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Games-based Learning: some definitions

Prensky (2001, pp. 05-01) argues that computer and videogames are potentially the most engaging experiences, because they comprise of following elements:

1. Games are a form of fun. That gives us enjoyment and pleasure.
2. Games are form of play. That gives us intense and passionate involvement.
3. Games have rules. That gives us structure.
4. Games have goals. That gives us motivation.
5. Games are interactive. That gives us doing.
6. Games are adaptive. That gives us flow.
7. Games have outcomes and feedback. That gives us learning.
8. Games have win states. That gives us ego gratification.
9. Games have conflict/competition/challenge/opposition. That gives us adrenaline.
10. Games have problem solving. That sparks our creativity.
11. Games have interaction. That gives us social groups.
12.Games have representation and story. That gives us emotion. Weiterlesen

Warming up on „legal topics“

Beeing a complete newcomer in the area of law and legal issues listening to the brief talk of Doris Kiendl-Wendner in Week 2: Legal Cultures of the cope14 challenged my assumptions about legal systems and made me reconsider my opinion on law inforcement.

It has been very interesting to learn about the civil law tradition, historically originating by the Roman Empire, and the case law tradition, originating in England. My understnading of law so far, was the one of the civil law, and it is very new to me to think about law in a more subjective, or more individual way, like in the case law tradition (at least this is how I understand case law after following discussions and comments in the course so far). I was surprised in the beginning, because law was something very solid and not at all flexible in my mind so far, but it makes perfectly good sense to me, now that I got to think about it differently.

Suddently I thought of law inforcement in a new way:  If you are realy thirsty and someone gives you an icecream, just because everybody got an iecream, that doesn’t meet your needs nor is it making the system more fair for the others. Equality doesn’t mean „everyone gets exactly the same“, regalrdless of the specific situations and diverse individual needs.

My case in Austria in 2001 as briefly as I can get it: an austrian administrator at the university refused my application for further studies in the department of psychology. He explained to me that they only accept applications from persons who already have an admition for the specific study degree in their home countries. My problem was that I already had a bachelors degree from the UK, which was not my „home country“ – I am greek and Greece would make my life very difficult in order to offer me a study place at that point. This law was adapted in the year 2005, when Austria decided to adopt the european system and encourage student mobility. By then I had graduated a masters degree in the UK, had returned to Austria and was working as a researcher in one of its universities.

If Austria had a case law tradition, how would my life look like now? 😉

My first meeting with „the seven dimensions of culture“

A better understanding of cultural diferences just became one my learning goals for my participation in the #cope14 MOOC.

Rupert Beinhauer, facilitator of the #cope14, introduced the group to the 7 dimensions of culture by Fons Topenaars and initiated a group activity about cultural differences in perception using advertisements.

As part of the activity I posted a US car advertisement on Google+, that I remembered seeing in the past, because it was one that I realy found iritating and very annoying. Why was that? And what will be the reaction of the group?

Further reading about the different cultural dimensions brought me to  the 5th dimension of Achievement Versus Ascription, relating on how people view status. The culture I come from (Greece) and live in (Austria) would fall in the category of ascription:

People believe that you should be valued for who you are. Power, title, and position matter in these cultures, and these roles define behavior.

The US falls in the category of achievement:

People believe that you are what you do, and they base your worth accordingly. These cultures value performance, no matter who you are.

What do you think? Could there be another of the 7 dimensions, that also plays a role in this case? Do other participants find the ad iritating? If yes, why do you think it is so?

Martin Weller’s „Next-big-thingism“

Although Martin Weller, professor of eduactional technology at the Open University in the UK, advocates the great potential of digital technologies in teaching and research, he does point out that our new  practices come along with many drawbacks and serious concerns. In his book The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice he wrote a very interesting chapter that deals with the most common concerns, mainly because „as we can’t know what those benefits are if we don’t engage with technology, so will we be unaware of what we lose if we do not apply our critical faculties to technology adoption“.


m-learning achievements and promisses

 What I also found interesting while reading Abas et al (2010) Paper on m-learning with the use of sms, was to make a list of all mentioned goals, that mobile learning is promissing or currently achieving.

Learning becomes enhanced, seamless and ubiquitous.


How and why to use sms in your teaching practice

Just read the paper „Engaging ODL learners through Mobile Learning at Open University Malaysia: Formal education: Technologies for scaling up ODL programmes“ written by Zoraini Wati Abas, Tina Lim and Norazlina Mohamad, that helped me get an idea of how SMS services are beeing or can be used for teaching and why.

The key to success seems to be the didactical concept named “push and pull”.


Setting my targets

Main aim and objective of the latest MOOC Change: Education, Learning and Technology, is to help course participants “become accomplished creators and critics of ideas and knowledge”. I realy hope to become that one day, which is why I signed up for the course yesterday, and why I created this blog today.

Off course I wish to learn from the leading experts in the field and connect with learners and practitioners all over the world. And my concrete goals in terms of my selfdirected learning skills are to: