Online Education and Games

Online Education and Games

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Some Thoughts

26 Apr 2021

It’s been a minute!🙃

So it’s been a minute! 

There’s a lot been going on in the last year. My Mum passed away, the boys mum got a new boyfriend and both of them started year five in LSU.

Whew😅!

Anyways things are starting to iron out into the favourite word from 2020 ‘new normal’, ok two words!

I’m hoping to get back to putting up more EdGames and online learning platforms this year.

Stay tuned😎
4 Feb 2021

Fortnite School is back!

The holidays were great with plenty of scooter riding, trampolining, swimming, and of course,Fortnite. Though this summer’s game definitely had to be Spiderman.

As I had promised my children that if they got 90% or above on Khan Academy by the end of year 4, and one of them did, I got a refurbished PS4 (plus the VR headset as Dads Xmas pressie!). 

With school back then, it’s time to start on Fortnite school and pick up Khan where we left off, plus we’ve been having a lot of conversations about biology so that will be on the agenda for this year as well. 

When I checked the PS4 for educational games it had Letter Quest which they have been playing on the Xbox. One of them was quite excited to find that it was on the PS4 as well so we will be playing that this year too!

30 Jan 2021

Duolingo, not just for adults!

I’ve mostly thought of Duolingo as a learning app for adults trying languages other than English. Though I imagine the rest of the world thinks of Duolingo as an app for learning English😊

Duolingo ABC is an app for kids to learn English,  mine are probably too old to get a benefit from it, though I did check it out and it looks quite good.

The start of the app reminded me of Nell’s first encounter with The Illustrated Primer in The Diamond Age.

What’s a raven?” Nell said. The illustration was a colorful painting of the island seen from up in the sky. The island rotated downward and out of the picture, becoming a view toward the ocean horizon. In the middle was a black dot. The picture zoomed in on the black dot, and it turned out to be a bird. Big letters appeared beneath. “R A V E N,” the book said. “Raven. Now, say it with me.”

9 Jan 2021

It’s not all electronic!

https://www.thinkfun.com

Screen time is always a concern, when you can find a product that teaches 21st-century skills such as programming without a screen, well, you’ll probably do what I did and bought all four. 😉

My kids have worked through the first three, and we’re now onto the fourth. I say “we’re” even though the games are for one player, because we kind of do them together. 

The first couple of the Code games were done as a family, then as they understood what was required and got a little older they can do them on their own.

Still It’s always good to check in and tell them how awesome and amazing they are!!


12 Dec 2020

Home Schooling 

When I went looking for an image for this entry I loved all the photos with a happy parent sitting with their obedient children at the table working.

Although the boys have done pretty good in general, it has never felt like any of the images shown for homeschooling.

It isn’t official homeschooling so a lot of people that read this may have had very different experiences. 

There is a lot that can be done at home with current online learning platforms and EduGaming apps and it is something that I am considering later on down the track, but for the moment regular school is the we’re they’re gonna go next year.

3 Dec 2020

Don’t hit Girls!

Okay A lots happened in the last month, my boys hit a different girl on separate occasions. I spat the dummy, pulled them out of school and told them and in no uncertain terms that hitting girls or women is ever right.

I don’t care if you’re 10, 20, 30 or whatever age, men or boys never hit women, period! The fact that they missed out on their sailing, choir and all the other things that that they love about school is a good lesson.


10 Oct 2020

Google Classroom and Fortnite School 

It’s been a minute, I’ve spent the last month reading a bunch of different books from Neal Stephenson the guy who wrote The Diamond Age. So not much daily diary posting going on.

Though with the new school term starting next week I decided to set up my own school......

“FORTNITE SCHOOL”

Google classrooms kindly let me do this and I created another Fortnite School in Khan Academy and then sync them.

The plan is to set goals for my children such as 15 minutes Khan Academy, or 20m reading and if they complete them then they get time on Fortnite or even V bucks, the fortnight currency.

Will have to see how it goes and I’ll keep you posted. Real time ILP out!

1 Sep 2020

It’s not all screens!!

We don’t want our kids spending the entire day looking at screens as they learn things. So I enrolled my boys in martial arts class and then I joined the parents class, which I hope won’t throw anything out important and put me in hospital. 🤞

There are lots and lots of apps out there that help with exercise including a few funny games like Run from Zombies. I’ll have to try a few and let you know whether that actually gets me motivated to do more exercise, which is never a bad thing.

25 Aug 2020

The one app to rule them all!!

There isn’t.

One app to rule them all.

I’ve been doing Duolingo learning Spanish for probably a year now but when I wanted to learn Japanese, Duolingo just didn’t cut it. So I started on Japanese Word dungeon app and a Jap Test app that helped me to learn hiragana and katakana. When I got to Khanji I download another app the taught that, It cost $15 but it was well worth the money.

The point being when you’re looking for educational apps it needs to be fit for purpose. 

When I think about it, instead of one app to try and teach everything in the Australian Curriculum there should be lots of little apps that feedback on the progress of the various sections that the children are going through.

These days most phones contain 50 or 100 apps for the various things we want to get done, educational apps should probably be the same.

24 Aug 2020

Sometimes you gotta wait!!!

University of Canberra held a virtual open day and I’ve been harbouring a dark secret. I’m desperate to do a PhD in educational gaming and online platforms. 
It felt very much like the time I came back from overseas and was desperate to do a bachelor of arts having seen the world and how little I knew of it.
The early 90s hadn’t really caught up with the technology and I was told that I would have to attend lectures at 2 pm. For a full-time worker that was kind of impossible. Nowadays all the lectures are taped and you can do most of your learning online. So that problem’s solved.
The current problem is my life is kinda hectic with a full-time job and two kids (which I wouldn’t change for the world). Though it means that I can only do one subject per semester and the government wants you to finish a masters by research or a PhD in a certain time frame requiring at least three per semester. I just don’t have the capacity. 

It looks like I’ll be waiting again to continue my studies. In the meantime I will console myself with the website, my meetup group and building out what I think the design should be for delivering education to our children.

Waiting doesn’t mean you can’t do something else to fill in the time.
23 Aug 2020

Learn at your level!

I didn’t do biology in high school, and with my recent renewed interest in all things STEAM, and the fact that I resubscribed to audible (Mum needed a good murder mystery!), I decided to use one of my credits and get a biology book. 

The one I wanted, which I’d heard about through watching a biology podcast, wasn’t available on Amazon so I opted for the audible biology book.

It turns out college level biology should be done after high school level biology and not before. 

Although I think all of us would like to learn more than what we know, it’s important to realise that learning is like a wall, you gotta start at the bottom before you finish the top. 

20 Aug 2020

2nd Meetup

After figuring out how to share my screen on zoom, and spending half an hour figuring out what are my sons password for Prodigy (a maths EdGame), I was finally said to kick off my second meet up group called EduGames.

The attendance was three people, myself and the two boys.

Although it might feel as if I spent a lot of time for a party that no one showed up to, I was learning, and when it finally gets off the ground the Meetup’s going to run a lot smoother.

Often when we learn it doesn’t seem to be any point to it, and it’s only later, sometimes much later, that you see the benefits of it.

Learning is never wasted.

10 Aug 2020

This is what I thought of when I saw the first iPad. What do you think?

“What’s a raven?” Nell said. The illustration was a colorful painting of the island seen from up in the sky. The island rotated downward and out of the picture, becoming a view toward the ocean horizon. In the middle was a black dot. The picture zoomed in on the black dot, and it turned out to be a bird. Big letters appeared beneath. “R A V E N,” the book said. “Raven. Now, say it with me.” “Raven.” “Very good! Nell, you are a clever girl, and you have much talent with words. Can you spell raven?” Nell hesitated. She was still blushing from the praise. After a few seconds, the first of the letters began to blink. Nell prodded it. The letter grew until it had pushed all the other letters and pictures off the edges of the page. The loop on top shrank and became a head, while the lines sticking out the bottom developed into legs and began to scissor. “R is for Run,” the book said. The picture kept on changing until it was a picture of Nell. Then something fuzzy and red appeared beneath her feet. “Nell Runs on the Red Rug,” the book said, and as it spoke, new words appeared. “Why is she running?” “Because an Angry Alligator Appeared,” the book said, and panned back quite some distance to show an alligator, waddling along ridiculously, no threat to the fleet Nell. The alligator became frustrated and curled itself into a circle, which became a small letter. “A is for Alligator. The Very Vast alligator Vainly Viewed Nell’s Valiant Velocity.” The little story went on to include an Excited Elf who was Nibbling Noisily on some Nuts. Then the picture of the Raven came back, with the letters beneath. “Raven. Can you spell raven, Nell?” A hand materialized on the page and pointed to the first letter. “R,” Nell said. “Very good! You are a clever girl, Nell, and good with letters,” the book said. “What is this letter?” and it pointed to the second one. This one Nell had forgotten. But the book told her a story about an Ape named Albert.
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26 Jul 2020

EduGames Meetup Group!!!!!

Meetup.com/EduGames

With all of us being at home I decided to expand the website and create a Meetup group called EduGames.

Although the kick-off had exactly one attendee it was still a lot of fun (thanks George!). We talked about a book called The Diamond Age (not for children) which kind of sparked my whole interest in educational games and real-time individual learning plans, along with the advent of the iPad, which for me was a moment where science fiction met science fact.

We played Japanese Word Dungeon, which despite its simplicity, has many features that exemplify the best of educational gaming.

Although I wanted to record the zoom session and place it on the website, I couldn’t find the record button. A 21st-century problem if there ever was one.

The plan is to hold these meetup groups monthly, so if you’re in Canberra or nowadays anywhere in the world, feel free to join the group and come along to the next zoom session. We will play Prodigy and talk more about educational games, online learning platforms and gamification in the 21st-century.

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