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Posted on behalf of Claire at Futurelab….

Futurelab has been appointed as the UK National Coordinator for a pan-European study of the use of computer and video games in schools. Our Games and Learning project is a programme of research, events and planned publications intended to stimulate discussion and the development of new intelligence.

The overall aim is to demonstrate what challenges and opportunities have emerged from debates and developments in this field to date, and to identify practical actions and interventions to be taken forwards. We are looking to set up a network of educators interested in the project who would like to receive more information about our research.

If anyone is interested or would like to become involved, they can email me at claire.denney@futurelab.org.uk.

I just came across this summary of a new piece of research that seems to challenges many of the prevailing ‘gamer sterotypes’. I’ve copied some of the words below. The full article is on Gamasutra at the following URL:

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=20768

From Gamasutra…

“55 percent of gamers are married, 48 percent have kids, and single gamers are twice as likely to go on dates in a given month than non-gamers. That’s according to the results of a new research study from IGN Entertainment and Ipsos Media CT obtained by Gamasutra.

The study, which involved 3,000 participants, says it demonstrates that, contrary to popular stereotypes, gamers are more social, more active and more influential to their friends than non-gamers — and that the average age of gamers who picked up the habit within the past two years is 32.”

My favourite eLearning group, US-based The ELearning Guild, yesterday released their latest 360 degree report. This time the focus is upon eLearning 2.0, a subject that is close to my heart being in the serious game and immersive simulation space myself.

I have copied some descriptive text below – find out more at http://www.elearningguild.com/research/archives/index.cfm?action=viewonly2&id=134&referer=

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Published Date: 09/23/2008

E-LEARNING 2.0

Learning in a Web 2.0 World
by Steve Wexler, Jane Hart, Tony Karrer, Michele Martin, Mark Oehlert, Sanjay Parker, Brent Schlenker, and Will Thalheimer

Overview
People that read the Guild’s 360° Reports on emerging technologies often express the following fears:

  1. The emerging technology will obsolesce what they do now;
  2. The emerging technology will be difficult to learn;
  3. It will be difficult to convince colleagues and management that they should embrace the emerging technology; and,
  4. Not embracing the technology will lead to certain doom.

Our comprehensive research and analysis from industry experts should allay concerns over the first three items. Indeed, the use of traditional classroom instruction is actually *up* from a year ago, so e-Learning 2.0 approaches are not going to replace instructor-lead training or e-Learning 1.0 approaches anytime soon. As for the fourth item, while the language may be somewhat extreme our research shows that organizations that ignore incorporating Web 2.0 approaches for their learning initiatives may be doing so at their own peril (at least according to Guild members’ survey results).

Here is a post I can literally copy & paste from the source which, as it is early and my caffiene levels are still low, requires no effort on my part  🙂

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After two and a half years, Global Kids is delighted to release the results of the independent evaluation by the Center for Children and Technology of both Playing 4 Keeps, our after school gaming program, and Ayiti, the game produced with Gamelab during the first year of the program. For the evaluation CCT observed the program and interviewed the students. To evaluate the game they looked at the results of nearly 16,000 game plays. 

Download the full report here:

In short, when we made Ayiti we wanted to learn if players would learn if the factors affecting access to education within an impoverished condition are both interdependent and exist within a dynamic system. CCT’s research found that “the central idea embedded in the game play, that no single factor accounts for success, appears to have been successfully communicated to the majority of players.”

Bingo! 

In addition, they describe how youth report that through their participation in the after school program their experiences involved:     

* Engaging in activities that require useful life skills related to communication and collaboration;    
* Learning about social issues;
    
* Realizing what goes into designing and creating a good game; and
    
* Gaining general computers skills.
 

A gaming program that improves the lives of its participants and creates a game that has a measurable affect on the critical thinking of its players AND is an award-winning, engaging experience – nice!

Source: seriousgames.org email listserv

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