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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Serious Games @ Calculation Nation

The best of Serious Games that challenge us to play at building a better future

Via: Mark Oehlert RT @iThinkMedia: [Blog] Trust Me: Math Can Be Fun w/Calculation Nation!

Calculation Nation is a free, easy to use, mathematics game site, offering Serious Games for most K-12 students. Calculation Nation offers students the opportunity to practice their mathematics skills individually or in a head-to-head format playing against other students. For parents and teachers, Calculation Nation offers suggestions for using Calculation Nation.

Calculation Nation™ uses the power of the Web to let students challenge opponents from anywhere in the world. At the same time, students are able to challenge themselves by investigating significant mathematical content and practicing fundamental skills. The element of competition adds an extra layer of excitement.

The National Council of Teacher’s of Mathematics (NCTM) hired Interactive Knowledge (IK) to design a system for middle school students to play math-related online games against live opponents. The site features five online games and a customized game room where thousands of students can challenge one another to test their math skills. Before going live, Calculation Nation was tested by hundreds of math teacher’s during NCTM’s annual conference held in April 2009.

The game Factor Dazzle, for example, is dazzle-icious! Find all the factors of a number to earn points. Then, choose a number for which your opponent must find the factors.

Factor Dazzle

In the game Slam Ball, the math concepts covered are symmetry, reflection, angles, and patterns but I wouldn't have guessed this when I started playing because it was so much fun and I wanted to win!

Slam BallHit tokens, collect points! Slam the ball into the sides of the game board, and use your knowledge of angles, symmetry, and reflections to choose the best path.

Another great feature of the site is the supporting material and information. As a parent or educator this site provides you with the math concepts each game addressed along with giving you hints and tips on pointing to these concepts when using the site as a teaching tool.

“The games on Calculation Nation™ provide an entertaining environment where students can explore rich mathematics,” said Jim Rubillo, Executive Director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). “Through these games, students are exposed to the same mathematical topics that they see in class as well as those that are recommended in Curriculum Focal Points.”

Calculation Nation™ “Governance”

Calculation Nation™ is part of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Illuminations project, which offers Standards-based resources that improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for all students. Its materials illuminate the vision for school mathematics set forth in NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics and Curriculum Focal Points.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership and professional development to support teachers in ensuring equitable mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students.

Illuminations is also part of, a comprehensive educational website funded by the Verizon Foundation to provide free educational resources to parents, teachers, and students. is the cornerstone of Verizon Foundation’s literacy, education and technology initiatives. The goal of is to improve student achievement in traditional classroom settings and beyond by providing high-quality content and extensive professional development training.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

#SeriousGames Will RT @google

The best of Serious Games that challenge us to play at building a better future

Via: Official Google Blog - RT @google: Tweets and Updates and Search

Google Blog posted a couple of hours ago:
10/21/2009 02:09:00 PM
"At Google, our goal is to create the most comprehensive, relevant and fast search in the world. In the past few years, an entirely new type of data has emerged — real-time updates like those on Twitter have appeared not only as a way for people to communicate their thoughts and feelings, but also as an interesting source of data about what is happening right now in regard to a particular topic."

"Given this new type of information and its value to search, we are very excited to announce that we have reached an agreement with Twitter to include their updates in our search results. We believe that our search results and user experience will greatly benefit from the inclusion of this up-to-the-minute data, and we look forward to having a product that showcases how tweets can make search better in the coming months. That way, the next time you search for something that can be aided by a real-time observation, say, snow conditions at your favorite ski resort, you'll find tweets from other users who are there and sharing the latest and greatest information."

Last April, TechCrunch in a certain way anticipated this move, under the post Sources: Google In Talks To Acquire Twitter (Updated) , reporting rumors sourced from two separate people close to the negotiations: "Google is in late stage negotiations to acquire Twitter."

On the same post, Michael Arrington explores the reason why would Google want Twitter:

"We’ve been arguing for some time that Twitter’s real value is in search. It holds the keys to the best real time database and search engine on the Internet, and Google doesn’t even have a horse in the game."

In a prior post called It’s Time To Start Thinking Of Twitter As A Search Engine, Michael Arrington also wrote:

"More and more people are starting to use Twitter to talk about brands in real time as they interact with them. And those brands want to know all about it, whether to respond individually or simply gather the information to see what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. And all of it is discoverable at, the search engine that Twitter acquired last summer. People searching for news. Brands searching for feedback. That’s valuable stuff."

According to Michael, "the deal Google wants: a real time feed of Twitter updates to speed indexing."

"Without that feed Google must independently index each Twitter user periodically to look for updates. That means it’s dreadfully slow in grabbing all those Twitter posts. And it’s also very expensive from a computing resource standpoint. A real time feed would be of huge value to Google, and they’d be smart to nail down a long term deal sooner rather than later."

"A real time feed of Twitter posts would negate much of the head start Twitter has in the nascent real time search space. It would be a coup for Google to get the Twitter milk without having to buy the cow. The real question is, does Twitter fully understand the value of this feed?"

3D Browser Serious Games For Senior Executives

The best of Serious Games that challenge us to play at building a better future

Via: Visual Purple - 3D Browser-Based Virtual World, Winning in Wireless: Year 1

A few months back I highlighted Visual Purple’s launch of the downloadable Serious Game Winning in Wireless: Year 1, on my blog post Serious Games For Senior Executives.
They are now releasing a beta version of the 3D browser-based application and here is today's press release.


Visual Purple Launches Beta 3D Browser-Based Virtual World

San Luis Obispo, CA – October 21, 2009 – Visual Purple, LLC. a leading advanced simulation technology firm proudly announces the launch of its first ever beta version of a 3D browser-based virtual world Winning in Wireless: Year 1. Initially launched in April of this year as a downloadable application, Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is a pilot program that BTS and Visual Purple embarked on by taking an existing BTS Computer-based training (CBT) simulation and transferring the content into a realistic virtual world environment complete with Non-Player Characters (NPCs).

This entirely 3D based virtual world application allows for automatic updating. Advanced features that are offered include a custom plug-in for behind the firewall, ability to work off of an LMS, playability on private networks and a standalone mode.

In following the trend of virtual worlds moving into the web browser this is just one more distinct advantage that Visual Purple can offer its clients by allowing its customized and low cost virtual world simulations to be viewable in any browser. This is a big step in offering companies full deployment behind their firewall or through a firewall plus the ability to run a typical PC. This complete 3D browser based virtual world solution allows for anytime, anywhere play.

Winning in Wireless: Year 1, provides an interesting environment and experience for the single-player (can be designed in a multiplayer format) and, at the same time, will show how a single-player can be taught key skills and develop empathy for the roles and skills of others within an organization. Successfully navigating Winning in Wireless: Year 1, the player learns critical insight and knowledge about the role of the CEO and why a strong CEO is valuable and important; it will provide a refresher on developing forecasts and plans, decision making using an “iTool”, and alignment of the company’s vision, values and mission. Three months after its initial beta launch to the public with a downloadable version of Winning in Wireless: Year 1 is now an entirely browser-based 3D virtual world that runs directly from the browser.

About Visual Purple, LLC

Visual Purple is an industry leader in advanced simulations and technologies throughout the Virtual World, Embedded and Decision-Based training sectors. The Company’s core technologies allow for the rapid development of training objectives within its simulations through a collection of 3D elements, videos, and other high-fidelity content. Visual Purple training solutions allow for the most complex training missions in a manner that is cost and time efficient for the organization and enjoyable and effective for the trainee. Training packages are designed to accelerate the ability of corporate and government employees to master complicated material and increase performance in making appropriate work-related decisions. Visual Purple, LLC is certified on the Central Contractor Registration database as a Women-Owned Small Business.

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