The Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative

There has been some updated work on the program, and details can be found at the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative blog. You’ll be able to download a version of the program to compare navigation functionality with the map of locations. You’re invited to perform quality assurance testing!

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Filed under Colonial Williamsburg, Hap Aziz, Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative, Interactive Fiction, text adventure

A Research Project on Interactive Fiction in Education

Are you an educator using or possibly interested in using Interactive Fiction in the classroom? Take a look here:  http://goo.gl/dtu5ix

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Filed under computer games, education, education course content, games, Hap Aziz, Interactive Fiction

Preventing Credit Card Fraud

Today (June 2, 2014) on Fox 35 Good Day Orlando, the topic of discussion was how credit card companies and cell phone service providers will be teaming up to prevent credit card fraud. There are several ways this could be accomplished, most commonly by linking the location of the credit card with the location of the credit card holder’s cell phone.

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Filed under cell phone, consumer protection, credit card fraud, future technology, Hap Aziz

The Future of Shopping

Today’s topic on Fox 35 Good Day Orlando was “The Future of Shopping.” It was a quick look at how technology is changing the way we shop, and what retailers are doing to motivate people to look away from the Internet long enough to come into an actual shop location. Technologies such as holography, 3D printing, and even good old bluetooth connectivity to your cell phone are all part of the story.

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Filed under 3D printing, future technology, Hap Aziz, holograms, Internet, mobile technologies, Science Fiction, shopping, smartphones, technology

Engaging Learners through the Power of Narrative

foxnews

Narrative as a framework for learning is one of my favorite topics. I few weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting on this topic for the Florida Distance Learning Association at the University of Central Florida. Feel free to take a look here: https://ucf.adobeconnect.com/_a826512158/p7sfo087at2/?launcher=false&fcsContent=true&pbMode=normal.

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Filed under education technology, Hap Aziz, Interactive Fiction, life-long learning, narrative

Cutting the Cord from Cable and Satellite TV

I was on Fox 35 Orlando yesterday morning (May 10, 2014), talking about how to get the cable or satellite monkey off your back. It’s getting easier, though there are still some places you’ll need to compromise!

This raises the question of “cutting the cord” from the current higher education channels. Is it possible? Would it be a good idea? Is it possible to consume education in a more customized manner?

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by | May 11, 2014 · 2:16 pm

The Role of Play and Learning

foxnewsby Hap Aziz

I originally intended the title of this post to be “The Role of Play in Learning,” but then the typo made more sense to me when I considered it. The idea that play is an essential component to learning is gaining more an more acceptance in the education community, especially filtering up from the work of early childhood educators. This article by Bethany Wilinski, “If Children Are for Learning, Then Let Them Play,” sounds a cautionary note regarding the decline of play and the impact it is having on the attainment of basic skills related to academic achievement among learners. Wilinski’s article cites Alison Gopnik’s TEDTalk “What do babies think?” for insights, and Gopnik’s material is worth a view if you haven’t seen it already.

“Babies and young children are like the R&D division of the human species.” – Alison Gopnik

In looking at the typo, though, I realized that while play is essential to learning, the opposite is also true: learning is essential to play, certainly to continually engage the player. Without learning, play is little more than a series of repetitive tasks with no change in outcomes, no evolution in action, and no stretch to bring the player back to expansion of mastery. Interestingly, a (very) quick scan of the literature hasn’t turned up much in the way of learning as a component of play; most everything I’ve been able to find addresses the opposite, and more obvious, viewpoint.

So I submit the following questions for further consideration on the topic:

  • Can people play without learning anything? What does that look like?
  • Is learning required for play to be fulfilling?
  • Might we assess the quality of play to determine what learning has taken place?

The third question above is especially interesting to me, as the education community continues to wrestle with assessment methodologies. If play can be considered at least to some extent as a proxy for learning, then the assessment of play may provide greater insight into what has been learned. After all, the idea of assessing play, from setting and knowing victory conditions to evaluating individual player statistics across multiple categories of measurement is something we do regularly and fairly well. Well enough for us to improve play and hire or replace play instructors (coaches) based on player performance. Perhaps it is time for us to consider flipping the play and learning dynamic.

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Filed under children, gamification, Hap Aziz, play