Yellow NarcoSubmarine work in progress


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December 26, 2011

Yellow NarcoSubmarine work in progress


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December 26, 2011

work in progress.


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December 26, 2011

keyboarding replaced by game design curriculum

The Coventry School Committee approved curriculum changes at its Tuesday night meeting that will emphasize integration of more math and technology skills for students next year.

In a 3-1 decision – Committee member Thomas A. Hetherman (District 1) voted against – the council adopted four recommendations by the district’s Curriculum Council that, according to Supt. Michael Convery, will have no fiscal impact on schools.

The first two changes will affect the high school programs: Digital Media courses at the high school will be offered as a for-credit course beginning with freshman for technologically advanced students

Staff will restructure career and technical programs at the high school to offer increased mathematical support to students. “The high school has been working on this with the ultimate goal that at the end of three-year programs in some of those fields, kids will be able to access one math-related credit,” said James Erinakes, assistant superintendent.

In the middle school, the committee decided to drop keyboard classes and replace it with a video game creation program. [emphasis added]

“I’m fine with everything except for dropping keyboarding,” said Hetherman, who likened eliminating keyboard instruction with handwriting in schools. “I think we need to focus on the basics.”

Keyboarding skills are currently taught in the eighth grade and skill retention is low, said Convery, because students begin using and forming habits with technology much earlier.

“Culturally there is such a change in what these kids are introduced to early we have to do a better job finding out when kids start using the technology and integrate it when they are first using it,” agreed Erinakes.

“Integrate prior to them learning habits that render the (keyboarding) curriculum useless because learning it in the eighth grade is, I think, useless.”

The New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, which offers a similar program, will work with the middle school to develop content and on equipment needs.

“Fiscally you just can’t add something without dropping something else,” said Convery.

In other business: ….


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December 26, 2011

In classrooms around the state, hundreds of schoolchildren have been defending their nation from Wraith attacks in the battle to defeat the Shadow Plague.

They are playing a computer game – with their teachers’ blessing – as part of a project to integrate game design into teaching and learning. Students at 14 schools, from years 3 to 10, have joined the project, which is linked to the primary and secondary curriculum and allows students to design their own computer games.

It was developed by the Macquarie ICT Innovations Centre, a collaboration between the NSW Education Department and Macquarie University, which gives schools access to innovative technologies in class.

Jamie Smith, 12, and Robert Metcalfe, 11, are keen gamers – and can hardly believe their luck that a favourite hobby has become part of their lessons. Their school, Gordon East Public, was one of five to pilot the project.

“You feel really privileged right now to have this kind of learning,” Jamie said. “It’s a lot more interesting, it’s a lot more interactive. [Instead of] waiting for your turn to put your hand up, you all make a game and you all get to see each other [working]. You pretty much all have a say in what you’re doing.”

Robert agreed, saying: “It’s better than maths problems that don’t really relate to anything. It’s teaching you the same sorts of things but it’s fun, so you wouldn’t fall asleep in class.”

The school’s computer co-ordinator, Simon Hutchison, was part of the team that designed the Invasion of the Shadow Plague game. He said it allowed students to apply their skills in areas such as maths, problem-solving, critical thinking and narrative writing.

Computer games teach pupils by stealth

playing a “let’s make games” game in Australia


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December 26, 2011

“I feel so excited,” she said. “I really like this school, because, last year we weren’t interacting, and here I’m interacting and learning and not slouching in my seat.”

ChicagoQuest, one of 16 charters run by Chicago International Charter Schools, draws its entering class from 55 neighborhoods and 100 elementary schools, officials said. The 234 students are divided evenly between boys and girls, with an African-American majority, they said.

Director Michael Donhost said his main goal this academic year is to shape a cohesive culture for the school’s diverse population.

Quest will add a new grade annually through 2016, at which point the school will teach the sixth through 12th grades. The standard model of learning in school is flawed and outdated, Donhost said. “Information is compounding at 60 percent a year. Over 30 years, students will have a million times more information to manage. We want to create producers of information and not just consumers,” he said.

ChicagoQuest is the educational sibling of Quest to Learn, a similar digitally oriented school that opened in New York City in 2009. Both grew out of research funded by the MacArthur Foundation, which has dedicated $7 million of an $85 million investment in digital learning to get both schools up and running.

The two schools’ teaching model comes from game designer Katie Salen and her colleagues at the New York-based Institute for [sic “of”] Play. Besides her role at Quest to Learn, Salen is executive director at the institute, an organization that uses game design to develop materials used at both schools.

Salen recently joined DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Media and helped oversee ChicagoQuest’s launch. While committed to the new learning vision, Salen dismisses technology as the “magic bullet.” “It’s not the technology. It’s the pedagogy” that counts.


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December 26, 2011

While finding out that a rival company has plagiarised your hard work may sting, there is little legal recourse for developers who believe their game idea has been appropriated. The issue is that video games are creative in both visual and aural terms, but also in purely functional terms, and the laws that govern these elements are fundamentally different. Alex Chapman, a lawyer at Sheridan’s specialising in games, says: “Generally speaking there is no copyright in a game mechanic or the functionality of a game (or indeed any other type of software). Copyright will protect the visual appearance of the game to the extent that it is original – such as by protecting the graphics, screen layouts and art assets. It will also protect the underlying software code. However, it will not protect the functionality. "Most games are derivative of something else. Think of the first game of its type and you could say that all games that followed it are clones. This is why the functionality is not protected by copyright. A great deal of skill will generally go into making a lawful game with a similar mechanic to another. The unlawful ones tend to be highly derivative of the original and in those cases there is often something that can be done.


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December 26, 2011

“Stephen King’s Wang,” a cheeky reference to that best-selling novelist’s first computer, bought in the early 1980s.


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December 26, 2011

nevver:

Christmas Tree Driedel


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December 25, 2011

thisway:

Video Game in a Box (by Teague Labs)


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December 25, 2011