Social Science: How 19-year-old activist Zack Kopplin is making life hell for Louisiana's creationists(via @io9)
For Zack Kopplin, it all started back in 2008 with the passing of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The bill made it considerably easier for teachers to introduce creationist textbooks into the classroom.
This is the time when everyone creates a list of things that were or things that will be. Normally, I do not participate in this ritual but this year I can’t stop myself. The reason being that the lists I am seeing are so out there in terms of predictions that I want to bring back to pragmatism to 2013. I see 5 major trends for 2013 and here they are!
I’ve been introducing Minecraft to teachers for a few years now. Sometimes I succeed in getting a teacher or two to actually use Minecraft with students, but most often I use the simulation to drive the following discussions:
- What is the value of “structured play” in the classroom? What does…
It’s a brilliant little twist that the teachers are shocked at how students can often accomplish complex things without detailed instructions. The students have been acclimated to the use of failure in learning through video game play. Most of their teachers have not.
In fact, some gamers complain about too much help. Robert Yang, at the Radiator Design Blog, complained that the brilliantly designed game Dishonored failed as an immersive simulation within its first minute. Why? It asked the player if they wanted to play a tutorial.
Speaking to Game to Learn, from Ireland, about teaching, learning, methods and instructional practice, with a special focus on game-based learning, gamification in the classroom and 21st century skills.
Game scholars often distinguish between two modes of play, ludic and paidiaic. Ludic from the Latin ludos, describes structured, rule-driven, competitive games relating to play or playfulness, while paidiaic describes unstructured play in open-ended metaverses that are often co-created by their…
Introducing Minecraft civilization - “Civcraft”: A brief game description
Civcraft - as I’m calling it - evolved from an idea I had some months ago to simulate the rise and progression of a civilization in Minecraft. In creating this game, I drew inspiration from the strategy game, Civilization, where technological and cultural advancements are introduced as time progresses.
I started by looking at the tech trees in civilization and tried to figure out if a set of new game rules could be made for Minecraft to support the development of a civilization. Gradually it started falling into place and I could start imagining a game of civilization happening in Minecraft.
The game starts in the stoneage with limited use of ressources and limited crafting abilities. The idea is to progress into the bronze, iron - and since we’re from Denmark - the viking age. Later on there will be the middle ages, rennaissance and industrialization - but those are still on the drawing board.
Each age is divided into several rounds, where each round puts focus on specific areas of curriculum content, which is at a 5th - 7th grade level.
Each area consists if a challenge or assignment, which students have to complete in order to gain the achievements needed to progress in the game. Each assignment contains a “bundle” of information about life in that period. The aim is to make students use that knowledge to successfully complete the assignment. The knowledge they need is conveyed verbally before we logon, and in written form: the first time in a virtual classroom and the second time while ingame.
The game is played on a 2000x2000 unit terrain and is marked off with border blocks.
I will be writing and showing more from my first test of the game in coming posts. Stay tuned!
This week the Coöp asks, What must we do to transform schools into places of authentic, democratic learning?
I could agree more with what everyone has put forth this week. My addition
1. Look to Young children to be Catalyst of Change. We have been talking a lot about what we as teachers can do, but what about the children. The very act of empowering them to be at the table is a paradigm shift that could change the world. It is not a simple act, because often it is merely talked about and forgotten when the power is truly removed from the hands of the teacher or adult. I read Paula’s students wiki last week, that spoke of the change her students were seeking in their school. Why not truly give students the opportunity to be change agents?
Soon enough it will not be change but invention!
Vygotsky believed that learning and development happens in social settings and by interacting with other people along with using the tools and wisdom of the society in which they live. I believe that school can be a place where student do not just learn to use the tools and wisdom of our current and past societies, but also be a filter, critique and revise the usefulness and merit of these ideas.
The great wonder of our current school system is the lost potential for real innovation and change. We have created a system that could be use to consistently rebuild our society to be at the cutting edge of thought and creativity, instead we spend a quarter of our lives learning how to run in place and call “foul” on anyone that chooses to disagree with the way things have been done. What if Schools worked like non-profit business? Solving problems big and small, locally and globally? How would that shift the purpose of education?
We should harness the energy and passion of our new learners. We most looks to our young children to reinvent and construct new ways to think about our past , future and the current state of being. Schools should and can be a center for this type of work.
How can we truly give children a seat at the table? Can we give children the seat at the head of the table?