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UK Pilot: Adventures in Space!

We have been working alongside pupils at Sneinton St Stephens Primary school which is one of the 4 NOLB partner schools in the UK.

Adventure game template: Science topic – Space themed

This is a year 5 (9-10 year old) class working on the half term topic: Space, focussing on science yet linking with several other areas of the curriculum. The pupils have had a previous half term’s introduction to Create@School, navigating the app, building their coding ability, and developing skills improving their confidence in independent learning.2

Working alongside the class teacher; Mr Gill, we identified objectives in the medium term plan that could be developed and enhanced through the use of Create@School in this topic:

literacy: using their composition skills developed through the term, pupils have created a written story, they adapted this into a series of sections within a storyboard to link with the separate ‘Levels’ within the adventure game template.

Computing: The ‘storyboarding’ of their written work helped complete a computing objective of creating an interactive story board.

History: the template’s layout is similar to a quiz, so questions reinforcing their knowledge of details about the space race and space ‘firsts’ can be added to the text to be answered correctly to reach the next part of the adventure.

Science: The adventure template has a space theme preprogramed within it and lends itself to this topic which describes the size, order and distances of the planets from the sun, the movement of the Moon relative to the Earth, movement of the earth and other planets relative to the sun in the solar system.

This being the pupils own work, we did not give them a series of objectives to meet, and allowed them to create their own stories – taking charge of their own learning.

Creating the game

3Through a constructivist approach, pupils actively tested their ideas within the template, developing both their programming and problem-solving skills. Collaborating with their peers to test ideas they questioned their ideas and strategies.

We found that as the lessons moved on, pupils felt more comfortable trying things out without asking for help, and the teaching staff took the role of encouraging role for the pupils to inquire and solve problems themselves.

 

What we achieved

By the end of the series of lessons all pupils had created a space adventure based on their literacy work. Some had uploaded their games to the PocketCode website, whilst others had shared their devices to the rest of the class.4 5

The topic has a gallery of their ICT projects with the space adventure viewed as a celebration of their achievements.

The pupils have all gained confidence in problem-solving, independent learning and programming skills and has enhanced their understanding of the topic itself and improved engagement with pupils who had struggled previously.

When they knew we were leaving, there was an audible moan. Though this raised to a cheer as we proclaimed ‘we’ll be back’!

 

 

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The Planet!2:  https://share.catrob.at/pocketcode/program/27547

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Create@School has a new round of update

Create@School aims to create digital games and game-making for education, promote inclusive gaming creating and experiences in formal learning situations. Since it´s publication, it has good number of downloads and has been demonstrated in several pilot schools in Spain, Austria and UK.

Since it´s launch, the project is fixing and adding different features. Recently, a new round of fixing and features have been updated. The details include:

  • Media assets are only available for Create@School users
  • GPII:
    • Simple brick feature
    • Intro/hints for Formula Editor
    • help link to EV3 bricks
  • 4 Templates
    • race
    • adventure rpg
    • life simulation
    • strategy

You can download the lastest version of Creat@School from here.

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GameJams – teaching mathematics via games in Spain, Tunisia and Canada this spring

During this spring,  several European Netowork of Living Lab (ENoLL) members across the world have been organising Game Jams in the context of the JamToday project. Using the game jam toolkit ENoLL members engaged with the world of Applied Game Jams and took up the challenge to teach mathematics via gamification!

Over the weekend of the 27th to the 29th of May JamToday Almería took place in Spain hosted by Guadalinfo. Girls Learning About Maths (GLAM) Games takes place in Ottawa, Canada hosted by 1125@Carlton and another is currently planned in Tunisia hosted by DigiArt Living Lab Tunis-Nabeul.

No One Left Behind supports these initiatives as we are using game jams to promote the use of #Pocket Code in education and help the kids at risk of social exclusion to engage more in class learning. 

ENoLL is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. It provides co-creation, user engagement, test and experimentation facilities targeting innovation in many different domains such as energy, media, mobility, healthcare, agrifood, etc. As such, it is well placed to act as a platform for best practice exchange, learning and support, and Living Lab international project development.

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The key to Break the ¨All Work No Play¨ Cycle

What is the life of first year students looks like? Standardised classes and standardised exams after classes. Solutions to problems are set. The line between right and wrong is clear. They need to recite, repeat and regurgitate facts to earn credits and pass the test. This worn out routine has bored students and generated huge amounts of class distractions, which have been exacerbated by the ubiquitous existence of smart devices. Kids are kept away from play since primary school.

This is not a healthy phenomenon, which has drawn the lots attention of social scientists, who come up with studies and conclusions saying ¨lack of childhood play can disrupt normal social, emotional, cognitive development¨. If left free, children will make their own rules, unleashing the boundless potential and innovation, which serves as a huge contribution to a structured gaming like sports and board games.

The process of game designing can be a leveraged as a process of kids learning from and getting to know each other better, thus improving their social and emotional development. But the benefits of letting kids play have not stopped there. It´s proved that the cognitive development can also be improved along the way. Children come out smarter after exploiting what´s behind the game, and how to design a game of their own because they are leveraging the power of their imagination, logics, critical thinking and computational skills. They also need to conquer challenges and obstacles in the way of playing. This process would prepare them better for the future adventure, and their readiness to accomplish tasks.

No One Left Behind, the co-funded EU Horizon 2020 project, is the kind of project that would break the boring circle of ¨all work and no play¨ by implementing all the benefits entailed with playing. Pocket Code special version provides the necessary supporting tool to bring back the play element in classes with curriculum related subject and learning platform.

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No One Left Behind helps you learn with games and games jams

We tend to associate games with nothing but fun and entertainment, while work with real learning and knowledge, until we uncovered the educational significance of games and game jams. For example, Alice Game Jam showcases a wonderland with hidden significance of deep learning, where kids can learn while playing games. Not as simplistic as conventional games, those games are educational ones, embedded with the pursuit towards technology and the spirit of entrepreneurship. Being utilized into schools, workplaces and other learning sites, they can help boost students’ desire to learn, explore and excel.

Within the scope of No One Left Behind , The Teachers’ Guide provides  educators with templates to create high quality games for learning with Pocket Code.

It is structured in three steps, Plan, Teach and Improve, which are designed to ease implementation, understand the rational of the template, and facilitate the operational process following Pocket Code Guide. Therefore, during the coordination and engagement with students, teachers can leverage the ¨mechanics and dynamics¨ that Pocket Code provides to transfer the element of fun and entertainment in a pedagogic and academic environment that is traditionally static.

In the No One Left Behind project , Alice Game Jam bridges the gap between gaming-techniques and pedagogy across academic subjects, grades, schools and national boundaries. The concept applied behind the Game Jam is to provide equal learning opportunities to students, the impact of which can go beyond national level.

During the Alice Game Jam, games from different continents were submitted (Europe, Africa, America -north and south-, and Asia) with different game-based initiatives (from games to storytelling narratives).  95 participants of the Alice Game Jam connected a single proposed theme with different games and stories. The 95 project submissions were mainly driven by schools.

Thus, taking Game Jams to classes can also support the development of the children’s social and academic attitudes. Furthermore, the students’ various talents are nurtured by building or enriching personal or collaborative knowledge with other social and cultural perspectives. Therefore, it is safe to say that the Game Jam tool has strong potential to be adapted and taken to classes to support learning and teaching strategies.

 

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No One Left Behind empowers Spanish school in the First Lego League Championship

We are proud to announce that the school SaFa Úbeda, one of the pilot participants of the No One Left Behind project  in Spain adopted Pocket Code in the First Lego League 2016 .

SaFa Úbeda has been one of the most active candidates of the First Lego League since 2014. In March, 2016, The Úbeda Team (Lego Tec SaFa Úbeda) ranked the second with the guidance of couch Andrés Romero Peralta in the local championship of Granada .

The FIRST LEGO® League Open European Championship is an international robotics tournament hosting more than 90 teams from more than 80 countries all over the world. It presents an international platform that inspires future leaders and innovators in science and technology through challenges, competitions and team work. Young candidates of 10-16 years old will be guided by adult coaches in FIRST LEGO team to research a real-world problem of their interests, such as food safety, recycling, energy, etc., and are challenged to come up with a solution, the process of which requires them to design, build, program a robot with LEGO MINDSTORMS® technology. The competition would be on a table-top playing field.

Pocket Code and No One Left Behind  support all the LEGO MINDSTORMS® NXT motors and sensors. Candidates could give their robots with face, voice, or even realise face detection, which means the robot can turn to and speak with someone in front of it. With Pocket Code, all these exciting features would be achieved in the easiest way, only by mounting the phone on robot and programming through visual blocks in mobiles or tablets. No PC or laptop needed!

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Jam Session No One Left Behind & Pocket Code at Net Futures 2016

The No One Left Behind partners from Graz University of Technology and INMARK organized a Game Jam session at the Net Futures 2016:  Driving Growth in the #DigitalSingleMarket conference in Brussels on 20-21 April to explain how relying on smartphones and Game Jams using Pocket Code can close the digital skills gap in ICT technologies.

The Game Jam session showed how creating games on one’s own smartphone can strongly motivate kids to acquire the coding skills that are fundamentally important to our present and, even more, to all our future. By promoting the use of Pocket Code, No One Left Behind supports schools to develop a new environment where students can learn how to program by creating games/apps directly on their smartphone.

Read more

Pocket Code on Google Play: http://catrob.at/pc

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95 games submitted in Alice Game Jam

Pocket code was used to build 43 games during the competition

The Alice Game Jam took place during the international Computer Science Education Week between 7th and 13th of December 2015, and No One Left Behind project was an official partner of this event.

During the Alice Game Jam were submitted 95 games from countries such us Austria, England, Italy and Spain and 43 of them were built using Pocket Code. Following the rules competition, the pupils from SAFA San Luis and SAFA Úbeda schools submmited four games applied to mathematics.

The SAFA Foundation (Andalucía, Spain) is participating as pilot of the No One Left Behind project. This pilot targets students growing at risk of not reaching their full potential as they come from differentiated collectives.

The organizers of Alice Game Jam have selected a total of 9 finalists programs which includes the game designed by the students from SAFA San Luis school based on correct and incorrect statements.

Congratulations to the winners!

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No One Left Behind was presented in #JamToday Fair BCN

The second edition of Jam Today Fair BCN was held in Barcelona (Spain) the last December. The event was hosted by the JamToday Network at the Citilab and ENTI. The event joined, game designers, policy and research specialists in video games under the topic Games and Learning. Through a number of interactive workshops the event offered practical sessions about applied games design and game-based learning, transfer and evaluation methodologies, and concrete examples of applied games and games developed.

In this context Yolanda Ursa from INMARK participated in the 2015-12-01 16.15.44seminar on game-design for applied games: case studies and best practices, to present No One Left Behind and to explain the great potential of Pocket Code for educational systems.

Jam Today Fair BCN was a great opportunity for our project to share experience on gamification with a large community of applied games.

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Join #AliceGameJam & design your own video game

The Alice Game Jam will take place during the international Computer Science Education Week between 7th and 13th December 2015. No One Left Behind project is proud to be an official partner of this event that aims to promote inclusive game-making among children. Alice Game Jam is also supported by Catrobat, The Scratch Foundation, The British Library, Oxford University and GameCity.

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This online Game Jam is geared  to teenagers and especially girls who want to learn programming in a fun and creative way and let their fantasy run wild. To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice in Wonderland the Game Jam event gives them the opportunity to design and create their own Alice-themed game or story with the simple programming-framework Pocket Code or Scratch.

Special tutorials, media-assets about Alice in Wonderland and an online platform allow them to learn coding by themselves  and share their projects with the whole world.

How to be part of it?

The participation will be online and you can either take part as a single creator or as a team of up to four people. As a framework to create your game you can use our free “Pocket Code” app or the free web-based Scratch platform by the MIT Media Lab.

Wall of Fame

All submitted games, stories and animations will be published together on the “Wall of Fame” during and after the game jam. So the participants will get the chance to share their projects with all the community.

All information needed is published on this website www.alicegamejam.com So stay tuned!

 

Take the chance to learn how to code and be part of the #AliceGameJam