Teach the Earth > Online Games > Workshop 08 > Levine talk

Alan's Talk

  • Why bother with games and on-line simulations in geoscience education?
    • Google Map, Wikipedia, Wikitravel? have new opportunities for teaching.
    • New opportunities from Web 2.0 for learning 2.0
    • New media (e.g. Convergence Culture) changing how we and students interact with media
    • The ways we use technology inside and outside education are starting to come together.
  • What is Alan's group exploring?
    • Horizon Project - remote collaboration to create a report on the technology in education horizon (at various timescales) e.g.
      • Grassroots Video
      • Collaboration Webs - (e.g. google home page;
      • Mobile Broadband
      • Data Mashups (map based)
      • Collective Intelligence (e.g. aggregating small bits; building on each others work, NetFlix contest - put out data, set criteria for success, tested against data, and had a prize for motivation (wired has an article))
      • Social Operating Systems (merging facebook type networking in other technologies - moves away from login into every distinct site)
    • Games
      • Engaging - but take a lot of work – is this viable in a small community like geo education, gaming engines may make more affordable
      • what skills underpin expertise or ease with games–how does this impact use in education
      • role of goals vs exploration in games
      • what makes game promote thinking – multiple choice games may not promote this; role of open-ended exploration in next level types of games
        • alternate reality games (ARGNet) - World without oil
        • is the NetFlix contest an example of this?
    • Second Life
      • Exploring collaboration in a virtual world - sorting out what can be done
      • big learning curve especially for building
      • big win is collaborative construction of content in real time(arts, NOAA)
      • big potential for visualizing in 3-d, realtime collaboration in 3-d.
      • power is in social interaction not in data manipulation
      • compare to google sketch up work in architecture – need realism and real data manipulation (sketch up reduces learning curve and financial barriers - limited capabilities but does basic things you want to do for drawing buildings– now getting a collection of buildings on campuses and then build on that. Similar model for geoscience things?)
    • Google Earth as a Mirror world – misses the interactions of 2nd life - but starting to incorporate the street/texture rich buildings from sketch up
    • Open Croquet
    • Wonderland - organizations can run their own virtual world in their own space – collaboratively using desktop applications
  • Comments - importance of Google Earth in generating interest in geoscience careers.


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