Reflections for a Digital Age

Musings on learning, education and libraries

INF541 GBL learning journey

1 June 2016

Well I kept to the deadline, and finished my final assessment on time. I really appreciated the connection with fellow colleagues. Over those last couple of days, we each read over one another’s chapter, and gave positive critique. I cannot value this highly enough…the conversations and connections when a deadline is looming and the accompanying stress.

I then gave myself one night off study and away from the computer, as I welcomed a friend and Irish storyteller, Niall de Burca, who is visiting my school, and also home staying with us. Now, I am back to the grindstone and back into Module 6. It was too tight with the chapter due, and for module 5 and 6 to be only placed a week apart, and to be completed simultaneously, with the compendium. So I will continue beyond the session end.

22 May 2016

I am writing up the critical reflection this weekend (or making a start on it). As I do so, I am sharing resources with my gamer son (at university in Australia) of articles such as by Jordan Shapiro  and Extra Creditz and having conversations via Messenger chat. Both my sons and nephew have been part of my PLN on this GBL learning journey. We  have shared thoughts, reflections and resources. #INF541 has given me a greater understanding of games as a different way of thinking and  the impact of digital games within personal, social and cultural dimensions.

17 May 2016

I have made a good start to the compendium chapter. Now I am madly trying to catch up with the module readings. Obviously, my earlier good intentions, did not come to fruition! I have appreciated the collaborative support of one of my colleagues, Madeline, who has kindly read my draft chapter and made suggestions along the way. We have shared Google Drive, which is always, an excellent collaborative tool, especially when distance is a factor.

12 May 2016

work desk compendium research

I cannot believe where the time has gone! We are having our second webinair with Cathie Howe to discuss issues relating to our final assessment: the Compendium Chapter. I am also up to Module 5 course readings, but hoping I will be able to finish it within the allocated week! At the same time, I have started my major assessment and wading through the multiple readings I have found. I did not realize how many teacher librarians across the educational spectrum, K-12 and university level, have been promoting literacy and 21st century learning through digital games (Hovious & Van Eck, 2015). It has been inspiring to see the journey and I am glad I am also on the same path.

From my earlier reflection, I am using my year 5 cohort as a case study to introduce digital games into my information literacy program. Small steps, but even so, I have seen how students’ intrinsic motivation is enhanced through playing digital games.

17 – 22 April 2016

Back home, and into Module 3 course readings. It is going to be a struggle to get back into the study routines having visitors around, work and work-related commitments. I was thinking of jumping back into Ingress, but that will have to wait:

Tuned in to the webinair last night for the discussion on the upcoming proposal for the Compendium. I have some thoughts bubbling away…will think on them, read some more then add them to the wiki for collaborative feedback.

Now to catch up with the discussion forum and continue with Mod 3.

11 April 2016

Well I have uploaded my critical review. It has been a week of editing, editing, editing, and without access to internet for a couple of those days. Very glad to have had my daughter as a ‘study buddy’ and feedback from son and son-in-law (also at uni). I am a firm believer, that you need to step back and let someone who knows nothing about your subject, read your work. Does it make sense to them? What can be better worded?

7 April 2016

Well I am back in Australia for the holidays and spending time with my beloved granddaughters and my kids. I have not been able to spend as much quality time on the study this week – that has gone to Bea and Erin 🙂 A quick trip to the local library earlier in the week, and today I am lucky to have gone to work with my daughter (who works in a library for a local health college). So, lots done today for my assignment. I am hoping to have another productive day tomorrow, to leave the weekend free for ‘family time’. Ah the work, study, life balance!

31 March 2016

This week I have been submersed in my readings for the upcoming assignment. I have as per my Storify, continued to ‘dip my toe’ into Ingress. Like one of my colleagues commented…not sure whether I will continue with Ingress. I think the social aspect of Ingress and bringing together ‘community’ is really important. If I did not have the coursework  looming in front of me that I have, I think I would ‘jump in’.

24 March 2016

Ventured into Ingress and into the community this morning. I am tracking my journey through Storify.  Study day today, so hope to do some training sessions with Ingress and start the articles for the next assignment! Have been keeping up with the Discussion Threads and also finding Twitter remains a great tool to connect with colleagues at #INF541.
Reading Module 2.2 Games and popular culture. The Smithsonian mag article on The Art of Video Games was interesting. I watched the video but became exasperated with the loud music which override the voice of Chris Melissino being interviewed. So:
What are the three voices of video games? How are early game designs remediated in newer games?
1. the designer – artist
2. the game itself – the mechanics and rules
3. the player/s themselves – the personal experiences and the imagination they build into the game play.
Melissino spoke about how the early game design mechanics are still being used today, albeit in more sophisticated ways whereby :
Games are in many respects converging with movies (which, in their infancy, were also belittled as non-art, Melissinos notes). Designers employ photo-realistic environments and motion-capture technologies and commission original scores.
//[<a href=”//” target=”_blank”>View the story “Ingress” on Storify</a>]<span id=”mce_marker” data-mce-type=”bookmark”>​</span>

19 March 2016

The past week has seen me immersed in readings as I started my second blog post task. Not sure if Ingress will happen this weekend after all, since I am focused the blog and have a ‘day off’ study tomorrow for a long term social commitment.

13 March 2016 (see also:  as a post)

I have been reading and going back over notes this weekend in anticipation of my next blog post. It is coming together in my mind, but so much reading that keep opening new doors. I gave myself a break from the note taking and text and decided to visit Lara Croft Go! on my ipad. I still cringe whenever Lara meets an untimely death. Now, it is even worse, as I know when I have made the move that will bring it about! I think it usually happens twice before I get the necessary feedback to adjust my strategy to move her forward and beat the beasts! As my readings state:

  • Games use visual & auditory feedback to let players know if certain actions have succeeded or failed (Turkay et al, 2014, p. 9)

Paul James Gee in Good Video Games and Good Learning (2005) (the article I will be using for my next blog task) talks about good learning principles that good video games incorporate. One of them is RISK TAKING where Failure is seen as a good thing.  Gee states that players can start from the last saved game when they fail. They are encouraged to take risks, explore, and try new things. Initial failures are used as ‘ways to find the pattern, to gain feedback’.

I am starting to now make those connections to my course readings (and others) as I explore this new role of mine as a ‘player’ of ‘digital games’.  However, these are just baby steps! Ingress is waiting. It looks like I will need to download to my mobile phone. I  didn’t realize I need to go out into the world for this one, until I watched: Ingress The Beginner’s Guide and  Playing Ingress. This may have to wait till next weekend!


Gee, J.P. (2005). Good video games and good learning.  Phi Kappa Phi Forum. 85 (2), 33-37.

Turkay, S., Hoffman, D., Kinzer, C. K., Chantes, P., & Vicari, C. (2015). Toward understanding the potential of games for learning: Learning theory, game design characteristics, and situating video games in classrooms. Computers in the Schools, 31(1-2), 2–22.


7 March 2016

I have posted my task #1 today. Apart from course readings, I have been ‘surfing’ the discussion forum and starting to have conversations with my colleagues. I am fascinated by the different type of games that have been mentioned either within the course notes or by colleagues. Edutopia is one of my ‘go to’ online sources and I enjoyed reading: Gaming for Social Good by Matthew Farber.  There are so many links that I will be returning to this article again. One of the games suggested within Module 1 is SPENT which I plan to also continue with. I am enjoying browsing through everyone’s blogs and really enjoyed re listening to a video of a young student talking about Video Games (Jason Fresnedi – see below) posted by Madeleine (Crossing the Chasm) (thank you).  Which in turn led me to read about the Learning2 conferences:  Ah, I can see time is going to be of the essence with #INF541!

21 February 2016

Well looking at my comments below, it is slightly scary how quickly this past 12 months has flown by. Here I am, about to delve into the world of games, and game based learning. I have to admit that my plan to ‘play around’ with online games did not happen. Instead I jumped into Designing Spaces for Learning and Design Thinking. It was an amazing journey. Just as I know INF541 will be too!

23 March 2015

Well, while I am not ‘officially’ studying GBL, I am keen as I said below to explore gaming on a personal level. Working in a school library gives me a glimpse into the social world of some of our students. Perhaps later in the year, I may even feel comfortable, bringing my own laptop along and joining them 🙂

Well the year 6 boys are loud! The excitement is there! It is lunchtime in the middle school library, and Gaming is on! I wandered across to see what they were doing. They are playing either individually or as teams and against one another in such games as Minecraft, Octogon and Bro Force. I wonder how they have the speed to move their avatars as they do. They are happy to explain the logistics of their different games to me.

18 March 2015

Well after lots of pondering and discussions with Judy O’Connell and Dean Groom, I have decided to defer/drop GBL until session 1, 2016. With so much happening in my work and personal space it was only a matter of time before something would ‘give’ and I didn’t want it to be my sanity. So will focus on INF530 but will also now have a little bit more spare time (I hope) to play around with gaming myself! See you back here, Session 1, 2016!

17 March 2015

Focus over the weekend was on INF530. It is a fine balance juggling the two subjects. I am still on track with GBL module readings but do need to switch focus to those readings that I found. I am also trying to keep track of other colleagues comments and reflections. That is tricky. It is all about time management.

I have bought a new laptop, so hopefully frustrations in this area will reside. In the meantime….back to my reading.

11 March 2015

Well I stopped hyperventilating long enough to redo my blog task reflections and post it both on the blog and into the discussion. Kudos to Evernote that they are still trying to figure out what went wrong! Whether it was my old laptop (I will be going out VERY soon to buy a new one) or a glitch with Evernote who knows.

And speaking of butterflies…I looked at the calendar and looked at the upcoming assignments. In the meantime, I am also wondering how I am going to balance work, study and family (daughter’s wedding, family member 60th birthday celebrations, international friends visiting and staying over) commitments – all between now and those assignments falling due.

So, thinking that I need to start background reading…and of course my search through CSU library and Google Scholar brought up many gems. I am thinking of what I have been teaching my Year 5 students this past week about selecting information relevant to their information needs. I am as much in need of reminding as they are. I have saved, bookmarked, linked and now have a huge body of documents to scan, read and critically reflect whether they actually do meet MY information needs!

7 March 2015

I am still hyperventilating and waiting before I re-write my concluding blog task reflections, but in the meantime, I came across this fantastic chart which to me describes game based learning and the gaming player.

Gaming = 21ST Century Learner

21st century learner

Found this brilliant chart at this weblink  which took me to the author LiketoWrite (FB) and website

6 March 2015

Okay, I am going to YELL OUT REALLY LOUD here. Working on Evernote for my Task #1 blog. Just about to add my final sentence, and relax for the evening, when the data disappeared. I have found a previous edition, but all my final work GONE.  Immediately sent off to Evernote people a cry for help. I am still waiting to see, but it looks like sitting down again and trying to work out those reflections. It are moments like these, when …

1 March 2015

So..reading, reading…and gradually getting ‘a sense’ of the huge field that is ‘game based learning’, and that I know ‘nothing’ – the story of the ‘tip of the iceberg’. Feeling a little bit isolated to tell the truth, and I will be glad to see conversations happening as the course progresses.

 Feb 2015 
I am going to add my reflections as I go along. I am still working out my study routines. Using good ole pen and paper & Cornell Study Method, using Evernote for reflections, and of course the blog here, along with the discussion forum.
Module 1.1
Reflect: What are the challenges you are aware of for playing games in your classroom?
  • time restrictions – time to play (how long for games)  cf timetabling & scheduling & curriculum
  • teacher familiarity – prior knowledge – teachers letting go and letting kids explore, be curious – and tracking student playing
  • what games you choose, and what do you focus as your learning outcomes?
  • access re software etc
  •  how to fit games into education
  • every game is different – experience based on player choice & decision (cutsomisation)

What are the behaviors you want to encourage and discourage?

  • encourage – curiosity, exploration, creation,  perseverance, collaboration, reflection
  • discourage – time wasting,  off task behaviour

PLAYING TO LEARN  – Introduction

Hello all in Game Based Learning. I must admit that in spite of my young adult twin sons being immersed in the world of gaming, that it has never (as yet) taken me by storm. My life has been with a book in hand, looking into new worlds through the written word. I love fantasy – which perhaps will help me on this journey. Soooo …  I am stepping out into the abyss, so to speak, a little bit fearful, uncertain, excited and certainly I will be challenged as never before. But, I think all these emotions are perhaps central to what gaming is all about!

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