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Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween: Great Public Service Announcement

Here is an educational public service announcement about a topic that is rarely discussed but the knowledge contained in this short video could save your life.



Also, here are some interesting monster tweets...Thanks Heather!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great Quote

I was flipping through the channels last night and saw some sort of charity softball game between the players and the coaches of the New Jersey Nets (Yes, I know there was some other baseball game on last night as well).

Anyway, the coaches were loosing to the players 10-4 and then came back and won the game. At the end of the game, a reporter asked the head coach why they won when the players team was so talented. Coach Lawrence Frank replied:
Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard
Love it!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Check out the Virtual Emergency Operations Center

Here is an interesting video showing how Forterra Systems created a virtual operation's center.

As described by a press release:
Often called war or situation rooms these virtual centers allow representatives from different branchs of government and business to collectively monitor, assess, and respond to events. An event can be a natural disaster like a hurricane, or human initiated situations like a terrorist threat or coup. A media dashboard allows different panels of information such as video feeds, documents, or monitoring applications to be assembled together and changed on the fly to assess an event.

Check out the video.

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BIll Gates Puts his 2 Cents in the Pot (ok, a little more than 2 cents)

We all remember Bill Gates from Microsoft and now his charity work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation has been the biggest player by far in the school reform movement, spending around $200 million a year on grants to elementary and secondary education.

Well now the foundation is spending millions to influence how the federal government distributes $5 billion in grants to overhaul public schools. Read the article Bill Gates makes big push on education reform to learn more.

The catch is that the foundation believes in paying teachers based on student test scores, among other measures of achievement; charter schools that operate independently of local school boards; and a set of common academic standards adopted by every state. (To me, as an instructor and a professor, I can't disagree entirely with those points...although, I think that pay needs to be based on a combination of factors that can include test scores but also should include other outcomes)

However, as much money and effort that is being put behind the reform, we've seen similar efforts before. To really reform schools, we need a national imperative like the space race to get students, teachers and parents all on board concerning the value of education. We need a "stop everything" mandate like "we will have an oil free economy by 2015" now that would be a Big Harry Audacious Goal and it just might work. Short of that, I see little hope of meaningful reform.

On a related note, their is an increasing call for reform in Teacher Education programs. As one article notes, the "administration is calling for an overhaul of college programs that prepare teachers, saying they are cash cows that do a mediocre job of preparing teachers for the classroom." From what I've seen a need for more technology education, a better understanding of educational research and more focus on instructional design is definitely required within these programs. Read the complete article Education chief: Overhaul teacher training

However, when people talk about "pay for performance for teachers" I always wonder if it will end up like the "pay for performance" of Wall Street brokers who get bonuses no matter how much jeopardy they place their company or themselves or the country. Not sure "pay for performance" is the universal answer to educational reform.It did keep our financial markets from doing anything but work in the favor of the few and not the many.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Observe the Supreme Court, Become President, Negotiate Peace with Online Games

Here are three games that can be used to teach the civics topics of how elections are conducted, how the Supreme Court functions and the complicated issues of the Middle East.

Supreme Court


Justices in the game Supreme Decision.

Here is a free computer game for teenagers created with the help of former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that helps explain what happens at the Supreme Court and its impact on the United States.

"Supreme Decision," the first of several planned web-based games, went online earlier this month as part of a project called Our Courts. In it, students can play a U.S. Supreme Court clerk helping a justice with a tie-breaking vote over a First Amendment case.

Backed by the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and Georgetown University, the Our Courts project is designed to teach middle students. Check out Supreme Decision

The web site hosting the Supreme Decision called Our Courts has resources for teachers, a place for news items and another game called "Do I have a Right?" as well as a list of other civics related games. Read an article about the project. O'Connor touts civics lessons via online games

Presidential Elections


Each party (including a computer-generated third-party) 
has its own mascot.

If you want to give students the experience of running for President of the United States, one game that does a great job of explaining the process is eLection. The game requires a Shockwave plug-in. It was created by a project called Cable in the Classroom (CIC). CIC worked to create a free 3-Dimensional multimedia game in partnership with CNN Student News, C-SPAN and History to show the educational power of 3D learning (and to use as much cable bandwidth as possible.)

eLections is an online board game that demonstrates how broadband technology - with its capacity to deliver video, audio, excellent inter-activity, design and content - can support active, meaningful and memorable learning. The game was first created in 2004 but was updated in 2008 for the big US Presidential election. It is a great example of converting a board game (one based on the game Life) to an electronic board game. It is fun to play and is highly interactive. Teacher resources are available at the site (scroll to the bottom for a link.)

Middle East Politics


Balance the needs of the region to 
obtain peace in PeaceMaker.

Now that you are the President of the United States, you need to do some diplomacy. And there is no better place than in the Middle East. Try PeaceMaker for an understanding of the complex issues involved with this region.

According to the game's web site "PeaceMaker challenges you to succeed as a leader where others have failed. Experience the joy of bringing peace to the Middle East or the agony of plunging the region into disaster. PeaceMaker will test your skills, assumptions and prior knowledge. Play it and you will never read the news the same way again." The demo can be played for free and then a slight fee is required to download the entire game.


Additional Law Related Games


Check out these mini-games about the 
law at Law Focused Education, Inc.

The Law Related Education Department of the State Bar of Texas has a web site called Law Focused Education, Inc. with many mini-games that students can play to learn more about the law. From picking a jury to identifying which branch of government has which powers.

And if you want to learn more about the link between civics games and engaged members of society, check out this article. Video Games May Foster Teen Civic Engagement


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Selling to Techies and Visionaries

This posting relates to my posting Technology Adoption Continuum: Types of Adopters. Read that posting first or this one may not make sense.


The techies and the visionaries are early adopters of new technologies (like virtual worlds) within organizations. Both the techies and the visionaries like the idea of a brand new technology even if their reasons are slightly different—techies want to explore it while visionaries want to exploit it.

New learning technologies appeal to both groups precisely because they are new and few other organizations are deploying them on a wide spread basis. When selling the use of new learning technologies to these two groups, stress the newness of using the technology for business and distance education applications.

Specifically when selling to techies, let them know the software specifications, the hardware capabilities and the technology behind them. Stress the newness of the technology and the innovative uses of the new learning technology. When selling to visionaries, let them know that it provides an advantage to themselves and their organization. Show them how the the new learning technology will provide a competitive advantage over others. Sell the “advantage” of the idea and the newness of the technology.

Unfortunately, the newness of innovative technologies for learning is exactly what the pragmatists, conservatives and skeptics dislike. These individuals, many of them are organizational decision makers, are not interested in pushing the envelope in either business or educational practices and especially not with technological features. They want a solution that is more in line with the status quo. They want the “tried and true” approach and wonder what’s wrong with classroom instruction.

Know your stakeholders so you can position the technology appropriately.
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Technology Adoption Continuum: Types of Adopters

if you are trying to implement technology into your organization, you need to know who you are dealing with when you speak to the stakeholders. Here are some insights.

In any organizational system, there are five types of individuals on what is called the "technology adoption continuum."

On one end of the continuum are the technology enthusiasts who embrace, almost blindly, any new technology just because its new. On the opposite end are skeptics who reject any use of new technology in a corporate, academic or government setting just because its new technology.

In between there are technology visionaries, pragmatists, and conservatives. Each one is more hesitant to adopt technology than the last.

Technology Enthusiasts. These are the hardcore techies of the organization. These folks love technology because it is technology. Technology enthusiasts will be the first to embrace a new technology. They enjoy and are fundamentally committed to any new technology. They like to fiddle with various types of technology and want to be the first ones to explore new software tools. They ask the questions, “Is it cool and does it do neat stuff.” And “What are the specs of this software?”

Visionaries. While the techies might not be interested in the business or educational advantages of new learning technologies, the visionaries are only interested in the business or educational advantage. They are not interested in technology for technology’s sake. They want to know how this new technology is going to position the organization ahead of competitors or how it will help students learn more effectively and be more engaged.Visionaries ask the question, “How can I use this new technology to my advantage before the competition gets a hold of it?”

Pragmatists. This group typically deliberates for sometime before adopting new technology. This group wants the “proof” that the new technology is better than existing educational tools or other traditional methods. They want the whitepapers, the research basis, and the facts before proceeding. They want to know that the new technology is being used by hundreds of other organizations before they will adopt it themselves. While deliberate and demanding of proof, the pragmatists do not want to be the last group to adopt a new technology. If they see something is working and it seems to make sense, they will move to adopt.The pragmatists ask the question, “Does this really work?” And “We aren’t the first to do this, right?”

Conservatives. Even less eager to embrace innovation are the conservatives. These individuals are extremely slow to adopt new technology as business and educational tools and are extremely cautious toward new technologies in general. Whereas the pragmatists wanted to know that the new learning technology is being used by hundreds of others, the conservatives want to know that they are being used by millions of others. This group is hard to please and a little cynical about new technologies. Members of this group will not adopt the use of new technologies for learning until the techies, visionaries and pragmatists have all done so. Conservatives want assurances that the use of new technologies is more or less like the use of older technologies—just better.Conservatives ask the question, “What’s the matter with doing this the traditional way, it has worked for years, and I don’t understand why we need to change methods?”

Skeptics. Skeptics will never think that the new learning technology is appropriate for learning. They delight in challenging the hype and claims of the advantages. “This is childish.” “Yes, it might be "fun" but it doesn’t teach.” “Where is the evidence that this new technology is better than instructor-led classroom teaching?” Skeptics will continually ask “innocent” questions in an attempt to undermine the implementation of new technologies. Fortunately, there are usually only a few skeptics within any particular organization. Unfortunately, they do tend to be highly vocal and attempt to persuade the pragmatists and the conservatives to become skeptics. The point of reference for skeptics is the past. Skeptics will tell you, “This will never work; it’s a fad.”

Understanding the location of the stakeholders on this technology adoption continuum will help you to craft your "message" to those who you are trying to convince to adopt a new technology alike a virtual world, mobile learning or serious games for learning.

The source for this information comes from two books on the topic.



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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Blogosphere Welcome to PDG Blog: Performance, Punctuated


Check out the newly launched 
PDG Blog: Performance, Punctuated.

I am fortunate to work with many great companies and great people and one of those companies is Performance Development Group (PDG) who recently launched a blog focused on learning and performance issues titled Performance, punctuated.

The blog has a whole host of contributors, some of whom I know and have worked with Reni Gorman, Rich Mesch and Sherry Engel (alum) and some who I have not but look forward to working with Dave Darrow, Dawn Francis, Jean Marie Tenlen and Micah Fegley

So if you have a few moments, take some time and take a look at some of the posts and add Performance, Punctuated to your RSS reader.
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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.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Learning in ProtoSphere

Last night, we held class in ProtoSphere. Here are some screen captures from the class..



Having a discussion in the Spectrum Room in ProtoSphere




Data Visualization Room

One of the neatest rooms was the Data Visualization room which has examples of how data can be visualized and utilized in a 3D environment in ways that are not possible in other environments.


Checking out the virtual spine and rib cage.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Zaid's List of Games and Women Bloggers


Zaid's Image of Karl Kapp promoting Second Life.

If you haven't had a chance, you should check out ZaidSwoosh! Zaid takes concepts and makes such interesting and fasinating presentations. He also has a great sense of humor.

Check out this slide show, creative graphics of women bloggers and a special guest appearance on page 34.





Also see his list of 101 Free EduGames (he also has a part two you should check out at SlideShare




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Friday, October 16, 2009

Online Games for Teaching Business Concepts and Ideas



JA Titan Game for High School Kids to Learn Business Concepts.


Here is a list of online games and related items that I presented at the Fall 2009 Business Teacher Seminar in Grantville, PA.

Hotshot Business Game (Created by Disney)

Design Considerations for a Cell Phone (at Edheads.org)

Explore environmental and business impact with Energyville (by Cheveron)

Download educational objects on topics of Business, Accounting, Entrepreneurship and many related topics at WISC-Online (Wisconsin Online Resource Center)

For up to sixth grade check out Planet Orange for financial information and advice (sponsored by ING Direct)

Brainpop is also another good source for small, focused information on a number of topics including financial and economic subjects.

For something aimed at high school seniors, undergraduate and graduate students check out Industry Player.

For some informational but fun videos on financial topics, check out CommonCraft.

JA Titan is a business simulation for high school students. During game play, students must run a manufacturing company and master six key business decisions: price of product, production levels, marketing expenses, research and development costs, capital investment level, and charitable giving. (The game is now under the watchful eye of Junior Achievement.)

If you happen to be French or speak French, you can try your hand at balancing France's budget at Cyber-Budget.

Better Business Choices let's you choose from a number of business paradigms and then make choices and see how they impact the organization.

And check out a business tool of the future with ProtoSphere (by Protonmedia)

*UPDATE also, of course to teach keyboarding skills, you might want to check out Typing of the Dead.

Here are the slides from the presentation:





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Innovation Brainstorming Session for Virtual Worlds

One of the great things about what I do is that I get to interact with wonderful people working on innovative projects. So the other day I got together with John, Gina Schreck of Synapse3Di, Abby, Michelle and Brian who is author of the Cognitive Technologies blog (all pictured below).


We discussed how to use a virtual world for the development of a course about innovation, what are the right instructional strategies for virtual worlds and how can they be leveraged so they are useful and not simply a distraction. We have a great session and came up with some awesome ideas.

Here are the slides I presented on the topic of 3D Learning archetypes.






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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shout Out: Jessica and Rachel


Dr. Kapp stands by as Jessica and Rachel present to the PACT.

Today, I had the opportunity and pleasure of presenting with two of our graduate students to the Pennsylvania Association of Council of Trustees (PACT). The students did a fantastic job!

Jessica and Rachel were poised, professional and presented the best face of the program. The PACT group included the president of Bloomsburg University and Trustees from across the state of PA.

The students presented on the topics of their graduate assistant projects (one with the PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence and one with Del Monte). They also presented information about their Advanced ID projects which were both for Geisinger.

Great job and a shout out to Jessica and Rachel!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sample Presentations

Here are a couple of samples of presentations about Games, Gadgets and Gizmos.





Here is my appearance on CBS station WYOU



video


And here you can listen to a radio interview on public radio station WITF. Titled Educating through video games



Here I am speaking at Penn State University on the Topic of Virtual Worlds














Here is the presentation done at Penn State
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Social Network = Social Class?

Anna Owens says "MySpace has one population, Facebook has another."

Is your socio-economic status reflected in your favorite social networking software? A recent study seems to indicate a resounding YES. Check out the full article Does your social class determine your online social network?

Here are some highlights (or lowlights depending on how you look at it.)

A study by market research firm Nielsen Claritas found that people in more affluent demographics are 25 percent more likely to be found friending on Facebook, while the less affluent are 37 percent more likely to connect on MySpace.

Almost 23 percent of Facebook users earn more than $100,000 a year, compared to slightly more than 16 percent of MySpace users. And 37 percent of MySpace members earn less than $50,000 annually, compared with about 28 percent of Facebook users.

Even more affluent are users of Twitter, the microblogging site, and LinkedIn, a networking site geared to white-collar professionals. Almost 38 percent of LinkedIn users earn more than $100,000 a year.

An interesting quote by danah boyd(who does not capitalize the name) indicated the divide will continue. "The Internet is not this great equalizer that rids us of the problems of the physical world -- the Internet mirrors and magnifies them. The divisions that we have in everyday life are going to manifest themselves online."

This research also tracks with some research I found about virtual worlds, you can read about it in You are Your Avatar: Your Avatar is You.

Given this research, one has to ask about the implications for the use of social networks for learning.
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Monday, October 12, 2009

Visual Display of Virtual Worlds

Dipity Flipbook view of virtual worlds timeline.

Here is a nifty resource for looking at the development of virtual worlds over time. It is created at the website Dipity which is an aggregator of content with a twist, the twist is that the content can have meta-data added to it to add meaning and to display it visually within a timeline, a list or a flipbook.

So one can gather data from all over the web and place it into a neat timeline or even a visual flipbook.(as has been done on a number of topics including virtual worlds and H1N1).

Here is an interactive widget showing virtual worlds time line from Dipity.


It is a great resource, the only thing I might add to the timeline is some corporate-based virtual news such as:

Qwaq Changing It's Name to Teleplace (Here is the Teleplace web site)and other corporate 3D Happenings.

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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Resources for Researching Virtual Worlds

Recently, a number of individuals have inquired about resources for virtual world research. Here are some valuable links. Please add your own resources in the comments.

Journal of Virtual World Research--Great resource. This journal has freely available PDF articles describing the vast amount of work being done in virtual worlds. Recently, the journal featured a number of articles on using virtual worlds in the field of Healthcare.


Articles

The Effects of Gaming on Socializing, Social Behavior, and Making Friends

EMERGING Technologies Center Nursing Education 2.0: A Second Look at Second Life

Virtual Reality Welding Trainer

Seven Things You Should Know About Virtual Worlds

Recipe for Success with Enterprise Virtual Worlds

Virtual Worlds and Unified Communications Provide a Collaboration Platform for the US Intelligence Community

Real Life Teaching in a Virtual World


Industry Research

ThinkBalm Immersive Internet Business Value Study, Q2 2009 by Erica and Sam Driver

3D Learning and Virtual Worlds

Second Life: Virtual Worlds and the Enterprise

Serious Virtual Worlds: A Scoping Study by Sara de Freitas


Papers:

Virtual Worlds Research: A Conceptual Primerby Marc Fetscherin, Christoph Lattemann and Guido Lang.

Worlds for Study: Invitation - Virtual Worlds for Studying Real-World Business (and Law, and Politics, and Sociology, and....)by Robert J. Bloomfield

Situated Learning in Virtual Worlds: The Learning Ecology of Second Lifeby Elisabeth R. Hayes of University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Virtual Worlds: A First-Hand Account of Market and Society on the Cyberian Frontier
by Edward Castronova, well-known author on the topic of virtual worlds.

Learning Archetypes as tools of Cybergogy for a 3D Educational Landscape by Lesley Scopes (who also contributed to the book, great detailed use of the learning archetypes.)

Canadian border simulation at Loyalist CollegeBy Ken Hudson and Kathryn Degast-Kennedy, Loyalist College, Canada (Ken contributed this case study to the book, Learning in 3D)

Teaching in Virtual Worlds: Opportunities and Challenges by Stacy Kluge and Liz Riley.

The relationship and differences between physical- and virtual-world personality by
James T. Doodson

“Alone Together?” Exploring the Social Dynamics of Massively Multiplayer Online Games by Nicolas Ducheneaut, Nicholas Yee, Eric Nickell and Robert J. Moore

Real-Time Prosody-Driven Synthesis of Body Language by Sergey Levine, Christian Theobalt and Vladlen Koltun of Stanford.

Extending the ‘Serious Game’ Boundary: Virtual Instructors in Mobile Mixed Reality Learning Games by Jayfus Doswell and Kathleen Harmeyer

Establishing Virtual Learning Worlds: The Impact of Virtual Worlds and Online Gaming on Education and Training by Barton K. Pursel and Keith D. Bailey

Massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) in the new media classroom by Aaron Delwiche

Learning in the Virtual World: the Pedagogical Potentials of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games

MMORPG: A Review of Social Studies by Marco Chiuppesi


Wiki's, Web Sites and Blogs

Second Life for Education Wiki

CC International

Second Life Grid

ProtonMedia Blog

ThinkBalm

Virtual Worlds @ Work

New Media Consortium


Books:

Select books from a number of good resources.




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Learning in 3D: Book Contributor's Interview

Here is an interesting interview between two contributors to Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration. One is Ron Burns of ProtonMedia who wrote the forward to the book and Chuck Hamilton who is head of Virtual Learning Strategy at IBM's Center for Advanced Learning. Chuck worked on the Seven Sensibilities with Tony, provided advice on the 3DLE architecture to writing an essay about upgrading the campfire in Chapter 10. He was a great resource for the project. Thanks Chuck and Ron.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Video Games, Education and Entertainment Statistics

Here is a recap of some facts assembled by the Entertainment Software Association:
  • A total of 254 universities and other institutions of higher learning in 37 states and the District of Columbia now offer courses and degrees in computer and video game design, programming, and art.

  • California is home to 46 institutions of higher learning offering such courses or degrees. Other states in the top 10 are: New York (21); Texas (20); Florida (19); Illinois (16); Pennsylvania (12); Massachusetts (11); Washington (9); Georgia (8); Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado (7).

  • According to a study conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, more than a third (35 percent) of parents play computer and video games and 93 percent of these parents have children who also play them.

  • According to the ESA’s 2009 Essential Facts about Computer and Video Games booklet, 68 percent of American households now play video games and 42 percent of American homes have a video game console.

  • A study conducted last year by KRC Research revealed that 70 percent of major employers utilize interactive software, including games, to train employees. And 75 percent of these businesses plan to expand their usage within the next three to five years.

  • Over the past 12 years, annual computer and video game software sales have more than quadrupled to $11.7 billion with overall computer and video game industry sales climbing to a record $22 billion in 2008.

  • Among parents who play computer and video games, Peter D. Hart Research Associates reports that 80 percent play with their children and two-thirds of gamer parents feel that playing games has brought their families closer.

  • Forty percent of all game players are women. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a significantly greater portion of the game-playing population (34 percent) than boys age 17 or younger (18 percent).

  • In 2009, 25 percent of Americans over the age of 50 play video games, an increase from nine percent in 1999.

  • By 2009, it is projected that the entertainment software industry will support over a quarter of a million American jobs. The average salary for direct employees is $92,300, resulting in total national compensation of $2.2 billion.

  • California, Washington, Texas, New York and Massachusetts currently have the highest concentration of video game jobs. Collectively, these areas directly employ 16,604 workers and post 70 percent of the industry's total indirect employment.

A few more industry facts:
  • Electronic Arts, in fiscal 2009, had 31 titles that sold more than one million copies, and three titles that each sold more than five million copies including FIFA 09, Madden NFL 09 and Need for Speed Undercover and the company employs over 9000).(from EA Web site)

  • Why do parents play games? 72% (It’s Fun For The Entire Family), 71% (Because They’re Asked To), 66% (It’s A Good Opportunity To Socialize With The Child), 50% (It’s A Good Opportunity To Monitor Game Content)from GrabStats.

  • Type of Online Game Played Most Often: 11% (Persistent Multi-Player Universe), 14% (Downloadable games such as Bejewled), 16% (Action/Sports/Strategy/Role Play), 47% (Puzzle/Board/GameShow/Trivia/Card), 12% (Other) from GrabStats.

  • U.S. video game sales were up 13% in January 2009, to $1.33 billion from GrabStats.


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Monday, October 05, 2009

New Resources by Clark Aldrich

I've done a lot of work these past years with Clark Aldrich, we've worked on a project together for a large pharma client and we both sit on a governmental Training and Educational advisory board so we've been spending some time together.

I actually first met Clark in the back of a van leaving a training conference on a Friday afternoon to fly home. The conference was pretty much a bust except for meeting Clark. He told me he was working on a book called "Simulations and the Future of E-Learning." He asked me if I would mind reading over it. I said "sure." He said he was sending it to the publisher on Monday...

We'll in spite of the short deadline, I read the book over the weekend (loved it) and even made a few comments that eventually made it into the book. So then Clark contributed to "Gadgets, Games and Gizmos for Learning" concerning some research he had done with simulations.

Now Clark has another book out "Learning Online with Games, Simulations and Virtual Worlds." The book is a great overview of the use of games, simulations and virtual worlds for education. It is divided in to four parts. The first is an overview of the many reasons for thinking about using these technologies and it outlines the drivers moving education in that direction. The second part details how to use a game, simulation or virtual world for your educational needs and how to access the outcomes. The third part covers the issues of using a games, simulation or virtual world in your instruction, including advice on how to politically build a case (always important). Finally the book suggests that distributed education may drive the growth of games, simulations and virtual worlds more than face-to-face classroom instruction. Look for a few cameos by me in this book as well.

Clark always provides a fun read and causes you to stop and think. If you have some time or interest in these subjects, pick up the book it will be educational and even, I dare say, entertaining.

Also, Clark has recently published his third book (his trilogy is complete) called The Complete Guide to Simulations and Serious Games: How the Most Valuable Content Will be Created in the Age Beyond Gutenberg to Google. He calls this the "big book" and it is big, 576 pages. But it is designed as a reference book, primer and encyclopedia all rolled into one. It has great information, ideas and concepts that help help you design interactivity into your e-learning programs (something that is sorely needed.)

Here are Clark's new books:


Here are Clark's older works:


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

Friday, October 02, 2009

Upcoming, Online Presentations

Here are a couple of upcoming online presentations I am doing in the December and January time frame.

In December:

Reaching and Teaching Across Generations at 10:00 a.m. MST on Friday, December 11, 2009.

Here is the description of the webinar.
Today's classrooms can contain up to four different generations of students - each generation having unique motivators, learning styles, and technology preferences. Examine generational differences, as well as pedagogical strategies and techniques to best engage your entire classroom
You can register here.


In January:

Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration at 10:30 AM PST on Tuesday January 19, 2010 as part of the eLearning Guild's Thought Leader Series.

Here is a description of the webinar:

Virtual Immersive Environments (VIEs) are gaining attention but are they effective or a fad? Unfortunately, there are few guidelines to inform the development and creation of effective 3D Learning Events. In this session, we will examine a model for effectively thinking about and deploying 3D learning and collaboration spaces within your organization, explore how different design principles and learning archetypes lead to success and analyze case studies of organizations that have successfully combined formal and informal learning within these virtual spaces. This session provides educators, corporate trainers and others with valuable information on how 3D worlds foster and promote informal and formal learning and collaboration within and across organizations
This presentation is based on the publication of the new book "Learning in 3D" due out in January 2010.




You must be a member of the Guild to register, but, if you are not a member, you should become one. Here is the information you need to register.
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Catalog of Recommended Books, Games and Gadgets
Recommended Games and Gadgets
Recommended Books
Content Guide

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Facebook--Good for Your Memory: Twitter--Not So Much

A study recently released by Dr. Tracy Alloway of Scotland’s University of Stirling found that using Facebook stretches a person's “working memory” (short-term or recent memory), while Twitter, YouTube and text messaging tend to weaken it. Bad news for all you Twanker's in a Twance.*


She states in the article, Facebook 'enhances intelligence' but Twitter 'diminishes it', claims psychologist
The ''instant'' nature of texting, Twitter and YouTube was not healthy for working memory. ''On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it's also very succinct,'' said Dr Alloway. ''You don't have to process that information. ''Your attention span is being reduced and you're not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.''


In another article, Study: How Twitter is hurting students, Alloway found that:
  • Keeping up-to-date with Facebook improved children’s IQ scores
  • Playing video games – especially those that require planning and strategy – and Sudoku also were beneficial
  • Using Twitter, YouTube and text messaging does not engage enough of the brain to be helpful, and actually reduce attention span.
  • Facebook requires you to keep track of past actions and then plan future actions, which stretches the working memory.



*Check out Twictionary for more great Twitter Jargon.



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