Dessislava Boshnakova

Owner - Manager, ROI Communication

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create a team within our TED community working on ideas that can became educational games.

What do we want to teach our kids - globally?
Who can give us background information - facts and figures?
Do you want to became part of that team - and creating projects about educational games?

  • Mar 13 2011: I would like to suggest using MIT's Scratch - scratch.mit.edu - as a useful tool for testing out educational game ideas. Scratch is easy enough to use that folks with no programming experience can learn how to build games and interactive applications with Scratch in a relatively short amount of time. Scratch also gives users a free space on the Scratch site to upload their applications. All uploaded applications are also published with source code to encourage others to 'remix' the application.

    You can check out an experimental math game I created for my students at:

    scratch.mit.edu/projects/webstermath/1436268.
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    Feb 16 2011: I have an edutainment game idea

    So anybody who wants to help me with it is welcome.

    "Save the planet, save your allowance ; An integrated domestic edutainment game"

    The basis is simple: we couple the energy that enters a house (the electricity meter, or 'smart grid' data) to a game-platform (like this Conversations, but with more level up and graphic things).

    As such, any kid can play this game: the more energy he saves around the house (turning of lights & stand-by modes,...) the more XP he get's for his character.

    As a bonus, the energy bills of the parents go down. As such, the kid can be rewarded with the money saved (he ought to)
    => While playing, one learns to understand energy use and conservation, becoming eco-minded. By earning the money, the kid becomes entrepreneurial. And planet and parents profit from it as well

    We might need Jane Mcgonigal involved in this too ;-) http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world.html

    This can be extended to gas and water consumption, adding 'things to improve' quests

    Note: this game needs to be designed to be adaptable to multiplayer mode.

    Any people ready for a startup?
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      • Mar 12 2011: I like Christian's idea and I like Marks expansion on it. Mark is right, XP would be too extraneous a reward. They need to see what they have actually done. In any case I think it should be more involved in reality than on a server.

        If its worldwide the participants in the game could connect with others throughout the world and come up with new ideas on how to save energy. They should be rewarded in some way for connecting with others and coming up with ideas. After all, real issues are not solved by one man alone. These kids should learn that early and have it built into them how to form communities.
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        Mar 13 2011: Thanks Mark and Briannin for the imput.
        (all others too of course)
        It does complicate the way of designing it, doesn't it? so how show the complexity of the 'real' positive impact you are having?

        But if you could help me figure out the details: would be great.
        (now I only need an entrepreneur, programmer, game-designer, electricity expert and some funding) ;-)
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      Feb 18 2011: The idea is great. What do you need to get started? And do you think that the game can be made in different languages?
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        Mar 12 2011: project light warrior ( google it ) is another project which wants to bring the nature of the "other side" of conspiracies about reality to the commoner ;)
    • Mar 12 2011: I saw the video. The games she was talking about weren't even games. They were forums.
      • Mar 12 2011: Just because they're forums doesn't mean they aren't games too. Text based role playing games is hardly news, and though they might not be very popular anymore, they're still very much games and relevant in this discussion.

        What type of game it is doesn't really matter in initial steps of research of this form. In fact, I think that type of game is a perfect fit for early experiments, as it's cheap, easy to maintain and very barebones.
        • Mar 14 2011: What I was trying to say was that those games aren't gonna be played as games. Are you a gamer? If you are you would know how absurd this idea is. You think people would play math games when they have world of warcraft? ever? I don't. You can't make a fun educational game.

          Nobody really goes through an epic win very often. They might once in a while when they play strategy games but in games like world of warcraft you just play for levels, not epic wins. Plus you feel good while playing but bad afterwards.
      • Mar 14 2011: I think you're view of gaming is odd and completely wrong. I am indeed a gamer myself, and yes, math based games is definitely something I think people would play if done right.

        Stating that "you feel good while playing but bad afterwards" is something that is completely alien to me, and to me seems that you have a really odd relationship to games and continue to spit out bold statements based on nothing (such as "You can't make a fun educational game", which in fact is wrong, as I've played fun educational games).
        • Mar 14 2011: You might have played a fun educational game but you probably played a noneducational game that's better.

          You might be right about me having a wrong and weird view towards games but statistics show that it has a negative effect on the brain

          Plus the education will most likely come in the form of hard facts, not critical thinking.
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      Mar 13 2011: I'm up for it! And I can translate, too :)
      The idea to use games in education is great and it is something that kids today use and understand more than just sitting at the table and reading from a textbook. I'm a trainer also, and my team and I use different kinds of games - both with kids and adults, and they really work, everybody likes them.
      And games are not "just" games or entertainment. Jane McGonigal clearly pointed out that while playing a game, we experience a lot more than just fun. We just don't tend to look at it that way. While some of them may not be educational (although I wouldn't agree, even in the "stupid" games you learn something, or at least something about yourself), I don't think that formal (textbook) education is sufficient in the world today. What about social and emotional skills? Collaboration? It's not games per se that teach kids, it's the dynamics of games. And the content can really be anything we want to teach them.
      I suggest another great talk on the subject: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/seth_priebatsch_the_game_layer_on_top_of_the_world.html
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    Mar 30 2011: I think educational games need to become more interactive and visual based, but also thought provoking and mature at the same time. I've been designing a new type of social network that is based on a new engine I've designed that does just that. Plan on showcasing it at TED in London :)
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    Mar 13 2011: Our kids are surrounded by so much information today that we need a better way of helping them be able to focus on a primary one thing first. The average attention span of our children is growing shorter and shorter. Our biggest battle will be not what to teach our children but how to teach them in a way that will keep their attention and cultivate the "want to know more".
    I think games are one great way to go. In my experiences as an after school site director I used team building games, outdoor activities, and job related activities to keep the attention of my high school students. Part of what most of these kids needed was to know that they mattered and that people do care about them.
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    Mar 13 2011: i have a game. it's simple and already out in the hive mind of global communities. chess. the challenge is access to chess boards and pieces. plastic ones are polluting, and often expensive. i've designed an 8 x 11 (think sheet of stiff paperstock cardboard at the back of a legal pad) the vector file is sent to any desktop printer in the world. the kids simply print out the 8x11 board with the 10 rules and how to on the back and cut out the pieces. the pieces have little cut out cross stands like paper dolls do. instant affordable chess.

    a fancier version is thin wood stock that get lasered. it's massed produced, light and can be shipped anywhere in the world for a few pennies. i've approached oliver hess TED Fellow and Principal of Didier Hess. he thought it was a fantastic idea and has some of his fabricators in LA looking at how to create it.

    I'm also spoke with John Werman of citizenschools to drop these templates into his school system.

    chess teaches three dimensional thinking, critical thinking skills, sportsmenship, math, etc.

    the media campaign along with it would be "Be a Queen" or "Be a King" The overall idea is called "Chesster" as in jester and chess.

    any thoughts?

    matt
  • Mar 12 2011: i do belives this issue deserves a lot of attentions.
    i would love to come back and read more about it.
    generally i think that becouse childrens in education system are expected to learn more thay neglect the abillity to improve other skilles. when lern a certien skill a person is being empowered and obtain a succesful exprience.
    in studies what replace this expirience is succeeding a tests. after the tast is done this new knowledge lead to advenced knowledge and advenced test.
    it could be difficult for a game designer to create a game that would last a whole kid studying period enthusiastic.

    what i suggest instead, is to encoruge the new 'gamers' to expirience a whole range of correlations with generating thoghts and processing information.
    i belive that a kid that learned something would be thrilled to teach another child, and that a group of kids sent to explore a certain area whould love to show their findings and to share information.
    this is mearly a game solution but more of an interactive studies with other students.

    also i think that when the platform will be available it will almost run on its own and we as adults will have a lot to learn from and only than we'll be abale to realy ask.. What do we want to teach our kid?
    and yes. i would love to be part of such team very much :)
    thank you..
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    Mar 12 2011: Using the platform of Shakespeare, there are several plays in the Cannon that would make great video games, Macbeth, Hamlet, Merchant Of Venice, King Lear and Romeo and Juliet to name a few. While teaching history and drama they would also act as a vehicle for an entertaining game which like it or not is the forum of this generation. The games are designed in such a way that learning is built in in order to progress forward to the next level.
  • Mar 12 2011: This is a terrible idea. Are you sure gaming is time better spent than studying. Most games that are popular are popular because they are addictive. Not educational. Plus gaming uses less parts of the brain than reading or just doing nothing. The future you dream of has a lot more stupid people that know stuff they learned from gaming. The future I dream of has smart people who are well educated and plentiful in creativity.

    What I'm trying to say is that gaming and education are opposite elements. If gaming teaches people, it's not gonna do a very good job. It's sacrificing true intelligence for easily obtainable facts done in a different fashion.
    • Mar 12 2011: Are you stating that gaming use less parts of the brain than doing nothing at all? I'm sorry, but to make such extraordinary claims I think you better back that up with some sources.

      I also think that you're notion that games and education are opposite elements is plain wrong. In fact, I recommend that you listen so Salman Khans speech from this years TED, where among other things, he mentions that something as simple as gaming's ideas of highscores and achievements is proving very efficient. I don't think that there are any reasons to think that other elements of gaming is worthless.

      In the end, gaming is about simulation of real world elements. Personally I think that to believe that we can't use that to teach is absurd, as it already is a vital part of education today and always has been.
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    Feb 15 2011: In my country, one thing missing from our education system is Game. We expect kids to go to school and immediately getting engaged in serious things and learn in have academic way. Education should be fun as well. I am sure kid will learn through games much easily.

    I am a consultant and during my trainings I often use games. Adults just enjoy playing all types of games and then reflecting what they have learned. So kids will definitly appreciate it initiation ...
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      Feb 18 2011: I am a trainer to and I also use games. But schools do not. That is the problem. And in my country there are to educational games for kids and if kids do not speak English - they play games, with no educational content.