Friday, September 21, 2007

we have to blog about our topic, why not leo

I asked ya'll to blog about your research project, to be fair, I'll chip in my research related thoughts as well. Here's some of my late night thoughts,
Games and Learning
>The exceptional motivation factor that games can evoke is close to being the holy grail of education. What if we could get students this motivated about learning Shakespear?

Many many dedicated people have been in search of this, but such a scenario have yet to be reached on a sizable scale. Actually, this mirrors a parallel to the use of student blogs for classroom teaching. Blog use in the "wild" is often perceived as highly motivated and exceedingly good for discussion - that's perfect, exactly what most instructors would love to have. The reality, reflected in the current state of my course blog at least, is that the difference in context is quite significant. The students blog because they are asked by their instructor to do so, in contrast to the blogs that are purely voluntary in the "wild." However, there are some very promising nuggets in this comparison, a good number of students are making good use of the blogs to advance their projects and thoughtfully engage in interactions on their peers' work via comments. The format and utility of the blog medium allows such a form of interaction to occur, interactions that would not likely happen in class, or on traditional discussion boards.

In the numerous readings on the topic I've gone through, I have reservations about the optimism that putting games and education together equates to highly motivated learning. Two dissertation studies on using games in traditional classrooms have had mixed successes in teaching. The idea of gaming in class can generate interest in its novelty, but it may be poor fits to the traditional class room model.
Blogging out of interest vs. blogging because it was assigned, gaming out of interest vs. gaming because it was assigned. Maybe there's some aspect to the format of games that could have leads to better means for learning.

The term games is loaded with way too many variations to be all that useful as a descriptor, but thats another chunk of thought for another time.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Today's class

This was sent to the class list this morning,
Today is the 75th Anniversary of SILS' founding. I was planning on holding regular class session since most students in the class are not in SILS.

After some thought, no class today, but I still want you to use that time productively. Instead of class, we'll have a blog day, take some time to read your classmates' blogs and comment on the revised topics. Plus make a post by 6pm on either A or B,

a) attend the event at memorial hall, starts at 3pm today - post a reflection/after thought on the event.


b) conduct a focused session on pursuing your research project work, and post a reflection/after thought on progress.

Yes, this is required, as replacement for today's class.