Gestures and Wii

Hibrida – Shutterstock Image

“When I move, I learn”

“I understand that you are a kinesthetic learner but if any administrator passes by, they will think I have no class control.” Carol chided Adam in class after he turned his back to her for the umpteenth time to talk with a friend behind him. She realized that there was nothing in her lesson plan that catered for the child. Furthermore, she was not sold on the cooperative learning idea. Not when she had the enormous syllabus and no time in which to complete it all. And students still did not seem to retain as much as she wanted them to.

“Miss, I have to go to the bathroom.”

“Go and sit down. You only want to waste time.” Fifteen seconds later. “Go.”

“Miss, can I drink this bottle of water, miss?”

She was not too hard on them though. She was an adult and she felt the same way in those five-hour long staff meetings.

“I still do not know what to do with these students,” Carol said exasperatingly to Richard afterwards. She felt like she had enough.

“Just give them time. It will come together.” Richard gathered some papers on his desk and arranged them neatly.

Carol huffed.

Time was what she had little of. How could she work more effectively?


This story perhaps mirrors what some teachers have to endure with the pressing curricular demands, seeming student misbehavior and the need to have a military silent zone in the classroom for administrators to think that learning is taking place. Some schools, equipped with the latest technology allow their students to move about. Carol and other teachers like her have to have a mindset change in lesson planning and preparation for the emerging technologies.

Gestures in Teaching and Learning

Check out this article:

“Want to learn quicker? Use your body.”

In some schools, students are still not supposed to move about. They are required to sit for an hour or two and give rapt attention to the lesson. It does not happen. Not when they are so used to flitting from one game to another on their portable device or computer. Their minds seem to always be busy wanting to find something else to do. What would happen if students were assigned different tasks and then could move about to get the tasks done? And how would that affect their retention rate afterwards?

It is reported that students remember ideas more readily when they are associated with body movements. Obviously you cannot do Advanced Calculus by using a counting-fingers technique, but there must be lessons for which using gestures is relevant. It is possible that when a gesture is made, it becomes that “something” out of the ordinary that causes students brains to record what they are doing at that particular time and they associate the gesture with that concept learnt. Gestures also would, most times, incorporate audio and visual learning styles as well.

Wii ( a gesture based device) in Education

Check out this article:

“Video games can Educate: Wii in the Classroom.”

Wii has not caught on everywhere. That does not matter. If it does not catch on soon, maybe there will be technology like it that will spark the attention of everyone. If that does surface, educators will think of using it in the classroom. Our teachers of mathematics and science along with others may want to see Wii with more educational content within some of the games. Imagine a Wii game with your class content? Or imagine getting a hold of a Wii remote and dreaming up the possibilities for its use, then implementing them in your class? Students are bound to recall some of what they see as they make visual associations with elements of the game.

Check out some applications of Wii

Wii for the Classroom

Wii Golf Subtraction

An Example of Wii Application – Big Brain Academy

(The presenter was really frank in the review however it does show some possibilities for the use of the technology.)

Educational games may suffer because designers think in a box and try to fit them in the same old classroom mode. Games can be designed outside a schoolroom. Game designers use such powerful graphics in regular games. It would be lovely to see investments in some that were fit for the classroom. As with all technology, the device comes at cost. The kit with one remote costs roughly $130.00 and you have to pay for additional remotes. It can take up to 4 players. All learners can benefit from the experience and students would have learnt and more importantly they would have had fun.

There are engaging ways to use the technology. It is time to explore.


Richard removed his earplugs. “What are you using to bring across the lesson tomorrow?”

“Wii.” Carol was all smiles.

“Wii? The game, Wii? You are kidding, right? Does administration know about this?” Richard’s eyes literally were popping out of his head.

“Yep.” Carol was still smiling.

“How did you get old man Grumps to go along with that idea?”

“I allowed him to do a demo for himself. After that he was all on board.”

“Wow.” Richard replaced his earplugs.




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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


Gamification, Information Accessibility and Analytics

“Think for me just this once.”

Have you ever wanted to have someone just know what you were thinking without having to say it? Or, if you are always misunderstood, have you wanted them to just know exactly how to respond to your every mood correctly every time? Well, the technology for that is not here yet but with much work being done with analytics and game design there may very well be a future for it. I came across this video “A Futuristic Short Film HD: by Sight Systems” –The Cgbros.

Was the young lady in the video upset because she was being examined without her knowledge? Or was it because she knew the young man was gaining points by doing what he did? Also, was she a part of the game and was getting points as well? In that case, why did she get upset? How would we feel about someone having so much information on us? Strangely enough, I smiled through the whole bit. I suppose when you are not in the hot seat of intrusion, the technology seem like a very good idea. No question it is a gross violation of privacy but one that causes the awkwardness of conversation to be eliminated or simply minimized.


Perhaps in conversation and over time, the old fashioned way, one would spend time revealing bits of information but person’s internal analytics would not yield information for responding that quickly. Having knowledge of the psychology of human behavior and a person’s motivation for social interaction can give game designers ideas about software and hardware for these futuristic devices. At least games can be developed to allow persons to learn better strategies to deal with social situations.


In the case of someone being able to be scanned and information found about them, many persons may be opposed to someone having all that information about them. And could identity theft is possible? What database will be tapped into the find all that information? How ethical is that type of technology? Will we surrender our privacy simply because there is no apparent harm to us? It is a fact that we have already surrendered our privacy to social networks and other companies can have access to us through our smart phones and our connected devices. In another breath, how will persons who lie on forms to protect their privacy be identified? And what will the data holders choose to do with the information? Will they keep our information safe?


I would like to think that more persons than not are ready to act socially responsible as it relates to information that can so readily be available. It is where our major software companies are headed. The accessibility of information will be a valuable asset to businesses as we see proposed in the following video.

Imagine what gamification and analytics can do with accessible information to enhance other spheres of life?


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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Gamification in Teaching and Learning

“Time to take a break from work. Let’s play this game called Work.”


What is Gamification?

A business view of Gamification by John Broadbent

Gamification is a concept that allows for a non-game-based activity to use game elements in order to motivate persons to carry out tasks. For example in businesses, games are developed to allow persons to carry out their everyday tasks. While there are several business applications, I am longing to see much more research and application of the technology in teaching and learning. There have been some takers already.


What are Key Elements of Gamification?

There are several key elements of gamification. I have listed some here.

Element Description
Goals A clear idea of the outcome of the game is known by all.
Points Every activity carried out a score for completion.
Badges Badges are visible rewards for complete different levels of the game.
Ranking You can see how you rank among all participants of the game.


Motivation Players are motivated to achieve.
Competition Healthy rivalry challenges others to initiate new strategies to complete tasks.
Collaboration Teams rally their expertise to help each other to complete tasks.
Cool graphics The “gamified” experience is one that should be aesthetically pleasing.
Fun This is perhaps the main reason for gamification. A task that otherwise could be considered drudgery is made pleasurable.


Application to Education

Every time the term comes up, I want the students to participate in a “gamified” experience that will help them to overcome that particular troublesome topic. I want them to be so immersed in what they are doing that they do not even notice their surroundings, the time or the fact that this was a topic that they had shunned.


Where did I start my exploration?

 I started on Youtube. Cooper McNiece has given some tips to start the process.


So what will I have to do initially?

I have to change my mind set when planning my lessons. I must look at things from a gaming perspective.

  • Have a way to let players know the goals and timeline for the “gamified” experience.
  • Replace percentage scores with experience (XP) points.
  • Have places where players (students) can work with each other to complete tasks to get more points.
  • Award points and badges with each level of progress.
  • Have visuals with points, badges, progress bars and a record of what tasks have been completed and which have not all with user friendly messaging.


Next, I will need to examine first of all any tools that can create a game relatively quickly. I found a cool link.


What other topics could I explore? I can delve deeper in the following topics that I have only had surface knowledge about and see examples of how they can enhance my knowledge of game creation for my classes.

  • Location Based Games

  • Augmented Reality

  • Transmedia Storytelling

  • Bunchball (they have worked in the area from the beginning)

  • The Initial Research (Deterding et. al)


In the next 5 months or so, I would like to have a prototype with which to work.

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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Emerging Technologies and Privacy

“Do I really want all that hanging out there?”

Having watched several YouTube videos on Pranav Mistry’s Sixth Sense, as well as Google Glass and observed persons using regular smart phones, the issue of privacy can arise when thinking about picture and video media creation and communication. With the click of a button, a picture or a video can be made, even modified and uploaded to a social media site. If it is made public, especially without the person’s knowledge, there is really no way to get that memory back. In another area of use, persons might divulge all their business in communication with others. Some of the content might not be fit for air play. For persons thinking in a socially responsible manner, ideas about misdeeds using the technology may be furthest from their minds. They want to see the technology advancing such areas as health, education and many others and think of uses with that in mind. However, what do we do when persons violate privacy rights?

Sixth Sense:

Benefits of the Devices When media can be placed into the right hands it can be beneficial. Some benefits of these communication, picture and video media capturing devices include:-

  • Capturing important moments.
  • Allowing viewing and playback right away.
  • Permitting the addition of captions and special effects (with the right apps).
  • Sharing of recorded media with family and friends.
  • Inclusion of persons in other geographical locations to get in on the action. (No travel costs or leaving the comforts of home).
  • Looking “cool”. (As one person says, people can “show off” with them).

Ethical Issues with Conversations and Media Capture

Many of us have gotten used to ignoring persons on mobile phones, though it can be a little annoying when you realize the person using the device is not addressing you. There are times when the nature of the conversations can be traumatic. Do I really want to hear a conversation about your drama? I have had a long day at work and I just want some peace and quiet. There will be more of that to tackle with the advent of these other devices.  

Man playing a prank on others using Google Glass:

Unfortunately, not everyone will observe ethical guidelines in their dealings. Some live to push the limits without any care as to whether they violate person’s privacy rights or not. There may be many more of those persons in the future since so many are using the technology to shift the ethical limits in the name of liberty. They will still snap a picture or create a video and tell you that it is their property. Even with you in it. They will still upload it to a social media site. Ethical guidelines still need to be set to protect the innocent and there will still be persons who will uphold them—for the greater good. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

How to Defend yourself from Privacy Violations?

  • Strive to be on your best behavior.
  • Do the reverse. Play act all the time. (Except when dealing with your boss. You might get fired.)
  • Invest in a sensor that can alert you when someone is about violate your privacy (This one does not yet exist. Maybe you can create the blueprint).
  • Verbally appeal to the better nature of individuals who you can speak with.
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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized