In this quest, we take a look at the following graphic on gamification which is created by Knewton and Column Five Media.
The short history portion of this infographic is of particular interest to us. My own experience in educational gaming intersects this timeline from time to time. For example, when I first started teaching in 1994 SimCity was one of two games installed on the computers in our computer lab (the other was Dino Park Tycoon). Students could play these games when the lab was open at lunch or when they had completed their work and had free time. When I think back, I can't help but think of the lost opportunities for learning we passed up as a staff by only using these games as a passive teaching/entertainment resource. Perhaps if we new more about the power of gaming then, we could have targeted learning with these games.
I have always been a big fan of Sid Meier's Civilization series of games. In fact, I think the Civ III had a simulation creator where users could create their own scenarios. I remember trying my hand at it and tried to recreate the Seven Years War between the French and English, a topic I was teaching at the time. Unfortunately, I didn't have the time or knowledge to carry this idea through to completion.
Since my early days of teaching, I have only used games for my own entertainment but now as I reflect, I think I might pursue an idea of a historical simulation game for my EDTECH 532 project. A game in the spirit of Civilization which could help recreate a historical period that I often have to teach. For example, with my Grade 12 students we look at the Cold War, a nuclear deterrence strategy game could be excellent to help students understand the risks and effects of Nuclear Brinkmanship which I find students don't understand as well as those of us who grew up in the '70's and '80's.
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media