Together with my colleague Diane Wilcox, I am co-editing a collection on educational video and computer games. Below is the call for chapters. Consider contributing or pass the work along to anyone who might be interested. The book is under contract and is scheduled for publication in early 2010.
Design and Implementation of Educational Games: Theoretical and Practical Perspectives
Call for Chapters
a book edited by: Pavel Zemliansky, Ph.D and Diane Wilcox, Ph.D
both James Madison University)
Proposal Due Date: December 15, 2008
To be Published by IGI Global
Introduction to the Subject Area
Video and computer games offer players a high degree of
interactivity, and their popularity among people of different ages is
unquestionable. In recent years educators took notice of this
phenomenon and began integrating games into their teaching. This
increased attention has resulted in the adaptation of some commercially
available video and computer games for educational purposes, as well as
the development of new, "education-specific" games. The use of games
allows teachers and learners to simulate rich multimedia learning
experiences which might otherwise not be possible. It allows learners
to become immersed in "real life-like" environments while affording
their teachers an opportunity to custom-create learning situations,
tasks, and problems. The resulting learning and teaching processes are
problem and project centered, as well as participatory. Both of these
qualities are desirable for creating an active learning environment.
Purpose of the Book
The overall mission of the book is to provide a comprehensive
overview of educational uses of computer and video games, covering both
theoretical and practical aspects of the topic. We would like to look
at educational gaming through the following lenses: rhetoric;
narratology; games as persuasive texts; educational and learning
theories; games as social environments; use of gaming in professional
communication and other professional training; pedagogical practices
for games implementation, and so on. The publication will feature
essays of 8000-10000 words, discussing various topics and issues
pertaining to the theory and practice of educational gaming. We would
like to receive essays which are both theoretical and practical.
However, any discussions of practice of educational game
implementation, such as curricular integration or design issues, should
be grounded in gaming, rhetorical, educational, or other theory.
Audience for the Book
* Teachers in any field where educational gaming is used now or can
be used in the future (science and technology, business, education and
on-the-job training, humanities, and so on)
* Students (both graduate and undergraduate) and trainees in those fields
* Scholars and researchers in gaming theory, communication theory,
rhetoric, business, computer science, graphic design, and related fields
* Managers and in-house company trainers who wish to explore the
potential of games and participatory learning in their programs or
Recommended Content Areas
We suggest the following content areas for submissions, although if contributors have other ideas, we will gladly listen:
* gaming theory
* video and computer games as persuasive "texts"
* design theory
* social aspects of games and gaming
* motivation and games
* the psychological aspects of computer games
* use of 3-D games to develop spatial ability
* game design for different audiences
* educational games for adult learners
* using simulations in professional education and training (government, industry, military, etc.)
* conception, design, and implementation of educational games
* integration of games with the goals and objectives of specific educational curricula and courses
* practical classroom strategies for teaching and learning with games
Prospective authors are invited to submit chapter proposals of
500-600 words on or before December 15, 2008. In their proposal,
prospective authors should clearly explain:
* The purpose and the contents of their proposed chapter
* How their proposed chapter relates to the overall objectives of the book
Authors will be notified of the status of their proposal and sent
chapter organization guidelines by January 15, 2009. Drafts of chapters
will be due by March 31, 2009.
Please send inquiries or submit material electronically (Rich Text files) to both editors at
The book is scheduled to be published by Idea Group Inc., www.idea-group.com,
publisher of the Idea Group Publishing, Information Science Publishing,
IRM Press, CyberTech Publishing, and Idea Group Reference imprints, in
I'll be teaching this in the spring.
Since I don't feel like blogging about work today, I put together a little show about the launch of the space shuttle Discovery I saw ten days ago, using Animoto. I found out about it from Purdue University's Professional Writing Program which has a cool Animoto presentation on its front page.
I am yet to figure out how to make this thing do exactly what I want: seems to me so far that the selection of photos from the list I upload is somewhat random.
saw this live yesterday. pretty cool
These videos about the history of Detroit are simply stunning, and they are produced by undergraduates in a 200 level class. Mind you, these are not film or media arts and design students, they are writing majors who learn to write in new media. Predictably, all three had to do with the urban decline of their city: one was about a grandmother's house that was no longer there; another one was about the decline of the public services in the city; the third one was about an old mental health institution that went into decay.
If someone tells me these videos are not "writing," I don't know what is. They are better than 99% of the "academic" essays I have seen students and "professionals" alike produce. If we do not begin to pay closer attention to this stuff as a department, we will be left behind.
These are short films produced by students about the history of Detroit. Looks like some very extensive research went into these, as well as some pretty sophisticated video work.
- how long did the video projects take?
- what software was used?
- did the students use their own cameras?
- what kinds of lab support did you provide?
- did you have them write the story out first?
- in general, how did you guide them through the process?
- are these videos available online somewhere and can I get a copy?
- finally, I'd love to see the assignment for this, the way it was given to the students, and the assessment criteria. Ideally, I think, I'd want to develop assessment criteria collaboratively with the student, perhaps for each project individually, based on the purposes and audiences for each project, the way the author sees them.
class: introduction to digital media studies
OK, here is one thing that I have had to answer for my colleagues: these video things are just too much pathos-based. I don't buy this at all, but I wonder what the strategy might be for combating this perception.
Here is another good one: a composition class for science and engineering students using new media.
premise: engineers and scientists have to call on visual media to get their message across.
Assignment: explain a process of nature, science, and technology by animating a sequence of images, music, text.
Read Barthes: image/music/text, semiotics. they also read Plato's Cave by Sontag and Ways of Seeing, Truth and Stereotype, by Gombrich
think of science as a system defined by its substance: various kinds of significances that images have.
they used Moviemaker, iMovie, or, in some cases, Adobe Premier.
Then the did a reflective piece about the process.
well, these presentations she is showing are great. And these are composition students in first-year we are talking about. These last project took 2 weeks to complete, from start to finish.
here is a brief rundown of Kathy Yancey's keynote today, as they happen. Oh, the talk is about electronic portfolios and the 21st century literacies.
the talk will not be focused on composition only, instead of surveying the "assessment landscape" using portfolios in general
why is this an "important" moment related to portfolios?
Raschke, Carl: The Digital Revolution:
things are different in higher-ed in many key ways
There are 3 kinds of curricula: delivered, experienced, and lived (outside of the delivered one). they all interlay and intersect. because of web 2.0, the lived one is more robust and alive than ever.
Electronic portfolios are about community, but it is about an intersection of the virtual and the face to face world. Research shows that engagement of students increases when a f2f component is combined with the online one.
what's an eportfolio:
one of the main shifts over the last 30 years is from text to context (new criticism vs. facebook).
all portfolios are evaluative because, every time a student revisits a portfolio, the quality of their work improves.
university of Wolverhampton: e-portfolio is a place to do stuff, not an archive. this way is becomes ongoing. this might be a transition to the "next stage" once the students move on beyond college.
I am a panel devoted to Drupal, presented by Charlie Lowe, Dan Royer, and Dave Blakesley. Here are some key points:
- Drupal is flexible (of course, those of us who use already know that)
- It is useful in teaching because it does not make you spend weeks on "making tables behave"
- When designing the sites, plan and think about your rhetorical situation
- Dave game examples of a professional designer working on a Drupal site, which began with a rhetorical analysis and extensive conversations with the clients before he even began to use Drupal, talking about things like audience, relation of the site to the company it is trying to represent, color schemes, etc.
Dave's tools for Drupal design: Dreamweaver, Firefox plugins: firebug, web developer, IE Tab.
You need a graphics editor, like photoshop, Drupal module called Theme Builder.
virtual private server: liquidweb
Just the slides, not the talk:
I am at the computers and writing conference in Athens, GA, and Jay Bolter is about to begin his keynote talk titled "Open Writing Spaces: Inscription and Technology." Below are some main points and some thoughts on them, as they happen...
- the "heyday of hypertext" seems to be over. the change of what counts as writing and the change in the spaces in which we are writing... the notion of wiring now includes multimedia
- the spaces of writing are opening up, and some of them do not look like writing at all
- writing is hybrid and mobile
the argument used to be that hypertext could be a form of literature and h/text was positioned as an avant-garde of literary movement. it also, of course, "problematized the role of the author."
the literary hypertext movement has failed because it was attached and supplanted by "traditional" literature. the freedom from the author is "contradictory" to the very literary experience, according to critics.
despite the electronic editions, etc., very little has changed in the form of printed books, you'd think that the Internet did not exist if you look at the books being published.
computer games have changed things a bit. Bogust: games are a procedural rhetoric, a way to make claims about "how things work."
examples: September 12. a rhetorical game about the war on terror. has a political position embodied in the game, and you activate that political position by playing the game.
are these games a new kind of writing:
traditional literati think "no."
the writing community has traditional been more open to innovation than the literary community.
Virtual Reality has been replaced by "Augmented reality."
he is focusing now on development of AR experiences for informal education, entertainment, and cultural expression.
a step towards the Holodeck: Facade
an "immersive drama", then there was AR Facade
so, basically, he considers these things writing and composing, although they do not use "written text" in the strictest sense of the word. They are immersive and interactive
this is cool: Oakland cemetery with the audio of the "voices" of the people buried there. they want people to wear a backpack with GPS so that an appropriate audio clip will be played when they get to a certain place.
what would this be good for:
- writing assignment exploring geographies and histories
- community histories, etc.
- add the responses of the users to the original narrative
- location-based audio--use map mashups!
use on historical and cultural sites, suggested by the students themselves.
another example: poems about subway stations in Atlanta when users will hear these poems as they come to a certain station.
We are living through a paradigm shift where we begin to think about reality as not only virtual, but as grounded in physical reality augmented by virtual stuff: think Second Life and MMOGs.
these technologies tie in virtual environments with the communities of practice.
SL: hacked SL to put avatars into physical environments: one thing you do with this is new forms of collaboration.
remediation of lost films in SL.
this is all very far from "traditional" writing, but this is still "inscription" and creativity.
social computing and mobile computing is the second half of the paradigm shift.
the internet is not an abstract cyberspace, but is rather an integration with real life. so, there are these hybrid combinations of the electronic and of the "real."
the social dimension of this is much more important that matters of form, which was the case with the previous attempt at "hypertextualizing" literature.
the community is building its inscriptional practices together (wikipedia). there are limitations, though: these new spaces are not necessarily congenial to all traditional forms of writing. so, its not about the death of the old genres, but rather about the multiplicity of forms that is there now.
Of course, he wasn't, but, this statue on the JMU campus, when viewed from a certain angle and distance, might have you believe that he is holding not a quill, but a dagger.