Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile by Eric Klopfer

By Eric Klopfer

An outline of cellular studying video games that argues for the academic merits of hand-held video games over their big-screen opposite numbers.

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The students in the traditional class complained to the principal that the students in the other class were ‘‘playing games’’ while they were doing book reports, and that it wasn’t fair. The principal snapped into action immediately and told the teacher we were 16 Chapter 2 working with to stop his activities and have the students do more book reports. In these cases we usually try to do a little intervention and offer some media education about what games are (and are not). But in the end, I’ll usually bend and play down the use of the word game if it is requested and call them handheld-based activities or simulations.

Handheld computers, or personal digital assistants (PDAs), like the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile or Palm platforms provide such an opportunity. Relatively inexpensive handhelds can provide a one-to-one (one device per learner) solution in the classroom now. While some researchers and software designers have sought to make these serve the purpose of traditional computing resources, only in a smaller form (see chapter 4), the real opportunity comes in integrating computing with other social, collaborative learning activities that allow technology to facilitate learning and problem solving, rather than being the focus of such efforts.

So while these companies are keeping their product lines alive, they are doing little to update or invest in new ones. ’’ These products are targeted at parents with disposable income and the desire to have their kids ‘‘jumpstart’’ kindergarten by reading early. While there is little, if any, evidence that reading prekindergarten has any correlation with later success, it is a marketing strategy that has worked. There is one company that I have left off the list, which has emerged as an educational games powerhouse in the twenty-first century—Leapfrog.

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