Be a TEL Explorer

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So for my “Explorer” response I began working on designing a learning activity 2.4, this activity was to be an “ice breaker” or first task for a new collaborative cohort, using an online system or platform that had a “board” style posting feature. A discussion board, wiki, grouped twitter (http://www.grouptweet.com/examples#Private_Groups) or Facebook.

The cohort would be given a word or phrase depending on number of participants. For example “learning” for an 8 participant group, their task would be for each member of the cohort to decide on a letter from the original word or phrase. This would be chosen via a discussion board, twitter or Facebook during a group introduction session. They would then take a picture of their chosen letter in their day to day “normal world” activities. This picture would then be uploaded onto the learning platform, along with an explanation of why they chose this letter and where the image was taken. This “use” of image and discussion technology helps introduce an online cohort to each other, and to the technologies that would be used on their course.

As I progressed this idea I wasn’t sure if it fitted correctly so looking again at the activities I settled on activity 2.5, “Active play” and time being against me for the latter part of this week, along with Sky’s broadband shield which wouldn’t initially allow me access to “games” based sites, how boring! I decided to review two of the games instead.

Now before you continue to read on I’m not normally one for online games so I apologise in advance to gamer lovers, but I decided to give it a go, as I’ve written up a few posts this week, and thought that I may enjoy the “gaming” aspect and it would be a bit of “fun”.
After sitting for 15 minutes playing Lost in city (LIC), and Westward (W) for what seemed an even longer 15 minutes, I thought I’d post my findings.

What do you think you could learn playing this game?

(LIC) Basics of reading, language, hand eye coordination, strategy, how things work (possibly due to placing batteries in radio etc.). Role play and time management.

(W) Hand eye coordination, role play, patience, mouse skills, and financial skills.

What (if anything) did you find engaging?

I didn’t like anything about Westward it just wasn’t a game for me.

Lost in City was challenging and kept my interest levels active for longer, as I was almost in an online episode of Diagnosis Murder or Jessica’s Murder she Wrote. Piecing bits of a puzzle together.

What (if anything) did you find de-motivational?

Westwards, interface, characters and platform didn’t agree with me, maybe I hadn’t had enough coffee when I tried it or maybe I’d had too much, but something just didn’t gel. I found it slow to work on my PC.

I found Lost in City to be better, but even this after 15 minutes was enough and I needed a break.

So after reviewing the two online games, has my stance on online gaming changed?

Not yet, based upon these two games, I think I’ll stick with designing learning activities in future, at least until “It came from the desert” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Came_from_the_Desert) appears as an online game, mind you I’m probably remembering that with my rose tinted Commodore Amiga glasses on.

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