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games + dst

Gamification

Gamification

Our virtual German city project, #pfefferhausen, will continue to grow in the 2016/17 academic year. I will write more extensively about the growing project in the coming months, and a couple of conference presentations are also in the works. At this point I wanted to give a brief update about our status and new developments. […]


Alternate Reality Project

Alternate Reality Project

It’s been a while… After receiving tenure, I took a small break from blogging. Also, I was elected as President-Elect of the International Association for Language Learning and Technology and have been working on a couple of articles and an (edited) book project entitled “From Language Lab to Language Center and Beyond: The Past, Present, […]


Storybird Writing Projects, Part 2

Storybird Writing Projects, Part 2

My experiences with Storybird this semester were great. I wrote part one of this a few weeks ago, and now that the projects are in, I’d like to write a few lines about the final results. First of all, we did not have any technical glitches, and the administrative side of Storybird allowed me to quickly […]


Storybird Writing Projects, Part 1

Storybird Writing Projects, Part 1

I have been using Storybird this semester with my German introductory and advanced writing courses this semester. the browser-based software provides a very large amount of artwork as prompts and allows writers to add text to their stories. You cannot use your own images, you have to rely on the provided ones. I really like this approach, which […]


A small game for teaching two-way prepositions

A small game for teaching two-way prepositions

Teaching grammatical concepts like two-way prepositions can be difficult, especially translating the theoretical concept into meaningful and possibly even interesting or motivating exercises and tasks. I’ve always liked using small browser games in my classes to have students do something concrete and see the outcomes. Papert called these little helping tools “objects to think with,” […]


Digital Storytelling and the L2 Curriculum

Digital Storytelling and the L2 Curriculum

I recently gave a talk on digital storytelling for the Associated Colleges of the South. The focus of the talk was to portray the range of possible activities for language learning. You can watch it here: http://blcollaboration.wordpress.com/2013/11/21/digital-storytelling-linking-language-learning-with-student-experience/  


Tag, You’re It: Language Learner Motivation, Identities and Agency in Computer Gaming Spaces

Tag, You’re It: Language Learner Motivation, Identities and Agency in Computer Gaming Spaces

I was recently invited to give the fall keynote for the FLTP (Foreign Language Technology Program) at the fantastic ALTEC at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Here’s the video: http://altec.colorado.edu/speakers/Kronenberg-10-2013.shtml And here’s what the talk is about: “Tag, You’re It: Language Learner Motivation, Identities and Agency in Computer Gaming Spaces” (Presentation available here) Research on […]


Scribblenauts Remix

Scribblenauts Remix

Scribblenauts Remix is an interesting and very creative iOS game available in English and German. Simply switch your iOS language settings and the game will load in the chosen language. There’s also an Android available. The game is a series of scenarios, each of which gives the player tasks that can be solved in a variety of […]


My book chapter (“Computer games as agentive and immersive spaces for language learners”) just got published in: “Playing with Virtuality: Theories and Methods of Computer Game Studies.” http://www.peterlang.com/index.cfm?cid=5&event=cmp.ccc.seitenstruktur.detailseiten&seitentyp=produkt&pk=73330&concordeid=264060


20 Questions Game

20 Questions Game

  The 20 Questions game is a great game for language students. A person thinks about an object, say a table, and the other players (or player) have to ask questions that can be answered with yes or no, or a few select answers such as probably, rather not, or irrelevant. The team has to […]


Browser Games for Language Learning

Browser Games for Language Learning

Small, browser-based games can be great in your language classes because of their manageable scope, shallow learning curve, and their accessibility. Fitting into a single lesson, they can create conversation opportunities and prompts. For instance, the 20 questions game, derived from a traditionally non-digital game, provides an always present conversation partner and lets users seek […]


Selection Criteria for Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Video Games for Language Learning

Selection Criteria for Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Video Games for Language Learning

My article titled “Selection Criteria for Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Video Games for Language Learning” was published in the IALLT Journal yesterday. The journal is open access, so you can just click on the link and start reading. Link to article Link to the PDF Version


Pedagogically Sound Games

Pedagogically Sound Games

There’s an annual competition and price in Germany for pedagogically sound games, called the “Pädi.” Not all these games are good for language learning, of course, but it’s an interesting list to look at. There are two age categories, one for children and one for teenagers. One social game I particularly liked is called Geräusche-Quiz. It is […]


Quest for the Rest

Quest for the Rest

Quest for the Rest is a great little browser game that lends itself for one language class and that I’ve been using for quite some time now, so I thought I’d share my thoughts. The game free and easily accessible here without any downloads. There is no text in this brief adventure game. Instead, players click […]


Buzz

Emphasizing the social aspects of new media

  For several years now one of the most versatile game I’ve used in the language centers at Pomona College and Rhodes College is a PS3 game called Buzz. Here’s how it works: up to 8 players each take a wireless controller, which sports 4 brightly colored buttons and a large “Buzz” button. Players choose their own avatars […]


StoryWheel

StoryWheel

In my last two posts I wrote about applications that are located between games and digital storytelling: Dear Esther and StoryLines. Today’s post is about the Story Wheel iOS app, in which multiple players spin a virtual wheel. There are several animated pictures on each wheel, and they are thematically related (the initial theme and the app […]


Dear Esther

Dear Esther

Last week I wrote about the narrative game StoryLines. Today’s pick is arguably not even a real game, but more like an interactive novel: Dear Esther. There aren’t really any goals that have to be accomplished. No tasks or choices, no levels(there are “chapters”), no upgrades, no overt rewards other than the experience and what the […]


StoryLines

StoryLines

I just finished revising a book chapter I wrote on new forms of narratives, which includes several applications that are neither games nor digital storytelling software in the traditional sense. So I decided to write about one of those applications in this  post (StoryLines) and a few others (e.g. Dear Esther, StoryWheel, and some browser […]


A mobile Game to Practice German

A mobile Game to Practice German

A while ago the Goethe Institut released a mobile Game, Lernabenteuer Deutsch – Das Geheimnis der Himmelsscheibe, to Practice German. I played through much of the iPad version, but other platforms are supported as well: iOS (iPhone, iPod touch), Android, and a browser-based version. All versions are free and worked flawlessly. The game is clearly an instructional game […]


ARIS

ARIS

It was great to see the increased interest in gaming and language learning at this year’s CALICO conference. The most promising actual uses of gaming were built on a free platform called ARIS, which combines gaming and storytelling elements by using a location-aware iOS app. I had played around with it and read about it […]