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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Spending Some Time At Penn State to Learn about Games and Social Media

Beaver Stadium, home of Penn State Nittany Lions.

The past few days, I have spent quite a bit of time at Penn State University. First I visited for the football game against Minnesota. That was a cold, wet day but we still had a great time!

Next, I returned to learn about the use of Social Media across the Penn State Campus and the development of Penn State's Educational Gaming Commons area. I also got a chance to see some Bloomsburg Alumni.

First I visited with Cole Camplese who is the Director of Education Technology Services at Penn State (and an alumni). Cole has been pioneering innovate uses of social media in an educational setting for a long time. He is working with large sections of students in a variety of disciplines to help faculty leverage Web 2.0 technologies to maximize impact on students and to extend the classroom beyond the four walls. He is doing some great work! He has set up areas on campus for students to create their own media, he has established workshops to bring faculty up to speed on new technologies and created a conference which brings faculty together to discuss how they are using social media to further the education of their students.

When visiting with Cole, I ran into a few other alumni.

Here is Cole Camplese, Karl Kapp, Beth Baily and
 Matt Meyer (recently moved from corporate to academia)

Matt is working with Cole to create the next generation of cyber-pedagogy using tools to enhance the student's learning experience. Beth is as busy as ever working on numerous projects in the learning space.

I was also fortunate enough to visit with Bart Pursel (alumni) who is working with Brett Bixler and Chris Stubbs who have created an Educational Gaming Commons at Penn State to foster the collaboration of students and faculty on the research of the use of educational gaming while simultaneous giving students an area in which they can play video games in a large space with each other.

One interesting fact about the EGC is that it is in the exact location of one of the original computer labs at Penn State...a computer lab set up as an experiment to see if computers would "take off" much the same way as seeing if "Educational Games" will take off. Again, some great work being done in this area. A number of faculty are exploring the use of educational games as diverse as Rock Band for music classes and World of Warcraft to examine economies to games to teach the policy and practical issues of running a hospital.

In the space they have all the major consoles (Wii, PlayStation 3, XBox 360) and PCs set up for other games as well.

 Good stuff!

Bart and Matt hanging out in the 
Educational Gaming Commons.

Thanks everyone, I had a great visit and learned a ton.

Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets
Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide


Nancy said...

Looks liek a productive visit! So how was the parking at the game? Dave & Dad decided not to go... sounded like a logistical nightmare!

Bart said...

Hey Karl, thanks for coming out to visit. Maybe you can send some interns our way to build some interesting games for use in the classroom and online...our list of faculty collaborators is growing beyond our capacity!

have a good weekend.