Friday, May 15, 2009

ARGuing: Serious Games in Education

Serious Games challenging us to play a better education


Via: ARGuingAlternate Reality Game for Education
ARGuing is an innovative project that addresses two fundamental needs in European education in a totally new manner:

  • How to bridge the widening technological gap between educators and their students
  • How to motivate students to understand the benefits of learning languages at a level that impacts on their existing personal and social lives.
Over the last couple of years Internet has developed in new directions, with people becoming much more involved in creating content and communicating online (Web 2.0). Studies clearly show how teens are now using technology as a natural and accepted part of their lives.


Meanwhile their teachers and educators are still looking to use either pre-Internet or the Web in ways that are already dated and bear no relation to the technology level of their students.

Existing motivators used in language learning, utilize situations to develop oral or written skills such as role-play situations within the classroom, but these situations do not generally relate to students’ real world and in particular do not attempt to use the power of technology.

The ARGuing Project



The ARGuing project tries to respond to these needs by building a methodology for educators that includes Web 2.0 technology.

The project consists of an Alternate Reality Game (ARG), which works as a communication context for international, multilingual, peer student communities that have to solve the puzzle by working as a massively, multiplayer, collaborative group, in multiple languages.

ARGuing for Multilingual Motivation in Web 2.0 is funded by the European Union under the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).


Project Results

They have now completed the ARGuing project pilot with the ARG “The Tower of Babel” and have made available a video on YouTube at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd4rKnRSZY8, which includes some statistics and comments from teachers.

The project team will be presenting the academic papers on the project at the forthcoming European Association for Games in Education Conference in October in Graz, Austria.


Please visit their
website for further documentation.

About the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) - A Single Umbrella For Education And Training Programs

The European Commission has integrated its various educational and training initiatives under a single umbrella, the
Lifelong Learning Programme. With a significant budget of nearly €7 billion for 2007 to 2013, the program replaces previous education, vocational training and e-Learning programs, which ended in 2006.

The LLP provides funding for all stages of lifelong learning; for activities at school, at college, at university, in the workplace and in the community.

The LLP is made up of several different programs offering a variety of opportunities. There are four sub-programs focusing on different stages of education and training and continuing previous programs:


  • Comenius for schools
  • Erasmus for higher education
  • Leonardo da Vinci for vocational education and training
  • Grundtvig for adult education
A transversal program aims to ensure that they achieve the best results possible. Four key activities focus on policy co-operation, languages, information and communication technologies, effective dissemination and exploitation of project results.

Aiming for a geographical reach beyond Europe's borders, the
Jean Monnet program stimulates teaching, reflection and debate on the European integration process at higher education institutions worldwide.

Targets


Quantified targets have been set for the four sub programs:

  • Comenius should involve at least three million pupils in joint educational activities, over the period of the program
  • Erasmus should reach the total of three million individual participants in student mobility actions since the program began.
  • Leonardo da Vinci should increase placements in enterprises to 80,000 per year by the end of the program
  • Grundtvig should support the mobility of 7,000 individuals involved in adult education per year by 2013
In the UK the LLP programs are managed by the British Council and ECOTEC. This joint website www.lifelonglearningprogramme.org.uk serves as a portal for information on all the programs and funding opportunities.