Sunday, 26 November 2017 17:34

Civilization Series

Main screen

The "Civilization" computer game series is a creation of Sid Meier,a well known digital video game producer and creator.

All games in the series follow the same pattern. These are strategy games in which the player is asked to take on a historical culture and develop his imaginary empire through the different periods of the past and of the future (Sakic & Varga, 2015). The player is called upon to exploit the natural resources in the game, to enter into trade agreements with other cultures, to build cities, to conduct warfare in order to show his culture as the strongest in the game (Squire, 2008).
 
The first "Civilization" was released to the public in 1991 and since then 13 different versions of the game have been released as well as many expansion packs for existing expansion packs. Although the 1991 version does not seem particularly complicated in our eyes today, it was pioneering, as at that time the resources available for developing digital computer games were limited due to the limited number of personal computer owners, making it a benchmark due to complexity in comparison with Sid Meier's Civilization (The Complete evolution Timeline, 2017).
civ 6
In 1994 and 1995 Colonization and CivNet became available respectively. It is worth mentioning this unique version of CivNet, which, when watching the internet come in tersely in the homes added the option of online game play among users (Civilization Series, 2017). As the years passed and the computers evolved in relation to the capabilities they provided so the series improved and gained more data. 1996 was the year of Civilization II, and in 2001 at the dawn of the 21st Century Civilization III was released. Now with computers being part of the public's entertainment, the need for optimal graphics and better online connectivity between players led to the creation of Civilization IV, which was distinguished by an improved system of intelligence technician (Famularo, 2016) requiring a more sophisticated perception and behavior (Wainwright, 2014). With the massive entry of smart phones into the market, there has been a need to create games that are compatible with these mobile devices. So 2009 was the first time a game of the Civilization series revolutionized, as it was developed in addition to personal computers on the Wii, Xbox 360 and mobile devices running Windows and IOS (Civilization Revolution, n.d). Then, in 2010, Civilization V came in, which introduced a large-scale three-dimensional representation of the game's objects (Civilization Series, 2017), while the battle system evolved rapidly as it demanded a more strategic and sophisticated approach by users (Famularo, 2016). The corresponding version of the Android-powered mobile game came in 2011. The latest and most complete version currently available for sale is "Civilization VI", which features detailed graphical representations, a wealth of variety of features and options, developed intelligence system, an inexpensive online gaming experience, and a host of other improvements that have come to enhance the most successful strategy game series for 25 years (Civilization Series, 2017 ).
 
Educational background
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that various teachers, considering their potential educational potential, attempted to introduce them to the classroom first with Squire's leading researcher in the field of educational games Squire in 2005 (Sakic & Varga, 2015), efforts which ultimately led to the development of a clean "CivilizationEdu", which is expected in the end of 2017 and will include, beyond the game, instructions, tips and educational videos to teachers s to use it to enhance their teaching (Frank, 2016).
Civ Education Edition

Bibliography
Šakic, M. & Varga, V. (2015, September) VIDEO GAMES AS AN EDUCATION TOOL. Paper presented at the Sixth International Conference on e-Learning (eLearning-2015),
Sid Meier's Civilization: The Complete Evolution Timeline (2017). https://inside.worldgaming.com/sid-meiers-civilization-evolution-timeline/ ">Retrieved October 1, 2017, by https://inside.worldgaming.com/sid-meiers-civilization-evolution-timeline/

Squire, K.D. (2008). Video games and education: Designing learning systems for an interactive age. Educational Technology. 48 (20). 17-26
Familaro, J. (2016) The Evolution of 'Civilization' Over 25 Years One of the gaming's classic franchises continues to conquer. https://www.inverse.com/article/22373-civilization-">Retrieved October 1, 2017, by https://www.inverse.com/article/22373-civilization-

Published in Video Games
Friday, 24 November 2017 12:23

Minecraft

Create magnificent scenes

Minecraft is a building game in which the user is called within its virtual world to place and customize bricks (or as they are called in this game, Blocks) and materials to build constructions that can be functional or not. The user also has to choose from a series of playable scenarios that are distinguished in creative, adventure and survival modes and can also chose to play alone or with others in the multiplayer mode (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015). The particularly useful scenario of creativity is one that provides the greatest potential for educational use as players have unlimited materials to develop the constructions they desire, without being limited by drawbacks such as slow movement from one place to another or the risk their virtual character experiences death, like it happens in the survival mode (Overby & Jones, 2015).

The nature of the game that involves the player in problems with various objects that interact with his decisions, the plethora of choices the user allows, the freedom of movement and choices from the creation of the character to the development of the constructions, puts him in the place of the creator and not just the consumer, resulting in Minecraft being a tool that contains many of the elements of constructivism theories (Overby & Jones, 2015; Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015), redefining it as a highly lucrative and benefitial application to any class (Petrov, 2014).

The game is extremely easy to install and can even work on computer systems or mobile devices with low limited infrastructure, although the multiplayer mode obviously requires internet access (Overby & Jones, 2015; Nebel, Schneider & Rey , 2015). The offered actions that can be implemented in the world are varied and can be used to enhance various teaching subjects such as arts, environmental sensitivity, architecture, mechanics, physics, mathematics and history. (Petrov , 2014; Overby & Jones, 2015).

Minecraft is linked to many different learning theories

The benefits associated with the use of Minecraft for educational purposes are a lot. The most important are that Minecraft is linked with the development of students' critical thinking, enhancing creativity, and fostering digital literacy in an environment with increased motivation (Petrov, 2014 (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015). If used in an online environment that allows multi-player involvement, it increases student collaboration and teamwork since it operates as a tool of social constructivism (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015).

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that there is also an educational version of Minecraft available, MinecraftEDU, which provides the appropriate tools for teachers to evaluate student-player moves, easier game management, and a range of other objects to smoothly adapt to the learning process (Nebel, Schneider & Rey, 2015).

Find more at https://minecraft.net/

Bibliography

Nebel, S., Schneider, S., & Rey, G. D. (2016). Mining Learning and Crafting Scientific Experiments: A Literature Review on the Use of Minecraft in Education and Research. Educational Technology & Society, 19 (2): 355-366.

Overby, A. & Jones, B. L. (2015). Virtual LEGOs: Incorporating Minecraft Into the Art Education Curriculum. Art Education, 68 (1), 21-27.

Petrov, A. (2014). Using Minecraft in Education: A Qualitative Study on the Benefits and Challenges of Game-Based Education (Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation). University of Toronto, Canada.

Published in Video Games
Friday, 24 November 2017 10:39

Quizizz

Eyes on the board please!

The integration and exploitation of technology in in recent years takes place through pleasant environments of learning, collaboration and authenticity. Such an environment is the Quizizz. It requires the student's active engagement and the emergence of a learning experience that no longer relies on the sterile knowledge of the content. The use of such tool keeps students' interest and commitment to acquiring new information (The effect of Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017).

Quizizz is a free learning application designed for mobile phones that uses wireless handhelds to collect student responses and then show the results in the classroom while collecting direct feedback by answering questions posed by the educator (Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017). The teacher selects a quiz that has been structured for the particular subject of interest and then provides a pin for the students. Students then use the pin and the questions appear on their mobile devices. They are required to answer a timeframe predetermined by the teacher. Questions appear randomly to each student, and then the learner observes the results of the choice he/she made (Boulden, Hurt & Richardson, 2017). The total results are also shown at the interactive whiteboard with the help of the teacher’s computer and a projector.

Students play together, but each at their own pace. Gamfication elements like avatars, leaderboard and funny memes add to the fun. At the end of the game, the educator receives detailed class and student-level reports to understand where the pupils need help.

Instructions on quizizz

Pedagogical background:

It is a tool based on behavioral learning theory as learning through quizizz is done with specific activities to achieve goals that are designed by the teacher (Learning Theories, n.d.). Thus, the student is not in control of the application since the teacher is the creator. As far as the evaluation of the learner is concerned, the behavioral patterns are also followed, since the results of the quiz appear at the scoreboard.

Effects on the learning process:

By studying the positive results in the learning process, many pedagogical benefits are attributed to Quizizz. Students perceive commitment and acquire a different perception of learning as their motives multiply (The effect of Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017). Studies show increased collaborative learning and engagement as well as increased learning outcomes (Boulden, Hurt & Richardson, 2017). Then the concentration of children in the process increases as well as their active engagement (The effect of Kahoot, Quizizz, 2017). As far as the teacher is concerned, the contribution of the tool is to control the level of understanding or lack of knowledge through the feedback system provided at the end of the process.

In conclusion one could imply that the inclusion of games and technological tools offers all the resources to students for communication, contact and collaboration. In the context of teaching, the tools that technology has provided us, ensures a more extensive and cost-effective exploratory work on the subject of teaching (Cardet, 2013).

Create your own Quizizz at http://quizizz.com

Bibliography

Boulden, D. C., Hurt, J. W., & amp; Richardson, M. K. (2017). Implementing Digital Tools to Support Student Questioning Abilities: A Collaborative Action Research Report. I.E .: Inquiry In Education, 9 (1), 1.

CARDET (2013). Authentic Learning. Report within the project Developing Authentic Learning Environments through School and Business Collaboration. Nicosia: CARDET Press.

The effect of Kahoot, Quizizz and Google Forms on student perception in the classroom response system. (2017). 2017 International Conference on Digital Arts, Media and Technology (ICDAMT), Digital Arts, Media and Technology (ICDAMT), International Conference on, 178

Published in Gamification
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 21:28

Kahoot

 

Games in education are the teacher’s weapon to try and involve students in activities that combine the element of fun and learning with a meaning. Mobile devices have reshaped the way of teaching and have created new opportunities towards this approach.

This article will present one of the most useful tools, Kahoot! which combines beautiful graphical representations and sounds, turns the classroom into a playroom, with the teacher being the "show" coordinator and the students to be the contestants (Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016). Students are asked to give the appropriate answer to the current question they are dealing with using their mobile devices and according to their responses they earn points that rank them in a rating scale (Wang, 2015).

A Kahoot! is a collection of questions on specific topics. Create a fun learning game in minutes – called ‘kahoot’. The format and number of questions are entirely up to you. Add videos, images and diagrams to your questions to amplify engagement and make learning so fun that your students will literals beg to be assessed

 

The benefits that Kahoot offers! in the learning process are many, but in summary, one could claim that it transforms the learning process into a more efficient and productive one (Katyshev, n.d.). The ease with which students receive feedback individually on their devices promotes self-evaluation, while the teacher's report on the distribution of student responses gives him the opportunity to identify potential gaps, make further analysis as well as explanation of the right choices (Katyshev, nd; Wang, 2015; Dellos, 2015; Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016). Besides, as Dellos (2015) points out, creating the conditions for a comfortable environment for feedback in their responses without the stress of evaluation is critical to assimilation of knowledge. The user-friendly interface is also enhanced by the fact that there is no need to download a separate application, although there is such a possibility, since the game can be played through any web browser (Katyshev, n.d.). Even the existence of the scoring system exploits the innate tendency of man to compete, effectively giving players an incentive to improve the position on the ranking board (Katyshev, Wang, 2015; Fotaris, Mastoras, Leinfellner & Rosunally, 2016)

 Being a system of responding to student choices in a pre-created game of questions by Professor (Dellos, 2015) and according to the foregoing, it is concluded that this application is largely a behavioral tool in which the right options have been set beforehand and students are asked to identify them, ultimately leading to the reward of this desirable option. Of course, if used in ways other than the above, it has the potential to become a tool of social constructivism

If used properly, It has the potential to create a social, fun and game-like learning environment.

Visit http://create.kahoot.it to make your own quizzes using Kahoot! or discover Kahoots! made by others

Bibliography

Dellos, R. (2015). Kahoot! A digital game resource for learning. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 12 (4), 49-52.

Fotaris P, Mastoras T, Leinfellner R and Rosenally Y (2016). Climbing Up the Leaderboard: An Empirical Study of Applying Gaming Techniques to a Computer Programming Class. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 14 (2), 94-110.

Katyshev, V. (2005). Effective Educational Use of Kahoot. Retrieved October 13, 2017, from https://meantechtools.wikispaces.com/file/view/Kahoot%20description%20of%20use%20new.pdf/541271970/Kahoot%20description%20of%20use%20new.pdf

Wang, A. I. (2015). The wear out effect of a game-based student response system. Computers & Education, 82, 217-227.

Published in Gamification