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Title: Game programming, the Computer Game Design, Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster


1
Game programming, the Computer Game Design,
Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster
  • Tony Forster
  • ASISTM Computer Game Design, Programming,
    Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster.

2
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire
to be kindled." Plutarch (46 - 127)
3
Beginnings
  • The computer games project had its genesis around
    2002 when a number of teachers independently
    recognised the power of the freeware programming
    language Gamemaker www.gamemaker.nl

4
2003 Gamemaker projects
  • Woodville High,
  • Newtown High,
  • Newman College,
  • Glenelg School and
  • Haileybury College

5
Forums
  • 2004
  • http//lyris.education.tas.gov.au8080/read/?forum
    gamemaker
  • 2005
  • http//www.groups.edna.edu.au/course/view.php?id8
    1

6
ASISTM funding 2005
  • With the granting of Commonwealth Australian
    School Innovation in Science, Technology and
    Mathematics (ASISTM) funding in 2005, the cluster
    formally came into existence. The Cluster is a
    geographically dispersed cluster of 6 schools and
    2 other organisations in 3 states of Australia.

7
  • Partner organisations
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image
  • Cedar College (Greenacres) SA
  • Forster Engineering Services Pty Ltd
  • Glenelg Primary School (Glenelg East)SA
  • Kardinia International College (Geelong)VIC
  • New Town High School (New Town)TAS
  • Westall Secondary College (Clayton South)VIC
  • Woodville High School (Woodville)SA

8
Award Winning Teachers
  • Margaret Meijers Microsoft Innovative Teacher
    Award, and National Awards for Quality Schooling
    Best National Achievement by a Teacher.
  • Al Upton is South Australian Computer Educator of
    the Year
  • Roland Gesthuizen, ICTEV Computer Educator of the
    Year 1996

9
Activities
  • Web resources
  • Conferences Professional Development
  • Game Programming Competition
  • Research

10
Web resources
  • http//beam.to/billkerr
  • http//www.mindtools.tased.edu.au/gamemaker
  • http//alupton.wordpress.com/learning/game-maker/
  • http//www.freewebs.com/schoolgamemaker/

11
http//beam.to/billkerr
12
http//www.mindtools.tased.edu.au/gamemaker
13
http//alupton.wordpress.com/learning/game-maker/
14
http//alupton.wordpress.com/learning/game-maker/
15
http//www.freewebs.com/schoolgamemaker/
16
Conferences Professional Development
  • The inaugural Australian Game Programming in
    Schools Conference was held on Friday Sep 9, 2005
  • Marc Prensky 28 Feb 2006
  • James Gee 20 August 2006
  • Numerous PD in Victoria, the Northern Territory,
    South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

17
Game Programming Competition
  • ScreenIt 2005 primary
  • ScreenIt 2006 primary secondary
  • http//www.acmi.net.au/screenit.htm

18
Research
  • The cluster has engaged Dr. Bernard Holkner of
    Monash University to produce a research report on
    the work of the cluster.

19
WHY?
20
The Changes in Educational Needs of Children
  • Google now indexes 24,000,000,000 pages
  • todays children will be adults in a world where
    computers may be 1,000,000,000 times more
    powerful than today Prensky (2005)
  • less need to teach facts and lower order skills
  • more need for higher order cognitive and
    metacognitive skills

21
A pedagogy with pedigree
  • Plutarch
  • Dewey
  • Piaget
  • Vygotsky
  • Papert
  • Crawford

22
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire
to be kindled." Plutarch (46 - 127)
23
John Dewey (1933/1998)
  • Education depended on action. Knowledge and ideas
    emerged from experiences that have meaning and
    importance to learners.

24
John Dewey (1933/1998)
  • Learning occurs where students join in
    manipulating materials, creating a community of
    learners who build their knowledge together.

25
Jean Piaget (1896-1980)
  • To understand is to discover, or reconstruct by
    rediscovery, and such conditions must be complied
    with if in the future individuals are to be
    formed who are capable of production and
    creativity and not simply repetition (Piaget,
    1973)

26
Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
  • Learning is most effective in a zone of proximal
    development where the child can function with
    just a little assistance.

27
Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934)
  • Learning is a social process, teachers provide a
    scaffolding process to provide non-intrusive
    intervention.

28
learners construct new ideas or concepts based
upon their current/past knowledge. The learner
selects and transforms information, constructs
hypotheses, and makes decisions, relying on a
cognitive structure to do so http//www.papert.o
rg/articles/SituatingConstructionism.html
Constructivism / Constructionism
29
  • Literature on school improvement is full of
    exhortations to make the content of instruction
    "relevant." .. But if one does belong to a
    culture in which video games are important,
    transforming oneself from a consumer to a
    producer of games may well be an even more
    powerful way for some children to find importance
    in what they are doing.
  • Situating Constructionism By Seymour Papert and
    Idit Harel, the first chapter in Seymour Papert
    and Idit Harel's book Constructionism (Ablex
    Publishing Corporation, 1991). http//www.papert.o
    rg/articles/SituatingConstructionism.html

30
  • "Games are thus the most ancient and time-honored
    vehicle for education. They are the original
    educational technology, the natural one, having
    received the seal of approval of natural
    selection. We don't see mother lions lecturing
    cubs at the chalkboard we don't see senior lions
    writing their memoirs for posterity
  • The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford
    1982
  • http//www.vancouver.wsu.edu/fac/peabody/game-book
    /Coverpage.html

31
  • I believe
  • children learn by processing information through
    their own cognitive structures
  • engagement is the key
  • tasks have to be relevant and meaningful
  • publishing of student work is important
  • rote learning of content is less important than
    developing higher order cognitive skills
  • learners should engage with the wider community
  • it is not just publishing that is important, it
    is the interactive ongoing conversation in a
    wider environment than just the school /
    educational community

32
Kerr Manifesto http//learningevolves.wikispaces.c
om/gamemakingmanifesto
  • Game making is motivating and an excellent
    introduction to programming
  • Game making programs now exist which make it
    easier than it was before
  • Programming is a HOT (higher order thinking)
    activity
  • Programming is hard and perhaps not everyone can
    do it or would want to do it
  • Everyone ought to receive an invitation to be
    taught programming, which they can experience
    (toe in water), accept or reject
  • We need good teachers of programming, teachers
    who understand both programming, learning theory
    and learners
  • Teachers of programming need to develop (design,
    program, refactor, test, publish) their own
    programs / games. Eat your own dogfood.
  • It is even better if the programming is linked to
    significant social justice issues, eg. africaGame
  • Blogs and wikis ought to be incorporated into the
    development process to enhance communication and
    collaboration
  • Blogs and wikis aren't enough on their own. We
    need to study and / or develop design and
    communication tools that represent this whole
    process and enable it to be better discussed and
    communicated, eg. UML diagrams, design patterns
  • Learning theory continues to evolve dynamically,
    that needs to be integrated into this whole
    process

33
Justification of games programming
  • Games programming can be justified on three
    grounds
  • transferable cognitive skills,
  • metacogitive skills and
  • affective benefits

34
transferable cognitive skills
  • The idea behind transferable cognitive skills is
    that students are learning skills in areas such
    as mathematics and literacy while programming
    games and that these skills will transfer to the
    more traditional areas with measurable outcomes.

35
Metacognitive skills
  • Metacognitive skills are the self management
    skills we employ when we are learning.

36
Affective benefits
  • Affective benefits refers to our attitudes to
    school, teachers and classrooms. If students
    enjoy going to school, they will learn better.

37
transferable cognitive skills
  • Cartesian coordinates
  • Negative number
  • Position, speed, acceleration
  • Algebraic variables
  • Relative absolute value
  • Estimation
  • Chance
  • A programming language similar to Visual Basic
  • New unidentified skills for a digital age?

38
Cross curriculum
  • Game programming could be a framework within
    which team skills, music, art, drama, maths,
    history, geography or almost anything could be
    learned. The important feature of the game is its
    power to motivate. Motivation leads to learning.

39
  • The computer is a medium of human expression and
    if it has not yet had its Shakespeares, its
    Michelangelos or its Einsteins, it will. . We
    have scarcely begun to grasp its human and social
    implications.(Papert 1990)

40
TWO WAY WEB
  • webpage
  • Wiki,
  • blog,
  • podcast,
  • videocast,
  • Skypecast,
  • Teamspeak,
  • Ventrilo
  • Flickr
  • Google Video/Youtube

41
Two way web because
  • learners benefit from publication of their
    endeavours
  • learning is a social process, it thrives in a
    community
  • teachers learn from their peers
  • schools should engage with their communities
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