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Games in Learning and Games Programming

Check these sessions. Register for early bird rates by June 25.

Don't forget the special pre-conference workshop for Games in Education specialists.

Games in learning sessions at the ACEC 2006 conference

Preconference Workshop: Expert Forum: Pedagogical approaches for teaching games scripting and programming.

A workshop for teachers wishing to learn and share ideas about teaching games development. It will involve workshops, sharing sessions and some hands-on time to test some of these ideas.

In conference workshop: Gamemaker - getting started Tony Forster

Gamemaker is free game programming software. Its simple drag and drop interface provides an easy entry into computer programming while its powerful scripting language challenges to year 12. It is typically used to teach programming in secondary school and to teach literacy and numeracy in primary school. In this hands on session, you will program a computer game.

In conference workshop: Go interactive with Flash JillFitzgerald

Show and hide; Move and drop; Press and go; Start and stop. Enjoy the basics of ActionScripting for a multitude of applications for learning and teaching.

In conference workshop: 'Girls, programming and an introduction to Macromedia Flash actionscript Colleen Stieler

In this workshop participants will discuss how to make programming more attractive to girls. Participants will also have the opportunity to learn some basic actionscripting with Macromedia Flash. It is preferred that participants in this workshop have some familiarity with using Macromedia Flash.

What are Boys Learning From Digital Media Sub-cultures? Our current project and future directions for study. Kim Tomlinson-Baillie

The potential educational benefit of Yu-gi-oh and other digital media games (e.g., those played on the Internet, etc.) is a new and exciting topic. Some researchers are theorizing that there could be some benefit, while others are claiming, without evidence, that there is none. There is no evidence available to make either claim. Tomlinson-Baillies qualitative study found that boys who exhibited learning and behavioural difficulties in the classroom were able to perform sophisticated literacy and numeracy skills while playing digital media. The two remaining questions are whether digital media has any effect on formal learning and behavioural outcomes, and whether elements of digital media culture can be adapted for classroom use.

Developing a holistic approach to games, the Queensland Games in Learning Project Mark Piper

The Games in Learning Project has been established by the Queensland Department of Education and the Arts to explore the possibilities of integrating games in the educational process. The project has developed a framework based around 3 key elements: play, study and make.

The project suggests that a holistic approach to integrating games in education is required. If a student makes games then they should to study games. To study games the student should play games. Playing games informs making games. In this presentation the framework developed in the games in learning project will be explained and the three elements detailed with examples of classroom practice.

Integrating Games in Learning Wheres the PC? Mark Piper

The Games in Learning project has been established by the Queensland Department of Education and the Arts and has been exploring the possibilities of using non-PC solutions i.e. XBOX, PS2, PSP, mobile phones to overcome these obstacles. This presentation outlines the differences between the two approaches and describes the potential of non-PC solutions to deliver the requirements of a games- based framework in schools.

Flash - Creating a Drag and Drop Mix 'n Match application David Potter

Learn how to create a Drag and Drop application In Macromedia Flash. While learning how to do timeline-based animation is a lot of fun, sooner or later you have to embrace using ActionScript to create interactive applications. In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals for creating a draw and drop application you can use in the classroom and with Interactive White Boards.

Game programming, the Computer Game Design, Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster. Tony Forster

The Computer Game Design, Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster consists of 6 schools and 2 organizations which were early adopters of game programming. This paper discusses the underlying pedagogy of game programming and the experiences of the Cluster.

Deal or No Deal and Gran Turismo 4 in the classroom VineshChandra

In education today computers and related technologies have become very important. Significant financial outlays have been made to acquire these technologies both in schools and homes. This trend is likely to continue for many years to come. Teachers have an important role in the design, development, implementation and evaluation of technology-based learning activities so that the power of these technologies could be fully harnessed. In this investigation, aspects of the game show Deal or No Deal (aired on the Seven Network) and Gran Turismo 4 (a Playstation game) were used to reinforce ideas in two topics probability and statistics in the years 9 and 10 mathematics. Through a qualitative survey, the investigation established that students overwhelmingly believed that technology based learning can make a difference to their learning and help them better understand the work done that was done in class. Students also felt that the activities were interesting, enjoyable and meaningful to their learning.

Games in Learning panel

This Symposium is structured to discuss the interplay between learning theory and games in learning. Many and varied voices have come forward recently advocating the use of computer games in learning ...

There are still divisions between those who see games as good educationally and those who see them as bad or dangerous educationally (violent, addictive, another fad, edu-tainment)There are also inertial (established curricula) and bureaucratic blocks (eg. filtering systems) in place making it hard for some teachers to implement games in education

There are also divisions amongst those who support games in education about the best way to go

Richard Van Eck has advance three possible ways in which games might be introduced into the curriculum:

1) have students build games from scratch;

2) have educators and/or developers build educational games from scratch to teach students;

3) integrate commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) games into the classroom

Bill Kerr and Tony Forster favour the first approach, students building games from scratch. Mark Piper favours the third approach, integration of COTS games into the curriculum.

Teaching game making, facilitated by blogging Bill Kerr

Teaching game making was combined with student blogging for a Year 11 class. Students were required to solve game making programming challenges and then document their solutions in their blogs. This opened a new channel of communication in the class which facilitated learning.


Many educators view school-age students attraction to video and computer games with envy. If only we could harness the power of video games in education, some say, with a wistful expression. Some equate the attraction of the game to the computer, and hope that any educational experience that occurs on a computer will somehow capture that magic. Some delve deeper, designing extensive educational simulations that adopt conventions of popular game design and expensive production values merged with educational content.

This paper, written by an educator who also designed video games and computer software for the home and school markets, evaluates attempts to harness the lure of these games for educational purposes. The paper offers an analysis of why the nature of video and computer games is antithetical to traditional forms of school curriculum, content and assessment. In addition, both consumer and school markets are explored to explain why there are so few successful educational games so that we may find ways to encourage the design of educational games that provide compelling, immersive educational experiences.

Learning and Teaching in the contexts of creating computer games Bernard Holkner

This research investigates the ways that a group of teachers understand and employ computer games programming in a range of educational settings. The significance of the research is twofold:

First, it is intended to inform the wider education community of the specific advantages of teaching narrative, metaphor and syntax through computer games.

Second it will try to explain the ways that the educators involved in a particular group cooperate professionally and explain the values of their contributions to a developing learning community.

The aims of the research were to explore the pedagogy and professional understandings of educators working in the given context. It tests the kinds of engagement that teachers observe students adopting amongst their peers and with the materials, Equally it seeks to establish any advantages that games programming brings to learning in traditional areas, particularly through metaphor and narrative. The research further investigates the communication methods used by the teachers and explores the value of these interactions. The principal hypothesis is that learning computer games programming offers students and teachers particular advantages in learning and professional work.

Last modified: 6/20/2006
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