Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gronstedt Group’s Train for Success Sessions

Today, I had a wonderful opportunity to present to the Gronstedt Group’s weekly Train for Success session that was held in web.alive. My presentation topic was our modified Scrum production model that we've been evolving here at Course Games.

These Train for Success virtual world meeting sessions are superb opportunities for anyone that is involved or interested in virtual worlds, serious games, and gamification. I look forward to attending these weekly sessions in the future.

Here is their Facebook page.

Here is their SecondLife SLURL.

Here is their link for web.alive.

Friday, October 21, 2011


articy:draft by Nevigo is a cool new way to design interactive stories - using a 'flow editor' format, and it has a rich set of features for dialog, character, and world design.

Available in a multi-user (client-server) solution - this is an excellent tool for virtual teams.

We think that this may also be very useful for us as an accessible 'visualization' of the interactive/branching content - for use in presenting/pitching concepts outside the team.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center

The Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center (AAEC) is one of the most unique dual enrollment programs that we've seen. In partnership with Maricopa and Yavapai Community Colleges, it is a multicampus independent high school district - where students are concurrently enrolled in college-level courses as part of their high school course of study - which is focused on a rigorous equine sciences, agriculture, and agribusiness college preparatory/career pathway curriculum.

We became aware of AAEC by way of the visibility that they have attained for their innovations in STEM learning infusion in their programs.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Network engineering game from NASA

NASA has a game for network engineering that is pretty cool:

The player has to engineer Near Earth, Space, and Deep Space comm networks.

You role-play as a Scientist, Techologist, Engineer or Mathematician - each role has a different strength.

This was made with Unity (like their Space Station simulator game).

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Learner's Wall

Here at Course Games, we're in production on STEM learning game for 8th Physical Science instruction. Our design intention for this digital game-based learning product is that it will be used in class and at home, with mobile devices (Android and iOS) and the web browser.

We have the learning activities closely tied to the curriculum standards, textbook content organization, and lesson planning found in typical 8th grade Physical Science courses across the nation. Our next design challenge is to envision a 'front-end' for the product that will promote and facilitate emerging game-based learning in the classroom.

Our initial thinking (a needs analysis is in process) is that the most effective design for the 'front end' of the product would have a contemporary functional core that is, or embeds into, a social learning enterprise.

Our primary question is “How does the use of the learning product promote and sustain social learning?”

To get a sense of what how this system will function, we're starting by drawing a functional diagram with Social Learning Enterprise at the center. From that central focus, we are depicting any/all features, tools, resources, content, media, activities, etc. in respect to how they contribute to the Social Learning Enterprise.

We're envisioning that this product might seem something like Facebook or Google+ mashed up with an Online Game Lobby - with some common Learning Management System (LMS) features. The ‘main page’ in this system would be the learner’s ‘social wall’.

Using this product, learners would work in class in self-identified small group learning communities, sharing their work with each other and collaborating in the same social manner that they commonly do outside of school. They would complete learning challenges assigned by the teacher and thereby earn achievements, access information resources – bookmarking what is most relevant, and contribute their own user-generated-content (images, movies, links) related to learning activities – working in and outside of the classroom together.

It appears that McGraw-Hill is already doing something like this:

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Identifying Successful K-12 STEM Education

The National Research Council's report "Successful K-12 STEM Education" focuses on the science and mathematics parts of STEM and on criteria for identifying effective STEM schools and practices. It provides an overview of the landscape of K-12 STEM education by considering different school models, highlighting research on effective STEM education practices, and identifying some conditions that promote and limit school- and student-level success in STEM. It can serve as a guide for those involved in K-12 education at all levels: policy makers; decision makers at the school and district levels; local, state, and federal government agencies; curriculum developers; educators; and parent and education advocacy groups.