27 mars 2015

Economics with WoW ended

Yesterday we completed our project in which we have used the game World of Warcraft to teach business administration. Inside the game, we have started a guild that reflects a real company. Investors formed a board that appointed a President. The CEO brought together a management team and the remaining students were employees

The share capital was 68,000 gold and then the income statement was made four months later, we had a profit of 11,755g

In addition to the invested capital, investors also received dividends and salary employees on work performed.

With our mentor's advice, we have concentrate on different products, with the area's responsibility to see if we can increase the invested capital. We have had some communication misses and the latest expansion corresponded in many cases not the expectations why some lost inspiration to play. 

We have been practicing it important to be able to run your own real company. All of our students have not previously been interested in economics but feel that the game helped them to understand economics better. The project's mentor was satisfied with the project because it proved to be an easier way to learn on than many times a textbook. World of Warcraft proved to be a good sandbox.

Important lessons for us teachers:
  • The teacher in the game must have the same rights (or options to check) that the appointed CEO. Personal responsibility does not work as good as hoped.
  • The teacher outside the game must gather participants every two weeks, like one hour: to repeat, reflect and remind the project goal.

Why did it work?
Using a computer game (in this case, World of Warcraft) differs from traditional teaching in the classroom. Suddenly we have gained access to a concrete case in which our students can perform financial transactions that affect their way of understanding how financial markets work from a digital, social and educational content that both affect and are important to them. 

By the digital world as World of Warcraft adds, we can execute trades in a way that had not been possible with just paper and pencil because there already exists an economic system in the game that students are very interested (third level of SAMR: Modification).

Even beyond our educational mission is the project idea is already alive and exist, it creates entirely new conditions that would not be possible in a regular classroom situation (fourth stage of SAMR: Redefinition).

The trade that students make in the game affect other players who are not part of the task, which makes their actions have a greater impact than just within the school framework. This in turn means that students take greater responsibility and understand that every action has a consequence on other players, just as it is in the financial market where all the transfers have consequences.

13 mars 2015

Minecraft & SAMR

My daughter Vera (Minecraft: AquaVera) goes in pre-school and the teachers use the old fashion, more traditional way of teaching. I still think they are trying to do the best possible, after their circumstances (no computers). Now when they have a project to build the kids own houses with cardboard they're also out, walking to see how everyone lives. I also believe young people needs a mix of learning methods, but as she anyway had this project and she wanted us to play Minecraft we agreed it could be awesome to build our house (and apartment) inside the game. 

Suddenly, while building our house it hit me, I'm using the SAMR model: what can I learn from this? 

These are my conclusions as I have come to when using Minecraft instead of cardboard house project. SAMR is based on the technology to improve or transform (four steps) way to learn and to define the data. And the picture is from EdTechVoice.

We replace paper and pencil with technology.

We build our house and apartment in Minecraft, the technology works as a direct replacement for other tools, with functional improvement (to be built and watch it in 3D at scale, etc). I started with the foundation and after building a wall, she understood where we were and what we were going to build.


We have went out and taken pictures of the house in order to re-create the best possible way, the technology also makes it possible to major changes in approach (of our build).  

The collage of images above are some of the nearly 40 she took when we were out and thought about how we make the model better.

AquaVera has filmed how our house looks like and together we have shoot inside Minecraft to show our build. The technology enables tasks that are not possible without technology. 

We have together been thinking what we had learned, when and why. 

Vera told me, as a result of taking pictures of our house (phase 3) she has a better idea how to paint the cardboard project and from phase 4 she now has an idea how to create her model so it look as our flat. You could say she has become better at analyzing information and that's her learning. Build phase was fun, but we've done that before.

In both cases she looking forward to play with the models, both methods are in her opinion fun and gives her different points of view. Young people need both variety and help to evaluate their newfound knowledge.

I have learned that from small steps be able to see a whole picture and how I can then use the experience in other contexts. Also, this particular type of discussion is the most important in the educational development. 

It creates insights, it creates confidence to teachers / trainers, it enhances learning for students. This type of discussion is in my experience the essence of educational development!