Research and Design of Mobile Educational Games
272 pp., 6 x 9 in, 56 b&w illus.
- Published: August 19, 2011
- Published: April 18, 2008
An overview of mobile learning games that argues for the educational advantages of handheld games over their big-screen counterparts.
New technology has brought with it new tools for learning, and research has shown that the educational potential of video games resonates with scholars, teachers, and students alike. In Augmented Learning, Eric Klopfer describes the largely untapped potential of mobile learning games—games played on such handheld devices as cell phones, Game Boys, and Sony PSPs—to make a substantial impact on learning. Examining mobile games from both educational and gaming perspectives, Klopfer argues that the strengths of the mobile platform—its portability, context sensitivity, connectivity, and ubiquity—make it ideal for learning games in elementary, secondary, university, and lifelong education. Klopfer begins by exploring the past and present of education, educational technology, “edutainment,” and mobile games, and then offers a series of case studies of mobile educational games that have been developed and implemented in recent years. These games—either participatory (which require interaction with other players) or augmented reality (which augment the real world with virtual information)—can be produced at lower cost than PC or full-size console games. They use social dynamics and real-world context to enhance game play, they can be integrated into the natural flow of instruction more easily than their big-screen counterparts, and they can create compelling educational and engaging environments for learners. They are especially well-suited for helping learners at every level develop twenty-first century skills—including the ability to tackle complex problems and acquire information in “just-in-time” fashion. All of this, Klopfer argues, puts mobile learning games in a unique and powerful position within educational technology.
Augmented Learning tells a story that is both disarmingly modest and richly ambitious. Few books to date have offered such a comprehensive and clear view of what games and learning actually looks like, and the work is a marvel. I consider it essential reading for anyone struggling to answer the question why games matter to the future of learning.
Katie Salen, Director of Graduate Studies in Design and Technology, Parsons School of Design, and coauthor of Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals (MIT Press, 2008)
Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the new medium of educational and social life for young people, and hence mobile learning games are a key topic for learning. This is a breakthrough book which details deeply the background, design, research, and implementation of mobile learning games. It is of great benefit and essential insightful reading for teachers, students, game designers, and researchers.
Adrian David Cheok, Director, Mixed Reality Lab, National University of Singapore
Writing about education technology tends to dwell on long-term visions or touts the merits of expensive hardware investments (one laptop per child, anyone?). In this new book, MIT professor Eric Klopfer provides a welcome departure from that norm, explaining in scholarly but accessible prose how simulations designed for cheap, mobile technologies can enhance learning.... Anecdotes and evidence make a compelling case that these games are effective at engaging students and helping them master academic content.