This Week On #TalkTech: Game Based Learning, Human Computer Interaction and Google’s Authoring Tool

#TalkTech is the “flipped” approach to Twitter chats. We publish all the topics a few hours before the chat so you can show up at 3 pm EST / 12 pm PST on Thursdays ready to discuss.

We’re never at a loss for new tech news, apps, and interesting blogs to explore in our weekly chats. Take a look at what we have planned for this week:

Topic 1: How does game based learning encourage mastery over mediocrity?

Karl Kapp - The Gamification of eLearning and Instruction

Karl Kapp's book is full of great information on gamification.

There is plenty of talk about the differences between game based learning and gamification. Generally speaking, game based learning is most useful for in-depth understanding approaching mastery, and gamification is a terrific motivational tool for making workplace tasks more enjoyable. The article we are discussing today makes a distinction between mastery and mediocrity. Think of “mastery” as a core skill that is repeated over and over and mediocrity as a general awareness of compliance procedures. Read the article and discuss what elements of game based learning can lead to true mastery… and how gamification comes in to play as well.

Topic 2: How can learning designers use human computer interaction to avoid the use of tedious instructions?

Think your eLearning course or game needs a bunch of screens with instructions? Think again. In an experiment run by the One Laptop Per Child foundation, school aged children in Ethopia received Motorola Xoom tablets… and no other instructions. The results were fantastic:

“Within five days, [the children] were using 47 apps per child per day,” he said, according to Slater. “Within two weeks, they were singing ABC songs [in English] in the village. And within five months, they had hacked Android. Some idiot in our organisation or in the Media Lab had disabled the camera! And they figured out it had a camera, and they hacked Android.” Another OLPC official pointed out in addition that the kids had also customized all the tablet desktops, so that each looked different. To do so, they had to get round software designed to prevent just this move.

While the iPad usually gets touted as the easiest to use device, other tablet interfaces are also simple to figure out. If these children, who had no previous computer familiarity, can learn how to use tablets in just a few days, learners shouldn’t have much trouble figuring out a well designed online learning experience. How can thoughtful design eliminate the need for cumbersome instructions?

No Instructions, No School, No Electricity? No Problem. These Illiterate Ethiopian Kids Mastered Xoom Tablets In a Few Days

Topic 3: How can Google’s new open source authoring tool benefit corporate learning?

Given the growing popularity of MOOCs (massively open online courses), this was only a matter of time. Google now offers a free authoring tool for creating online courses. The applications of this tool are easy to see for K – 12 education, but corporate learning may benefit as well. Take a look at the tool and let us know what you think.

Google Launched an Open Source Authoring Tool

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