Monday, October 30, 2006

Year 2070
(powerpoint show year2070.pps 464 kB)

"This is the year 2070
I have just turned 50
But I look and feel 85
I suffer from serious kidney problems
because I do not drink enough water
I am afraid I do not have enough time left to live
I am one of the oldest people in this society"

Article published in the magazine Cronicos de los Tiempos, April 2002


Friday, October 27, 2006

AFROCAB (Australians for Refunds on Cans and Bottles)

AFROCAB (Australians for Refunds on Cans and Bottles) represents the views of Australians who want something done about the growing number of cans and bottles that litter our country. They believe that the only proven solution to this problem, is a can and bottle refund system.

Over the last 12 months they carried out 121 roadside litter surveys in Victoria and South Australia. They wanted to find out how many drink containers litter Victoria’s roadsides and whether there are as many along South Australia’s roadsides which has a refund.

  • Drink containers are about 50% of all roadside litter in Victoria.
  • Surveys found 170 drink containers per kilometre along Victoria’s rural roads and highways.
If you care about this issue, please leave a comment here


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ayiti: The Cost of Life

Ayiti: The Cost of Life is an educational game about education and poverty.

Playing 4 Keeps participants chose to focus their game on the general topic of poverty as an obstacle to education, with Haiti as a case study and setting for the game. Global Kids worked with UNICEF as a premiere partner hosting the game.

"Playing 4 Keeps (P4K) is an innovative youth media project that involves a team of Global Kids youth leaders at South Shore High School in Brooklyn, New York, USA. These young people learn to develop and produce socially conscious online games, while gaining skills in game design, digital media, leadership, and peer education. The program is a collaboration with the award-winning online game design company Gamelab, with whom the Global Kids Leaders have worked closely in the production of the Ayiti game."

It would be nice to know how much of the game the high school kids made and how much Gamelab made. How did the process really work? Was it programmed in Flash? Had it been programmed in an easier language eg Game Maker, would the kids have been able to do more? Would the result have looked as good. How are the goals of student engagement in game creation and social change balanced when kids make games for change?

See africagame , a teacher Bill Kerr has made games for change for his students. This game is open source. Westall Sceondary College students have made their own Game Maker games about malaria in africa.

An area worthy of further study. When students make games for change, must there be trade offs between student learning, social change and open source?

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Hydroelectric educational video

I made this video back in 1992, it combines my interests in bushwalking, energy and education. Its time I dusted it off and shared it on the www

Part 1
The Rubicon hydro electric scheme

Part 2
Stephensons Falls hydro scheme & Mt. St Gwinnear hydro generator

A worked example of planning a domestic micro-hydro scheme

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Australian Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Education Program

Antonio Park Primary School students present on their project, left Professor Bill Charters and Lui Bonadio

It was a pleasure to attend the awards ceremony of the Australian Hydrogen And Fuel Cells Education Program, Melbourne Town Hall on October 17, 2006. The program is funded under the ASISTM scheme.

Teachers were enthusiastic about the project

9 Victorian primary and secondary schools were involved in the program. Students made hydrogen fuelled fuel cell cars from kits. The students demonstrated their understanding of things like the periodic table, energy, friction, power.

A good example how project based learning can provide a relevant, authentic context for higher order thinking. Presentations and videos will be available soon at A big well done for project leader Lui Bonadio.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Teaching physics with Unreal Tournament

ITALICS, Oct 2006 - Volume 5 Issue 3 is on Learning With Games, Learning by Making Games

Colin B. Price - A Crisis in Physics Education : Games to the Rescue!
They have modded Unreal Tournament to make interactive virtual worlds for:

1. Gravity and Collisions
2. Activation Energy
3. Conservation of Momentum
4. Pendulae and Newton’s Cradle
5. Oscillations: Simple Harmonic, Diatomic Molecules, Normal Modes
6. Wave propagation and Solitons
7. Potential Hills
8. Central Pattern Generators in Biological Systems
9. Waves: Propagation, Diffraction and Interference.

My humble efforts with Game Maker can be found at

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 09, 2006

Games - ACEC2006

The ACEC2006 (2-4 October 2006 Cairns, Queensland, Australia) conference had a strong games theme as well as a full day pre-conference session on computer games (1 October)

Opening address, M. Hawney

Dr Bernard Holkner, Monash University, introduces the Games Cluster

The pre-conference session had 2 hands on sessions for beginners Game Maker and one for advanced Game Maker. You can download the resources for beginners and advanced classes.

Bill Kerr leads "gamemaker for beginners, (Al Upton and Roland Gesthuizen left)

Panel session on Games as Pedagogy ASISTM Cluster

Using Action Scripting as basis for Object Oriented Programming in IPT Allan Morrison

Making Interactive 2D games for Middle school year levels (Flash) Kristine Kopelke

Mobile Phone programming Miranda Forwood

Anatomy of a games project as perceived by students Mike Hawney

SiMERR –QSITE Presentation sharing results of the project to date Project Leaders

Main Program
What is it about digital media games that engrosses young boys: a study in the sub-culture of Yu-Gi-Oh and its potential for improving educational outcomes, T. de Jong. Paper

Gamemaker, getting started, again used Bill's Space Invaders tutorial.

Bill Kerr leads "gamemaker getting started"

Developing a holistic approach to integrating games in education: The Queensland Games in Learning Project, M. Piper abstract

Integrating games in learning: where's the PC ?, M. Piper abstract

The games students play, J. Gordon, paper

Game programming: the Computer Game Design, Programming, Multimedia and Mathematics Cluster, T. Forster, paper, podcast, presentation

Deal or No Deal and Gran Turismo 4 in the classroom, V. Chandra, paper

GameMaker at Gillen: indigenous education, K. Urquhart, paper

Kym Urquhart, Gamemaker at Gillen

Learning and teaching in the contexts of creating computer games, B. Holkner, abstract , paper

Games in learning, B. Kerr, T. Forster, M. Piper, paper, wiki, discussion paper

Teaching game making: facilitated by blogs and wikis, B. Kerr, paper, presentation, podcast

Educational games: how purchaser attitudes and markets influence design, S. Martinez, paper

Girls, programming and an introduction to Macromedia Flash actionscript, C. Stieler, abstract

Labels: , ,