Gaming/Virtual Environments

SmartGraphs: Algebra

The Concord Consortium has developed 19 Smartgraphs: Algebra coveractivities for teaching and learning algebra that are available online or as an app for iPad or Android tablet computers. These activities—which cover a variety of algebra topics, from linear equations to transformations of functions—help students develop skills creating and using algebraic functions and graphs to solve problems.

Author/Presenter: 
The Concord Consortium
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2014
Short Description: 

The Concord Consortium has developed 19 activities for teaching and learning algebra that are available online or as an app for iPad or Android tablet computers. These activities—which cover a variety of algebra topics, from linear equations to transformations of functions—help students develop skills creating and using algebraic functions and graphs to solve problems. Hints and scaffolds support learners who need help.

Using Immersive Virtual Worlds to Support Learning of Ecosystems Science and Complex Causality

Day: 
Wed

This session seeks feedback on hands-on experiences for learning causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities in an immersive virtual ecosystem, including exploring potential opportunities for expanding the curriculum.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)

EcoMUVE (ecomuve.gse.harvard.edu) is a middle school science curriculum in which students explore an immersive virtual ecosystem and learn its causal dynamics through collaborative inquiry activities. In one experience, students explore a virtual pond and its biodiversity, traveling in time to see changes over the course of a virtual summer. They discover a fish kill and are tasked with figuring out why it happened. In another experience, students explore population dynamics and predator-prey relationships over 50 years in a virtual forest.

Navigating to NGSS Success: Identifying a Research Agenda

Day: 
Wed

Leaders of three DR K-12 projects identify successful instructional strategies for using technology-enhanced curriculum materials, games, and models to achieve the NGSS practices.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session

The media, the public, and, indeed, many teachers have significantly criticized the introduction of the Common Core, citing concerns such as that it overcomplicates simple topics, diminishes innovation, and ignores equity issues. Following the recent introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), we need compelling examples and powerful research to prevent premature criticism and ensure successful implementation.

A Grand Opportunity: Synergy and Interoperability Across Educational Games and Simulations

Day: 
Wed

Join this lively, interactive discussion examining the opportunities for coordinating work in games and simulations. Discuss and plan embedding, data capture/analytics, customization, and more!

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The advent of today’s widespread educational technology presents some new and exciting opportunities. Models and simulations can be easily embedded in other content. Research is exploring the use of simulations and games for novel assessment purposes. Technologies—especially HTML5 technologies—are making formerly unprecedented learning possible. This moment is unique, and as educational designers and researchers, we should be making the most of it and ensure that our work is aligned for maximum synergy.

The Design and Findings of a Random-Controlled Trial for a Successful Game-Based Mathematics Intervention

Day: 
Tues

Join a discussion about designing and testing the effects of game-based products that facilitate middle school student learning of math concepts.

Date/Time: 
1:45 pm to 3:45 pm
2014 Session Types: 
Feedback Session (Work in Post-development)
Session Materials: 

The goal of this session is to assist other project teams in the design and testing of game-based mathematics products. The session includes a discussion of recently completed randomized control trials of the Math Snacks games. Participants leave with concrete ideas on designing and testing e-learning products designed for classroom use with a focus on middle school concepts.

Meaningful Support for Teachers: Specific Ways to Encourage Game-Based Learning in the Classroom

Day: 
Tues

Panelists from three projects share lessons learned in guiding game use in classroom learning, highlighting specific examples of effective resources.

Date/Time: 
9:45 am to 11:45 am
2014 Session Types: 
Collaborative Panel Session
Session Materials: 

The three panelists in this session are in the last one or two years of their game-based learning projects, and all have done extensive work in supporting use of their games in classroom learning. As their work has progressed, each has discovered valuable ways to support teachers as well as encountered surprises in what teachers wanted (and didn’t want), and now recognize things they wished they had learned in the beginning of their projects. Session participants leave with recommendations they can use in their current projects, including:

A Drake's Tale: Genetics Software Gets a Lift from Gaming

Author/Presenter: 
Frieda Reichsman
Trudi Lord
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 

Many of us learned about dominant and recessive genes in a humdrum high school biology class. Some of us may still recognize the terms and symbols twenty or thirty years later—are your eyes bb or Bb? But, as it turns out, a very small number of traits in humans and other animals, plants, amoeba … you name it … involve the dominance mechanism of a single gene with just two alleles. (An allele is a variation of a gene, like the B or b in the above example.) The more biologists discover about the mechanisms of inheritance, the fewer traits we can point to that involve only one gene or can be illustrated using a simple Punnett square. In fact, biologists are compiling information about our genes at an astounding rate. As the process of sequencing DNA improves, the science of biology is dramatically changing.

Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity (KATE) Project: An Examination of Virtual Classroom Simulation Approaches

More specifically the objectives of this presentation are to:

  1. Describe the design and start-up of a 5-year NSF funded project that focuses on the design, development, and testing of technology-enriched teacher preparation strategies to address equity in algebra learning for all students.
  2. Describe experiences and perceptions of preservice teachers (PST) and graduate students serving as middle grade student (MGS) avatars, following engagement and simulations in a virtual classroom setting in Second Life.
Author/Presenter: 
Trina Davis
Irving Brown
Gerald Kulm
Chih-Feng Chien
Glenn Phillips
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2012
Short Description: 

In this paper, we present an overview of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Knowledge for Algebra Teaching for Equity (KATE) Project and experiences from preservice teachers who are preparing for teaching middle grades mathematics. We highlight findings from a preliminary analysis of the effectiveness of virtual simulations of problem-based teaching of algebra concepts in enhancing preservice teachers' knowledge and skill in teaching diverse students.

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