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Posts Tagged ‘better

Pokémon Go (PoGo) celebrated its second anniversary on 6 July. The game was released in Singapore in August, so I have been playing this game for almost two years.

PoGo second anniversary Pikachu.

I have reflected on how the game was — an still is — not quite augmented reality. Today I record two thoughts about how the game technology interacts with us.

The press would like you to know that PoGo is dead. This is despite the PoGo crowds you see on Community Days and Level 5 raids.

It will also keep telling you that too much gaming is a mental illness (and cite this WHO report) despite experts saying otherwise or expressing doubt. Why? Bad news sells, never mind the facts.

My observations are less deep.

The first is that playing a game like PoGo reveals who you already are, for the worst part. If you are a kiasu or kiasi local, you will help only yourself, others be damned. The local Facebook group for PoGo features daily drama to rival national broadcaster, MediocreCorp.

However, a game like PoGo can also change you for the better. You get out of your home and wander outside to catch, hatch, or match. This means getting some exercise, meeting new people, and exploring new places.

If you take the game more seriously, you read up about trends and strategies, and watch YouTube videos for tips, tricks, and expert advice.

Even the folks who cheat by spoofing their location in-game learn how to do it and so stay one step ahead of Niantic (the company responsible for PoGo).

That last point brings me back to the first — the game just reveals who you are. If you want to cheat or take shortcuts, you will do that. If you wish to stay true to the original spirit of the game, you can do that too.

Video source

Just over a week ago, someone asked me if I still conduct workshops on authentic and meaningful game-based learning. I have not done so in a while and would love to resume doing so. If I do, I wonder if I can work this philosophical element in. It is vital because it sends the message that game-based learning can bring out the best or worst in us.

Today I tie together an edtech staple, SAMR, and Seth Godin’s recent blog post, Better and Different.

SAMR is a model that has been useful for educators to think about what they are doing when teaching with technology — substituting, augmenting, modifying, or redefining.

The model is not perfect (no model is) and it has its fair share of critics and brickbats. A simple Google search will reveal what they are.

However, this does not mean that SAMR is not important or useful. The model might somewhat arbitrarily define SA as possibly enhancing teaching with technology while MR might push this to transforming teaching.

It might help to step outside the walled garden that is the classroom to see why MR and transformation are critical elements of the SAMR model. Godin made this point plainly:

There’s still plenty of room for digital innovations to impact our world. But they won’t simply be a replacement for what we have now. They only earn widespread engagement when they’re much better than the status quo they replace.

And the only way they can be better is when they’re different.

Or to put the same thing a different way:

Doing things differently does not always mean doing things better. But doing things better always means doing things differently. -- Hank McKinnell (Former CEO of Pfizer)

I am recreating some of my favourite image quotes I created some time ago. This time I use Pablo by Buffer and indicate attribution and CC license.

Doing things differently does not always mean doing things better. But doing things better always means doing things differently. -- Hank McKinnell

This quote addresses at least two things: 1) Change for its own sake, and 2) what it means to be truly innovative.

Doing things differently — like using an “interactive” white board to lecture — does not make things better. This is change for its own sake or because of the heavy financial investment in white elephant technology.

To innovate is to do things better. Some say innovations can be either iterative (doing the same things differently) or disruptive (doing different things). The second half of the quote reminds us that when leveraging on technology, better is accompanied by different. Separate the two and you are not likely to innovate.

Note: I am on vacation with my family. However, I am keeping up my blog-reflection-a-day habit by scheduling a thought a day. I hope this shows that reflections do not have to be arduous to provoke thought or seed learning.

…is the same word every year: Better.

Make the year better by making the place and people around me better. Be a better father, husband, educator, learner, etc. Become better by learning constantly and never being satisfied.

That is why I do not opt for “change” or “different” as my words. I seek not to change for its own sake, nor to be different (which could be better of worse).

Better is better.

This is something quote-worthy for parents and teachers alike.

To leave a better planet for our kids, we need to leave better kids for our planet..

This is a variation of a Googleable quote on the Internet.

What might be less easy to find is the wonderful photo shared under Creative Commons. I found it with the help of ImageCodr.
 

When I read this article titled How Technology Is Changing the Way People Learn, I walked away with two thoughts.

First, technology may be changing the way we learn, but that does not mean it has changed the way we measure success or failure to learn.

We can now learn from multiple sources in multiple ways along multiple timelines. However, whether someone supposedly learns something is still judged very narrowly by conventional tests.
 

 
Second, the conclusion was a pithy quote from Clive Thompson: How should you respond when you get powerful new tools for finding answers? Think of harder questions. As quickly as I nodded my head, I shook it.

We should be thinking of better questions, not just harder ones. A better question might be harder, but difficulty is not the only criterion for better. A question that is authentic, meaningful, or engaging is better, but not necessarily harder.


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