Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile by Eric Klopfer

By Eric Klopfer

An summary 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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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.

In fact, I got my own father a Game Boy, which he used somewhat regularly. This likely gives Tetris the distinction of being the only video game he has ever played. The combination of the casual nature of Tetris and the handheld platform enabled the experience of playing a game at the breakfast table, in bed, or anywhere one might spend a few minutes. As a result, the Game Boy/Tetris combination appealed to adults, even those with little to no interest in video games. The small screen and flexibility of playing place made it feel less socially isolating and awkward.

A single day of game play may not do as well as a single day of didactic instruction. But two weeks of game play may do as well as (or better than) two weeks of didactic instruction. An investment often must be made by students in learning how to learn a particular subject matter. Instead of emphasizing learning and remembering particular pieces of information in a given subject matter area, one creates a game that stresses particular expert skills to 20 Chapter 2 facilitate learning in that subject area.

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