach computing today from Scratch to Greenfoot.

You can subscribe to Hello World here and due to sponsorship from BT you can also get a nice glossy version of the first three editions straight to your door!

On the subject of Seymour Papert (February 29, 1928 – July 31, 2016). Here is a nice little video about this great man's work from the Lego Foundation.

 

Meeting Prof. Mitch Resnick the father of Scratch (@mres) #IntelVisionaries⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Mitch Introduction

I met Mitch Resnick as part of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries meet-up in Denver, Colorado in June 2016.

I was reminded of our conversation and also the main points of his keynote presentation as I read an article on the plane back from #BETT2017. The article was written by Professor Resnick in the new 'hello world' and was a tribute to his late mentor Seymour Papert (more about Seymour later).

Anyway, Mitch is a personal education hero of mine and most importantly he also likes cycling (he has even cycled in Scotland!).

Now, if you have not heard about Mitch you should know that he is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research (how cool a title is that) and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab which explores how new technologies can engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences.

Professor Resnick's research group developed the "programmable brick" technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. His team also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations.

Mitch’s achievements speak for themselves but the thing I want to stress here is the fact that he was a thoroughly nice guy. For all he has done there was no ego or arrogance. Just deep and unquestionable enthusiasm to make a difference. I loved chatting to him over Ice cream as we talked about the development of Scratch and other MIT projects. We even had a great chat about the Picocricket (which was just years ahead of its time in STEAM related maker activities).

Mitch gave the opening Keynote on the first morning of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries  conference and he didn’t disappoint.

He started talking about some of the very early ‘maker’ projects he was involved in with young people such as the construction of gerbil traps, roller balde speedometers and diary security cameras. He emphasised the importance of these projects. Not because they were necessarily important you society or the economy but because they were so important (passionately important) to the young people who had designed and constructed them. He stressed that, “education needs to build on interests and by doing this develop deep ideas,”  that, “Making and coding a great way to share with others,” and that, “sharing is the best way to develop creative thinking”.

Next Mitch went on to explain the four Ps of Creative Learning Projects, Passion, Peers and Play.

Mitch and the four Ps

On Projects

Mitch quoted Dale Dougherty the founder of make Magazine who said, The Project is the basic unit of making’. I quite agree. Far too many ‘maker’ activities are about following a set of instructions to make product that may or may not solve a problem. Rather than students finding a problem and then deciding on who they will solve that problem through the trial and error of a project based approach.

A good example might be code.org where students follow the turotial to make the sprite move rather than working out how to move them themsleves or better still allowing creativity to flow and allowing the learning to decide how they want the sprite to move or dance or spin around?

 

On Passion

When Mitch talked about passion he warned the audience of the dangers of badges rewards and points. Rightly he described this as extrinsic motivation which the research shows can make you more efficient (because you want to get a short term reward) but it won’t make you more creative.

This is further illustrated in Daniel Pink's work within his 2011 book Drive and in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation”.

Referring back to Scratch Mitch suggested that the diversity of the projects in the Scratch community which include games, drawings, animations and videos demonstrate that many of the people within the Scratch community are indeed following their passions. The ability for people to be able to follow their passions in return is one of the things that makes the community a success.

One of the most well know Scratch users is Ipzy and she is a great example of someone who is following their passions.

On Peers

Peer based learning is still one of the most powerful ways for everyone to learn.

On of the reasons that Scratch is special is because it is a programming language and an online community. The two have always co-existed and shouldn’t be separated.

 

On Play

Everything Mitch said on Play resonated with me. I dropped the term Games Based Learning years ago, instead preferring the term ‘playful learning’.

Seymour Papert (one of Professor Resnick’s mentors and author of the book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas) uses the term ’hard fun’ and the challenge that Mitch set was ‘how do you create hard fun?’. He also encouraged us to explore tinkering suggesting that in his experience there wasn’t many things better to help you discover and create a playful spirit. One of my favorite books ‘The Art of Tinkering’ also got a mention.

The Art of Tinkering

In the Question and Answer Session that followed the presentation lots of good questions came up. Including the need to also teach knowledge and how you can then build on this knowledge through the use of projects and discovery. Tony Wagner supports this idea in his own research on transforming education and creating innovators.

 

Other links mentioned:

  • Brightworks School, San Francisco - A school that uses real tools, real materials, and real problems to encourage students’ love of learning and curiosity about the world.
  • ScratchED - the Creative Computing Curriculum Guide
  • Build in Progress - A website that lets you share what you build as you build it.

Ollie and Mitch

________________________________________________________________________

BTW - I'm slowly moving all my content over to a new server and a new version of olliebray.com (watch this space...).

Meeting Prof. Mitch Resnick the father of Scratch (@mres) #IntelVisionaries⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Mitch Introduction

I met Mitch Resnick as part of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries meet-up in Denver, Colorado in June 2016.

I was reminded of our conversation and also the main points of his keynote presentation as I read an article on the plane back from #BETT2017. The article was written by Professor Resnick in the new 'hello world' and was a tribute to his late mentor Seymour Papert (more about Seymour later).

Anyway, Mitch is a personal education hero of mine and most importantly he also likes cycling (he has even cycled in Scotland!).

Now, if you have not heard about Mitch you should know that he is a LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research (how cool a title is that) and head of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab which explores how new technologies can engage people (particularly children) in creative learning experiences.

Professor Resnick's research group developed the "programmable brick" technology that inspired the LEGO Mindstorms robotics kit. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse project, a worldwide network of after-school centers where youth from low-income communities learn to express themselves creatively with new technologies. His team also developed Scratch, an online community where children program and share interactive stories, games, and animations.

Mitch’s achievements speak for themselves but the thing I want to stress here is the fact that he was a thoroughly nice guy. For all he has done there was no ego or arrogance. Just deep and unquestionable enthusiasm to make a difference. I loved chatting to him over Ice cream as we talked about the development of Scratch and other MIT projects. We even had a great chat about the Picocricket (which was just years ahead of its time in STEAM related maker activities).

Mitch gave the opening Keynote on the first morning of the 2016 Intel Education Visionaries  conference and he didn’t disappoint.

He started talking about some of the very early ‘maker’ projects he was involved in with young people such as the construction of gerbil traps, roller balde speedometers and diary security cameras. He emphasised the importance of these projects. Not because they were necessarily important you society or the economy but because they were so important (passionately important) to the young people who had designed and constructed them. He stressed that, “education needs to build on interests and by doing this develop deep ideas,”  that, “Making and coding a great way to share with others,” and that, “sharing is the best way to develop creative thinking”.

Next Mitch went on to explain the four Ps of Creative Learning Projects, Passion, Peers and Play.

Mitch and the four Ps

On Projects

Mitch quoted Dale Dougherty the founder of make Magazine who said, The Project is the basic unit of making’. I quite agree. Far too many ‘maker’ activities are about following a set of instructions to make product that may or may not solve a problem. Rather than students finding a problem and then deciding on who they will solve that problem through the trial and error of a project based approach.

A good example might be code.org where students follow the turotial to make the sprite move rather than working out how to move them themsleves or better still allowing creativity to flow and allowing the learning to decide how they want the sprite to move or dance or spin around?

 

On Passion

When Mitch talked about passion he warned the audience of the dangers of badges rewards and points. Rightly he described this as extrinsic motivation which the research shows can make you more efficient (because you want to get a short term reward) but it won’t make you more creative.

This is further illustrated in Daniel Pink's work within his 2011 book Drive and in his TED Talk, “The Puzzle of Motivation”.

Referring back to Scratch Mitch suggested that the diversity of the projects in the Scratch community which include games, drawings, animations and videos demonstrate that many of the people within the Scratch community are indeed following their passions. The ability for people to be able to follow their passions in return is one of the things that makes the community a success.

One of the most well know Scratch users is Ipzy and she is a great example of someone who is following their passions.

On Peers

Peer based learning is still one of the most powerful ways for everyone to learn.

On of the reasons that Scratch is special is because it is a programming language and an online community. The two have always co-existed and shouldn’t be separated.

 

On Play

Everything Mitch said on Play resonated with me. I dropped the term Games Based Learning years ago, instead preferring the term ‘playful learning’.

Seymour Papert (one of Professor Resnick’s mentors and author of the book Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas) uses the term ’hard fun’ and the challenge that Mitch set was ‘how do you create hard fun?’. He also encouraged us to explore tinkering suggesting that in his experience there wasn’t many things better to help you discover and create a playful spirit. One of my favorite books ‘The Art of Tinkering’ also got a mention.

The Art of Tinkering

In the Question and Answer Session that followed the presentation lots of good questions came up. Including the need to also teach knowledge and how you can then build on this knowledge through the use of projects and discovery. Tony Wagner supports this idea in his own research on transforming education and creating innovators.

 

Other links mentioned:

  • Brightworks School, San Francisco - A school that uses real tools, real materials, and real problems to encourage students’ love of learning and curiosity about the world.
  • ScratchED - the Creative Computing Curriculum Guide
  • Build in Progress - A website that lets you share what you build as you build it.

Ollie and Mitch

________________________________________________________________________

BTW - I'm slowly moving all my content over to a new server and a new version of olliebray.com (watch this space...).

Games in Schools MOOC starting soon (@eu_schoolnet)⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

 

I am delighted to announce the 3rd round of the EUN Games in Schools Course with new content, activities, webinars and subtitles in French, Italian, Greek and Romanian will be starting on the 18th April 2016. The course takes into account some of the more recent developments in the area of games-based learning including virtual and augmented reality, a bigger focus on mobile games for smartphones and tablets, as well as the newest games and hardware available on the market.

The course will examine the opportunities but also challenges offered by integrating games into our teaching and learning and will provide practical examples of gaming tools and activities to use in your daily teaching practice. We will be learning through a mix of video, interactive activities and discussions as well as sharing of resources.

The first question we will explore is, why use computer games in schools? We will then look at a range of games which do not necessarily have an educational purpose but can be used nicely for thematic learning on topics such as gravity, planets, construction, and many others. However, we will also explore games that have an explicit pedagogical focus and are designed to help students learn anything from Maths to Languages. Game mechanisms can be powerful motivators to succeed at a task, so we also ask the question, what can we learn from games for our teaching. And rather than just have students using games we will introduce a range of tools that you can use to get your students to design games, learning important skills such as coding, design, and creativity along the way. Finally, we address why it is important to teach about games, highlighting issues such as privacy, safety but also the cultural impact of games.

The course is being run jointly by European Schoolnet and ISFE (The Interactive Software Federation of Europe) and is entirely free. It is open to anyone who is interested in the topic but is primarily aimed at practising teachers.

Join us already in the Games in Schools Facebook Group or share your ideas about the topic using #gamescourse

Games in Schools MOOC starting soon (@eu_schoolnet)⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

 

I am delighted to announce the 3rd round of the EUN Games in Schools Course with new content, activities, webinars and subtitles in French, Italian, Greek and Romanian will be starting on the 18th April 2016. The course takes into account some of the more recent developments in the area of games-based learning including virtual and augmented reality, a bigger focus on mobile games for smartphones and tablets, as well as the newest games and hardware available on the market.

The course will examine the opportunities but also challenges offered by integrating games into our teaching and learning and will provide practical examples of gaming tools and activities to use in your daily teaching practice. We will be learning through a mix of video, interactive activities and discussions as well as sharing of resources.

The first question we will explore is, why use computer games in schools? We will then look at a range of games which do not necessarily have an educational purpose but can be used nicely for thematic learning on topics such as gravity, planets, construction, and many others. However, we will also explore games that have an explicit pedagogical focus and are designed to help students learn anything from Maths to Languages. Game mechanisms can be powerful motivators to succeed at a task, so we also ask the question, what can we learn from games for our teaching. And rather than just have students using games we will introduce a range of tools that you can use to get your students to design games, learning important skills such as coding, design, and creativity along the way. Finally, we address why it is important to teach about games, highlighting issues such as privacy, safety but also the cultural impact of games.

The course is being run jointly by European Schoolnet and ISFE (The Interactive Software Federation of Europe) and is entirely free. It is open to anyone who is interested in the topic but is primarily aimed at practising teachers.

Join us already in the Games in Schools Facebook Group or share your ideas about the topic using #gamescourse

Raspberry Pi Projects on Pinterest [@raspberry_pi]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Porta-Pi-Raspberry-Pi-Mini-Arcade-Cabinet

I'm a big fan of the Raspberry Pi and we have invested in a class set (with potable monitors) at Kingussie. We are using the Raspberry Pi's for various computing / maker projects at the moment. I am also enthusiastic about other similar devices such at the Intel Galileo and the new BBC MicroBit.

"The Raspberry Pi is a low cost, credit-card sized computer that plugs into a computer monitor or TV, and uses a standard keyboard and mouse. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. It’s capable of doing everything you’d expect a desktop computer to do, from browsing the internet and playing high-definition video, to making spreadsheets, word-processing, and playing games."

"What’s more, the Raspberry Pi  has the ability to interact with the outside world, and has been  used in a wide array of digital maker projects, from music machines and parent detectors to weather stations and tweeting birdhouses with infra-red cameras. We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by kids all over the world to learn to program and understand how computers work."

You can make lots of cool stuff with a Raspberry Pi and I recently discovered that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has a Pinterest Board where that showcase some of the coolest Pi Projects. My favourite is the board on Games and Gaming but I also like the one on Wearables, Textiles and Fibres.

 

Free web based resources that teach you how to write code – Summary Post and Online Handout⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

  Free Coding resources

up-dated August 2015

 

In a country facing a massive shortage of computing teachers we need to eventually face the reality that computing and computer programming are two of those rare things in schools that could actually probably be delivered quite successfully via distance / online learning. 

This Digital Hand Out (mainly linking to articles from August 2015) provides a portal to connect to various thoughts, articles and videos showcasing just some of the great tools and web based services that are available to help teach young people to code. Some of the sites mentioned are tools to get you into coding (such as Scratch) others are resources that introduce you and coach you though some popular coding languages (eg: HTML & CSS, JavaScript, iQuery, PHP, Python, and Ruby).

Throughout the series I try to stick to tools that are platform agnostic so Microsoft Kodu and the Apple Development Library don't to get a mention. I also try to highlight FREE tools (although with some of the tools highlighted you have to pay for advanced tutorials or for certification).

_______________________________________________ 

Starter for ten!

 

_______________________________________________ 

 

Summary of August 2015 Key posts:

_______________________________________________ 

 

From the Archive:

ICT Programming with Scratch and Kodu (Teach primary Magasine) - July 2012

Lets Make Things! - Using Technology to Innovate in STEM (5 of 5): Games Design (#Kodu #Scratch #ProjectSpark) - June 2013

 

Free web based resources that teach you how to write code (3 of 13) – Scratch⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Free Coding resources

This is part of a short series highlighting some free web based tools that can help teach kids to code.

_______________________________________

 

I’ll be pretty surprised if you haven’t heard of Scratch from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)?

You can use Scratch to program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.

Scratch helps young people learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. Scratch is provided free of charge and is a visual programming language.

SCRATCH1

If you have been a bit out of the loop you might not realize that the latest version of Scratch is completely web based (but you can still download version 1.0 – which is useful if you work in a school with a really poor internet connection.

Also, if you work with younger children you might also be interested in Scratch Junior which is specifically aimed at children between the ages of 5 – 7 and is available free of charge for iOS and Android.

Scratch Overview from ScratchEd on Vimeo.

 

Games in Schools MOOC [for @eu_schoolnet Academy]⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

Games in Schools Logo

I've had a long established relationship with European Schoolnet and ISFE (The Interactive Software Federation of Europe). A couple of years ago we ran a Games in Schools Course for about 100 teachers across Europe. On the 27th October 2014 we are starting a new course that has been adapted into a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for The European Schoolnet Academy.

It is is entirely free and is open to anyone who is interested in the topic but is primarily aimed at practising teachers. We have over 1000 teachers already signed up to the course so it is shaping up to be quite a journey!

Details below (and here) - hope to see some people in the discussion forums. 

 

“Computer games are the most powerful learning tool of our age.”

[Professor Henry James, MIT]

Join us in this exciting MOOC for teachers exploring the potential of games-based learning in schools. The course will examine the opportunities but also challenges offered by integrating games into our teaching and learning and will provide practical examples of gaming tools and activities to use in your daily teaching practice. We will be learning through a mix of video, interactive activities and discussions as well as sharing of resources.

The first question we will explore is, why use computer games in schools? We will then look at a range of games which do not necessarily have an educational purpose but can be used nicely for thematic learning on topics such as gravity, planets, construction, and many others. However, we will also explore games that have an explicit pedagogical focus and are designed to help students learn anything from Maths to Languages. Game mechanisms can be powerful motivators to succeed at a task, so we also ask the question, what can we learn from games for our teaching. And rather than just have students using games we will introduce a range of tools that you can use to get your students to design games, learning important skills such as coding, design, and creativity along the way. Finally, we address why it is important to teach about games, highlighting issues such as privacy, safety but also the cultural impact of games.

The course is presented by Ollie Bray, a former teacher and current school principle who has received numerous awards for his work in the field of technology enhanced learning. For more information about Ollie, click on his picture on the right.

The course is being run jointly by European Schoolnet and ISFE (The Interactive Software Federation of Europe) and is entirely free. It is open to anyone who is interested in the topic but is primarily aimed at practising teachers.

Join us already in the Games in Schools Facebook Group or share your ideas about the topic using#gamescourse