Global Time Conference – Review

Posted by Niels on Tuesday March 1st 2011 at 22:17

Last week I attended the AACE Global Time Conference, a three day, online spectacle filled with speakers whom all shared interest in educational technology and media.

One topic which was a focal point throughout many presentations was mobile technology (e.g. Ipad and Smartphones). Judging the sheer number of speakers which submitted a paper connected to mobile teaching, it is clearly a ‘hot’ topic. Of course, this has its reasons. Thomas J. C. Smyth indicated that mobile devices are becoming very popular and widespread among different populations. Alec Couros expanded on this by showing that there will be more mobile devices than there are pc’s by 2012. Cathleen Norris and Eliot Soloway also said that better school results were achieved by students who used mobile learning devices instead of pen and paper. If looked at from the perspective of serious games, it is interesting to image the evolution to mobile serious games.

Keynote speaker Jay Cross suggested a provocative idea about the gap between how education (in this case relating to work, but this can also be applied in general) has always been and how it should be. He emphasized that we need to do things differently, but we don’t know how exactly. Following this train of thought, it reminds me of what Cathleen Norris en Eliot Soloway said in their presentation: “Schools need to create an opportunity of the current crisis. […] We need to change the way we work.” In other words, instead of rebuilding the same educational resources in the very same way, it should be improved upon. In my opinion, this also has some complications for serious games. They should not blandly integrate traditional schooling, but transform it in a meaningful, digital way.

The main trend, of course, was about the shift from traditional schooling to digital education. In an entertaining presentation, Alec Couros, talked about the vast resources that were available online, also known as ‘open education’ (open content, free software, open courses, open teaching, etc.). His take on open education, which is mainly a very social one, is an inspiration to anyone involved in schooling technology. Finally, Gilly Salmon made clear that mistake in e-learning were made in the past. Educators want to be innovating on every front, but should instead focus on core values. Wise advice for the future!

Global Time Conference Presentation

Posted by Niels on Monday February 21st 2011 at 14:15

On Wednesday the 23th of February at 6PM (UTC) I will give a virtual presentation at the AACE Global Time conference. The conference is about innovation in educational technology and media. My presentation will be about my Master thesis (teaching physical actions via a digital media) which will also be a part of my doctoral research.

The conference will run from the 22th to the 24th. Registration is still open and can be done at

Fun and Games 2010, a conference report

Posted by veerle on Monday October 11th 2010 at 15:58

Mid September (15-17 september 2010) the Fun and Games conference took place in Leuven and this for the third time, first time in Belgium.
It was co-organized by the Centre for User Experience Research (CUO), Mediacentrum, K.U.Leuven and the e-medialab, Groep-T, Leuven.

Fun and Games 2010 was a single-track, 2-day conference preceded by a one-day workshop. It was a meeting place for  designers, developers and researchers in computer games and experience design crossing the borders of traditional human-computer interaction, game design and game development.

The conference had some great speakers. Especially the talk by Dr Regina Bernhaupt on “User Experience Evaluation in Games” was very instructive and gave a nice overview of the current state of this emerging field. She demonstrated the difficulties of incorporating these user experience evaluation results in the game development process.
Another interesting but more technical talk was given by the second-day keynote speaker Eric Krzeslo from the technology provider Softkinetic. With his company he developed a middelware platform to build natural interfaces through 3D technologies and demonstrated how these interfaces are already used in games e.g. Silverfit.

The conference was further  subdivided in thematic sessions: “Game Design and Evaluation”, “Systems, Software and Enabling technologies”, “Special Target Groups”, “Gamer Theory and Methods” and “Game Design Studies”.

Several researchers of the Play&Game research group (Dirk Kenis, Tanguy Coenen, Steven Malliet, Thomas Laureyssens, Veerle Van der Sluys) attended and contributed to the workshops and the two-day conference.

For the workshop “Creative Learning with Serious Games”, Tanguy Coenen  outlined some of the game design results of the OSMA project in the paper titled “Towards a framework for learning in the OSMA Serious game engine“. This paper will be published in the december issue of the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning.

Steven Malliet presented a paper “Evaluating Educational Game Experiences in a Classroom Context: Implications for Qualitative Research” in the “Playability and player experience” workshop. He described the outcome of the playability tests of the different minigames that were developed during the Play module by the last year MAD Faculty C-MD master students. All workshop publications were bundled in a nice booklet .

Moreover, the conference allowed student designers/developers to submit their game prototypes to the Fun and Games Design Competition. Together with their lecturer the nominees of this competition received a free pass to the conference and the winners received a money reward sponsored by Microsoft.

Within this game design competition one of the last year C-MD students, Mate Cziner, submitted his Nom Nom Nom game. You can start testing your statistics knowledge (game is suited for players from 14 years on) ! He didn’t win the competition but certainly did a nice job!

Play&Game: Playing to Learn

Posted by veerle on Tuesday May 25th 2010 at 08:57

Very nice presentation on the meaning of game and play in the learning process:

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