What We Want Out of Simulations (And Efolios)

In, what seems to be student project about Playful Technologies by Karen Radakovich, (Which Seems to come from the University of Illinois at Urbana) is embedded a most profound reflection:

The  important component here is to realize that making something seem more
“real” isn’t necessarily the goal of simulation.
 

In a sense, this is what it does, but the fact that a player is using the
simulation for play and not experiencing whatever is being simulated in
the real world is the clue that there is more to it than that.  Players
want to detach themselves from the outside world when they are immersed
in play, as I discuss in my section on ideal users. 

Therefore,
why would they want to get so close to the real world through
simulation that they feel as if they are no longer playing?
  One thing that this reading discussed was more simple aspects of simulation, like the game pieces on a board game.  For
example, in the board game Up the River, the simulation of a river is
experienced by the “unusual format of the board, which is made up
of horizontal strips.” (Salen and Zimmerman, 427) 

Obviously,
the players of this game are not playing for the purpose of traveling
up a river, but instead because of the fun simulated qualities of doing
so
.”

Wow!  This insight is phenomenal.  I can feel my brain shift on the idea of virtual worlds and simulations!

A note on efolio
This is from what is obviously an efolio from a student and although it has her name on it — how can I reach her?  How can I talk about this?  How can I discuss this amazing work?  What class was this done for?  What did the professor think?  More More… I want more.

Just can't help but feel that this incredible project, which is available online for us to see, was somehow sliced away from the owner as I have no URL to link back to the student who now may be doing something else entirely.  I can't even find a date on the project!

When working with efolios, I think we should consider:

  1. Each work by a student should be linked back to an original “about me” author page that lets a person contact the author.  (How do we do that easily and what if the author is a minor?)
  2. Each work should be dated.
  3. Can the work be linked back to the course, professor, and educational entity?
  4. Can the work be linked to other similar works — perhaps students should link to several related projects from prior students. 

Divorcing student projects from the author bothers me a bit, but this whole idea of a true lifelong digital portfolio has its pros and cons.

Thinking outloud here. 

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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