Although I’m sceptical with much of the ‘research’ that describes virtually everybody as a ‘gamer,’ there is no doubt that over the last few years there’s been an explosion of activity in casual games. Of course one could argue that we’ve always played casual games such as Solitaire and Minesweeper but recently the genre has become more prominent and acceptable. Casual games are now regarded as an extremely lucrative business proposition and are penetrating markets where ‘play’ has previously been a nasty word.
One More Level has created this great infographic to describe the demographics of casual games.
Source: One More Level Flash Games
Edudemic posted this collection of presentations recently describing not only why technology is failing to deliver real benefits in schools but more importantly, some ideas about how to fix it.
Why it’s failing
The Future of Technology and Education
Changing Education with Web 2.0 tools
What are your experiences of using technology in school? Is it still the preserve of the enthusiastic teacher or IT support? What do you think?
Special needs students and their teachers are the victims of a “muddled” approach to schooling, says Leicester Uni http://j.mp/qB5qcd
Socioeconomic status as child dictates response to stress as adult according to University of Minnesota http://j.mp/qDZRZ8
Parents are forgetting how to play with their children, study shows – article from The Guardian last year http://j.mp/jdoiSR
Teenage web habits: slaves to social networking but not so keen on apps, according to article in Guardian http://bit.ly/qiXS0f
Infants Learn To Transfer Knowledge By 16 Months, OSU Study Finds http://j.mp/lPOAsG
Supportive home learning experiences in the early years boost low-income children’s readiness for school. From NYU. http://j.mp/j3JmWs
Being born & raised in a city is associated with greater lifetime risk for anxiety & mood disorder. From Nature. http://j.mp/jrjGpu
The quality of preschoolers’ social interactions is influenced by the ethnicity of the playmate. From Montreal Uni. http://j.mp/m8AxNQ
Parents prefer media content ratings system in national study led by Iowa State Uni http://j.mp/jS7Psd
How parents communicate with teenagers on mobiles gives insight into relationship according to study http://j.mp/mrfR5l
New study suggests that kids who eat sweets are *less* overweight than those that don’t. http://j.mp/lUbKlO
Informal daycare may harm kids’ cognitive development, Chicago Uni study finds http://j.mp/jLBYP7 (pdf)
Teens still learning to plan ahead from Child Development journal http://j.mp/kzyUhz
Youth cybercrime linked to friends’ influence from Michigan State University http://j.mp/iBAKm3
There’s a new TV ad from Apple extolling the potential of the iPad in classrooms.
A few months ago Edudemic posted this list of 50 Innovative Ways to Use an iPad in School.
What do you think? Does the iPad represent revolutionary technology for all teachers and students or simply another tool in the arsenal of the enthusiastic ones?
During the summer I went to North Wales with the youth group I help lead. While we were away, we played lots of games. Not high-tech, computer-based games but real-world, physical games. It was a timely reminder to me that play, even for teenagers, does not always depend on bits and bytes but can happily exist with a few bits and bobs. In fact, the simplicity added to the fun.
We played a variety of short games on the beach. Some were physical, collecting as much water as possible with a pipe drilled full of holes for example. Some were creative, such as making pictures with beach-combed artefacts. Some were simply sporty, such as volleyball. Almost all the games were faintly ridiculous.
The variety of games catered for everyone’s preference and skill and avoided the situation where any of the young people could feel excluded. They gave every one a chance to shine.
The young people played in teams. The competition was an important driver for participation and each game had a scoring system that rewarded achievement and more arbitrary factors such as teamwork and flair. Having said that, everyone recognised that the scoring was simply a device to provide structure and was at the whim of each of the game leader’s discretion. The scoring was wildly inconsistent but no-one really minded.
But team play is more than competition, it is dependent on collaboration. The games were designed to leave no-one behind – every game required everyone to participate. No-one could fail individually, but the team could succeed together.
These lo-tech games worked because they drew on the fundamentals of play:
The morning on a breezy Welsh beach illustrated beautifully the simple joy of playing together.