Cómo la tecnología de código abierto ha reducido los costes de la educación

Cómo la tecnología de código abierto ha reducido los costes de la educación

Habitualmente encontramos casos en los que las escuelas compran sistemas de tecnología muy costosos con el objetivo de mejorar el entorno tecnológico de la escuela. Tablets, pizarras interactivas y software educativo son las opciones más demandadas. Sin embargo, en la mayoría de los casos, asumir el alto coste de estas tecnologías es algo complicado y realmente innecesario. Existen otro tipo de alternativas gratuitas o de bajo coste muy apropiadas para la educación que pueden encontrarse investigando poco sobre el tema.

Según un artículo de eSchool News, a pesar de que las escuelas hayan aumentado considerablemente la presencia de la tecnología en sus entornos, aún siguen siendo vulnerables a las caras y complicadas aplicaciones comerciales. Si se alejasen de este tipo de aplicaciones y utilizaran tecnologías y software libre o de código abierto, las escuelas podrían reducir considerablemente los costes de su infraestructura tecnológicamanteniendo todas las funcionalidades y ventajas de las aplicaciones caras.

Algunas aplicaciones de software libre están empezando a extenderse en las escuelas y centros de educación superior tanto privados como públicos de todo el mundo. Linux(principalmente Ubuntu), LibreOfficeOpenOffice.org, (como sustituto de Microsoft Office) y Moodle (herramienta para la gestión de tareas como exámenes, entrega de trabajos, distribución de las actividades y discusiones en línea) son algunas de las opciones más utilizadas por las organizaciones e instituciones que no pueden comprar licencias a gran escala.

Open source school

Los expertos aseguran que optar por estas alternativas de software libre puede generar unahorro sustancial. Además, escoger este tipo de software puede influir de forma positiva también en la productividad de los alumnos y profesores, que podrán instalar el mismo software en sus dispositivos personales. Esto también asegura una igualdad de oportunidades para todos y cada uno de los estudiantes, con independencia de su capacidad adquisitiva.

Por otro lado, la utilización de software libre hará que los estudiantes desarrolla habilidades en la toma de decisiones a la hora de elegir entre tecnologías comerciales u otras de código abierto. Los alumnos dejarán de depender por completo del software comercial, y también estarán más alejados de otras opciones como la piratería de software de pago y la violación de licencias.

La investigación sobre la aplicación del software libre en las escuelas también ha demostrado el éxito de esta alternativa. En 2011 se llevo a cabo un estudio en la Universidad de Hawaii-Monoa en el que participaron estudiantes y profesores de matemáticas. Se les proporcionó ordenadores portátiles con Ubuntu Linux como sistema operativo, Open Office, Firefox, y software libre matemático más específico (PSPP, Freemind y Kig).

Después de seis meses se realizó una encuesta a los participantes para evaluar su experiencia. Un 60% aseguró haber tenido una experiencia positiva, frente a un 20% neutral y un 20% de participantes descontentos. Las experiencias positivas hacían referencia a los beneficios de una amplia gama de software libre disponible, la facilidad de configuración de dispositivos periféricos, la velocidad de computación, y las características de los equipos. En cambio, las opiniones negativas aludían a la incompatibilidad con Windows o software OSX y la falta de un servicio de soporte técnico con experiencia.

Por el momento, son muchas las escuelas que aún están desinformadas sobre el potencial de las tecnologías libres. Muchas de las herramientas de código abierto disponibles no logran llegar a este público. Además, para que las escuelas comiencen a adoptar estas tecnologías hacen falta más datos e investigaciones sobre la eficacia de este tipo de software. Por lo tanto, es el momento de predicar los beneficios del software libre.

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Analyzing Game: Serious Games Design Assessment Framework

Here you will find how Eric Klopfer introduces Dr. Konstantin Mitgutsch of Playful Solutions and his Serious Games Design Assessment Framework for analyzing serious games (1:11). They go on to compare other game design frameworks, and discuss the importance of purpose, coherence and engagement in creating a great game (3:19).

The Serious Games Design Assessment Framework will provide some factors to consider as you reflect on some of the games we have discussed this week.  It will also be helpful as you begin to consider ideas for your course project.

From: MIT Ed Tech

Regards

Case Study part III:Designing Zoombinis

Hi, in this video, Scot Osterweil, and Eric Klopfer talk about how Zoombinis came to life, reflecting on the importance of an iterative playtesting process involving kids (3:21), as well the problems that emerge from the strict categorization of games (5:35).

By MIT máster “Ed Tech”

Games as Experiences

Prof. Sasha Barab of the Center for Games for Impact at Arizona State University and Eric Klopfer consider games as experiences, and the nature of how we draw meaning from gameplay. Sasha explores the importance of a game’s story on how players interact with each other outside of the game (5:14). 

As you watch this video, think about some powerful moments playing games in your own life (not necessarily digital!) and moments of great learning. Are there ways to marry the two? How are they similar or dissimilar? What are the conversations that could have or did emerge from both?”

By MIT EdTech Máster

Regards

https://youtu.be/DRi2TyNQDdw

Videogame Case Study Part I: Math Blaster

Dear reader. Here is an excellent chat, this is part of one of my classes at MIT, and I want to share with you

Prof. Eric Klopfer and Scot Osterweil, Creative Director of the Education Arcade at MIT, play and discuss aspects of the computer game MathBlaster. Scot explains how “edutainment games” like MathBlaster are not designed to help students who are struggling with the concepts (5:25). Eric then talks about the importance of substantive feedback for student learning (7:31).

https://youtu.be/vrZbj65Awf4

Regards

Julia

How to make a game 3: What, Then, Should We Be Doing?

card game solitaire

Picture by: cardgamesolitaire.com

Again, nobody’s having issues with meaningful decisions in multiplayer games — it’s single player games that are proving to be the issue here, so that’s what I’ll be addressing. Firstly, for any single-player game, you simply have to have random elements.

If your game doesn’t have randomness, then it has a correct answer, and if it has a correct answer, then there aren’t meaningful decisions for a player to make (it more closely resembles a puzzle as described above). Further, if you care about having any meaningful decisions, then “losing” has to exist in some form, and having several flavors of winning doesn’t count!

Many of you who know about the dungeon-crawling genre known as “roguelikes” might know that they are one of the last defenders of this sort of play in a single-player game. The internet podcast Roguelike Radio recently had a show topic called “Roguelike Features in Other Genres” (listen to this episode here).

I was a guest on this episode, and I predicted that we were going to start seeing more and more quote-unquote “roguelike” features in all genres of single-player games. Not because of how great roguelikes are, but because roguelikes don’t own concepts like “permadeath” (which just means, losing) and randomization at all — up until the 1990s, all games had these qualities.

Here’re a few examples of single-player games that do, in my view, have meaningful decisions.

Klondike (the solitaire card game that came with Windows, which we often just refer to as “solitaire”) is a solid example of a single-player game that has real meaningful decisions. I’ve been playing the game a long time myself, and while it might not be clear to some who’ve only played a handful of games, I notice these moments where I have a real choice that changes the future challenges and even the outcome of the game.

Many of you who know about the dungeon-crawling genre known as “roguelikes” might know that they are one of the last defenders of this sort of play in a single-player game. The internet podcast Roguelike Radio recently had a show topic called “Roguelike Features in Other Genres” (listen to this episode here).

I was a guest on this episode, and I predicted that we were going to start seeing more and more quote-unquote “roguelike” features in all genres of single-player games. Not because of how great roguelikes are, but because roguelikes don’t own concepts like “permadeath” (which just means, losing) and randomization at all — up until the 1990s, all games had these qualities.

Here’re a few examples of single-player games that do, in my view, have meaningful decisions.

Klondike (the solitaire card game that came with Windows, which we often just refer to as “solitaire”) is a solid example of a single-player game that has real meaningful decisions. I’ve been playing the game a long time myself, and while it might not be clear to some who’ve only played a handful of games, I notice these moments where I have a real choice that changes the future challenges and even the outcome of the game.

More recently, Derek Yu’s Spelunky ran with this concept, literally, and became one of the first well-known platformers to do what I’ve always thought platformers should be doing: randomizing the levels. Because the levels are random each time you play, becoming good at Spelunky has absolutely nothing to do with memorization or any “process of elimination”. It has to do with your skill at making decisions in Spelunky.

Desktop Dungeons is not only game with meaningful decisions, but it does so in a brilliantly innovative way. In the game, you gain bonus experience for defeating a monster that’s higher level than yourself. So, you can choose to use potions early-game (usually reserved for the end-game boss) in order to defeat some mid-level monsters to get that extra experience.

gamasutra1.com

Picture: gamasutra.com

It’s a great example of an “ambiguous decision” — you don’t know for certain if the spent potion will be worth the extra experience or not. No level of experience playing other games will have helped you make this decision, either. This is what’s so exciting about games: the idea that when someone comes up with a game that’s new, it exercises your brain in new ways. It forces you to make new kinds of decisions that work in a way that your brain never had to work before.

If we can agree that meaningful decisions are important, then we can hone in, focus our games down on offering as many interesting, meaningful decisions as possible per moment spent playing the game. I call this “efficiency in game design.”

While Klondike does have some meaningful decisions, it has many no-brainers or false decisions — so I’d say it has a rather low level of efficiency in this way. Spelunky‘s a bit higher since it’s real time and you’re threatened most of the time, but there are still some situations that are no-brainers. Desktop Dungeons is highly efficient, and while it may seem to newcomers that there are no-brainers, better players realize that the most obvious moves are rarely the best ones.

And here’s another way to look at the whole “ambiguous decision” thing — this is what makes games special and interesting: even when you won, there was always room for you to have won by more, and you’re not sure how. In contests, you always know how — hit the moles even faster when they appear next time. There’s no ambiguity about what you should be doing. In puzzles, if it’s solved, it’s solved. There may be different ways to solve the puzzle, but all solutions are equal. This feeling of “I wonder how I could improve” is what’s so magical and amazing about games. In a way, games ask us to rise to our unknown theoretical highest level of ability, and this is really valuable.

I propose this philosophy about games not to be pedantic or controlling about how we look at games. It is my sincere belief that the only way we can improve our games is by looking closely at what makes a game a game. I don’t see many people doing this; instead, I see a lot of people simply echoing safe but conversationally useless ideas like “games are different things to different people.”

Again, I propose that we remember that there is a thing called a game, and even if you don’t agree with my ideas, I hope that you do pursue your truth about what games are so that you can focus your games into the most efficient, fun games they can be. To quote the author Robert McKee in his book Story, We need a rediscovery of the underlying tenets of our art, the guiding principles that liberate talent.”

I am sure that this post will be very interesting for who will want to understand some theory and practice.

Cheers

Julia Echeverria

 

 

How to make an educational or other games

Hi, going on with game designer and my interest is to design and make an an educational video game, so here are some tools and reflexions.

Cheers

Julia

gamefor.com

picture by gamefront.com

[Keith Burgun, founder, and designer at 100 Rogues developer Dinofarm Games argues that some video games are not “games” at all — and posits a way to home in on the precise elements that make games engaging to players.]

In the beginning, Tetris had a much looser system for the random piece (Tetronimo) generation. This meant that when you were playing, you could not be sure of how long it would be until your next line piece would come. This made the decision to “save up for a Tetris, or cash in now” a lot more ambiguous.

Between the new “7-bag” system of piece generation (which puts all seven pieces into a bag and draws them out one at a time, guaranteeing that you will get a line piece every 14 pieces at the latest), the “hold box”, and usually five or six “next” boxes, modern Tetris is largely a matter of execution. Maybe you love what Tetris has become, and think that these changes are purely positive. That’s fine — but I think we can all agree that something has been lost.

The Concept of Games

I propose that games are a specific thing.

What I mean by that is that I think there is a unique concept that I can only call “game”, and this is something different from the large blanket term we use in the digital game world. We video gamers call everything from digital puzzles, interactive fiction, simulators, to even digital crafting tools “games” (or “video games”).

Essentially, anything digital, interactive, and used for amusement gets called a game. And the dictionary will go even further — it calls a game an “amusement or pastime.” So watching TV is a “game.” Hell, eating a can of beans can be a “game” if it amuses you!

The thing is — there exists a special thing, a thing that isn’t a toy, isn’t a puzzle and isn’t any of those other things I mentioned. It’s a thing that’s been around since the dawn of history, and it still thrives today. We have no other word for it, really than “game”, so for this article, that’s the language I’ll be using. To refer to the larger category of “all digital interactive entertainment”, I’ll use the term “video game.”

I define this thing — game — as “a system of rules in which agents compete by making ambiguous decisions.” Note that “agents” don’t necessarily have to both be human, one is often the system (as in a single-player game). But the “ambiguous decisions” part is crucial, and I am here to argue that it’s the single most important aspect of a game.

This is a prescriptive philosophy — a way to look at games that you may not have before — not a description of what exists. In other words, of course, there are video games (I prefer to adopt the mobile-gaming term “apps”) that are puzzles that have elements of games, and there are games that have elements of simulators. I’m here to argue that because of this blurring of the word “game” and its inherent qualities, we are somewhat inadvertently losing this meaningful, ambiguous kind of decision, particularly in the area of single-player digital games.

What Makes a Decision Meaningful?

It’s possible that some of us have forgotten how good it is to make an interesting, difficult decision that we can never take back.

Games have a very special kind of decision-making. In a good game, the decisions have the following qualities: they’re interesting, they’re difficult, and the better answer is ambiguous. Above all else, however, the decisions have to be “meaningful”.

I don’t mean “meaningful” as in personal meaning, such as “they make you think about your relationship with your dad” (although they certainly could). By “meaningful”, I simply mean that your decisions have meaning and repercussions inside the game system; they cause new challenges to emerging, and most importantly of all, they have meaning with regards to the outcome of the game.

Some may be quick to point out that all video games — puzzles, simulators, toys — all involve some form of “decision-making”. That is true, but nothing else forces the player to make decisions in quite the way that a game does. Any decisions you might make in a puzzle, for instance, are either correct or incorrect, and decisions you make in a simulator do not have a larger contest (context) inside which to become meaningful.

See you in the next post.

 

Whan to be a game disigner?

Hi, as you all know by now I am studing at MIT “educational technology, in this moment I am learning how to design a educational game, and I have find this video which ilustrate what designer do, it is easy to understand and the vidio it self is nice.

Hope to can see and enjoy it

Julia Echeverria

Attracting teachers to Ed Tech: Smartphone and learning

SMARTPHONE TABLET AND LEARNING

Introduction proposal

Attracting teachers to the use of technological devices in the classroom as part of the Project: learning challenge in the use of Technology for teachers with MITx and Peeragogy.org, Chapter II

smartphone 1

Image by bsbooklove.blogspot.com

There are many critics of the use of mobile phones in class, probably they are right.

The case is to understand its use in classes can be highly difficult to comprehend, not only for teachers but also for students.

This because none of both participants in this debate knows how to use it, students haven’t had adequate guidance or have not been at all. Teachers have not had time to learn to use to do the same, and the end is a problem somewhat difficult.

THE STUDENTS

  1. The student uses the mobile to play and chat, playfulness.
  2. The student has not been taught its use as a digital citizen.
  3. Students should be taught the correct use as an instrument for learning.

dlp-technology-for-classroom-projectors

Image b
THE TEACHERS
  1. For teaching staff, both technological change so quickly and with an antiquated education system committed to the status quo, it is understandable that the word technical device panic them.
  2. Teachers do not know that the specialized apparatus with which can save time and make their classes more motivating, is nothing more than the phone used as such, to chat, send messages, all tasks that have not required much learning as one might have thought at first.
  3. We should attract teachers to a simple, fun and totally practical learning these skills. Thus, they can pass on their knowledge to their students, promoting a new educational system in which technology has a place. Because we learn, puts us things easier to explain, we can have an immediate feedback if we wish and so much more.

 

“If educators teach the respectful and appropriate use of technology in the classroom and use it to build their skill as well, the future of education technology looks bright.”

By Marcus A. Hennessy

“Learning is natural; another thing is to teach.”

Julia Echeverria

Read more on in the next article

Learning Challenge III

Dear reader, to finish with the Idea and acknowledge about challenge to learn, I am glad to show you two videos:

“The first one features Greg Schwanbeck, a teacher and instructional technology coach at Westwood High School, and the second features Dr. Matthew Schneps, who works on several projects here at MIT and elsewhere. Both videos introduce a thought-provoking and difficult design challenge and your help is needed”.

Watch both videos and then decide which design challenge is most interesting to you.”

Waiting for your comment and ideas, here or in any social media I share with.

Greg Schwanbeck video:

 https://youtu.be/w2Ovgcz95DQ

Dr. Matthew Schnep:

 https://youtu.be/mLFsON1rMF0

Hope you like it

Julia Echeverria Moran