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Archive for January, 2013|Monthly archive page

Life after Disc on Wired.com

In Not so random posts on January 24, 2013 at 9:17 AM

cd dvd disc cartoon

While reading the hard copy Wired magazine, I stumbled upon this blog site “Life after disc” on wired.com and rushed to my laptop to check it out.    In brief, “life after disc” is a series exploring new development in digital gaming platforms, from app stores to browsers to downloadable console games.  The title of the series resonated in me since I grew up in an age where games were played in even earlier days, the form of cartridges, and then discs and discs only.  And then which is now, games were played on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers and the game itself has not a concrete form, and is a lot cheaper.   Lowered hurdle for gaming means more people get to play games, especially casual games which cost just 99 cents and are interesting enough to kill your time.  Please check out the below link for the blog site:

Life after disc on wired.com

But I wonder what have digital games become in this torrent of Indie game movement and mobile gaming?  Are casual games on mobile devices really what I would think as fully-fledged games?  Or are they just mini-games and game-wanna-bes?  As a long time gamer and now not so much a gamer since I don’t spend as much time gaming, I tend to resist the notion that mobile games are truly games in the full sense because most mobile games lack a grand narrative arc.  Mobile games are considered to be easy to play and addictive due to its simple play mechanic, hence the advantage and appeal to a wave of non-gamers and some gamers.  Anyhow I am old school when it comes to gaming and I guess I will keep on playing my old schooling style console games without bothering much about co-op modes in online play.  Solo play suffices for now.

 

Australian Research Study Shows Video Games are Better Than TV in Inducing Positive Influences

In Not so random posts on January 14, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Photo Credit: TGBUS.com

Photo Credit: TGBUS.com

 

A recent study done by Professor Daniel Johnson in Queensland University in Australia revealed that playing video games exerts positive influence more than watching TV.   In the research, kids aged from 2 to 5 all exceeded the government-promoted stipulation of one-hour gameplay time per day.   The study also found that 92% of families have home consoles, handheld consoles, or iPads for gaming.   The prevalence of gaming devices in the household was not deemed harmful but quite on the contrary, the study found that video gaming could be inducive to higher self-esteem or mental development. overall gaming could be positive to physical and psychological growth.

However let us take the finding of this study with a grain of salt and consider that binge-gaming will be harmful, the same with any other binge-actions.

Onto the Year of Quantified Self

In Becoming ruminative in education on January 8, 2013 at 2:44 PM

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A close friend of mine was preaching to me on the greatness of the Nike Fuelband the other day, stating her sustained motivation to run with the device tied to her shoe lace so she could continue receiving congratulatory video snippets once she accomplished the goals she set on a daily basis.   A little positive feedback does go a long way indeed.  However, her proposition didn’t take hold in me since I am not a habitual jogger after all.

Just today during my meeting with my research team someone mentioned the quantified self movement, and I began to think  about how consumer electronics and information techs have become indispensable parts of our life and growingly people seem to have become dependent on technologies or the Internet to define themselves at different levels.   With social media such as Twitter and Facebook, one can be more than willingly to assess how he or she is popular among friends by seeing how many likes he/she obtained with an upload of vacation picture or bio portrait.  With Fuelband and fitness apps, one can see how many calories were burned during a day’s work and exercise.   People rely on the numbers showing on these devices, apps, or Internet sites to sustain their intellectual/physical growth, and the value of their social presence.   These numbers as appeared on the technologies become data, which in turn help the companies who designed the techs improve functions (so that users become more reliant and willing to purchase updated versions).   Is this bad?   Not necessarily.   Technologies afford people choices and it’s up to the users of technology to do what’s best for them as they see fit.

Though this may seem a bit deviating from the above discussion, a point I wish to make here is that what would all these numbers, turned into data, help improve education?   Creative uses of technologies in the classroom coupled with quantifiable data feeding right back to decisions on the improvement of instruction do not seem far-fetched but we need more concerted effort and research to make technologies work for educators and 21st century learners.

Slowly but surely, the quantified-self movement took off and has taken a stronghold in 2012.   My best guess is, onto year 2013 with the quantified self movement we go ~~

For more information related to the movement, please read the following article on Forbes.

Consumer Electronics Show 2013: The Year of Quantified Self

For quantified self tools, click on below link ^__^

Quantified Self– Guide to Self-Tracking Tools

Misplaced Concerns on Student Science and Math Performance in International Comparisons?!

In Becoming ruminative in education on January 7, 2013 at 6:20 PM

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It seemed that over the past decade, international comparison test scores on science and math have carried heavy duty implications and served as impetus for policy-making for the US Department of Education.   The mission for K-12 educators, administrators, and policy makers to scheme and help improve education so that our schoolchildren can perform better than other schoolchildren in foreign countries is  as explicit as in the objectives in education reform acts such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, both of which emphasized inculcation of science and math.   While the concern for low-performance is widely acknowledged, it begs the question though regarding the larger context of education and what correlations do high international comparison test scores carry.

The below opinion piece from New Scientist provides an interesting perspective on how to decipher student performance on international comparison tests such as TIMSS and PISA.

West vs Asia education rankings are misleading

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