In this week’s episode of Board Gaming with Education, Dustin is joined by Dan White, CEO of Filament Games to talk about using video games for game-based learning. They explore topics such as defining game-based learning and where games fall on a game-based learning spectrum, how and what role game-based learning played during the pandemic, and what the future of game-based learning may be. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to get more content from Board Gaming with Education!
- Episode Topics (timestamps are for podcast episode | video time stamps are available on YouTube)
- Board Gaming with Education Introduction: Board Games for Learning at BGE – 00:00
- Who is Dan White? – 1:40
- What are Games? – 2:42
- Video Games as Part of your Learning Environment – 5:12
- Filament Games – 8:56
- Dustin Challenges Dan to a Game of 5-Second Rule – 33:33
- Filament Games-
- Website: https://www.filamentgames.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/filamentgames
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FilamentGames/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/filamentgames/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJasXa4exOSaouCSjJT04SA
- Website: https://www.roboco.co/
- Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1067220/RoboCo/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/robocogame
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoboCoGame/
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCzDbC5wmLT28omYT6llSXg
- Discord: https://discord.com/invite/pYTHrt2
Games/Books from this Episode [Links include games in our Board Gaming with Education Store or Amazon affiliate links]:
Thank you to Purple Planet Music for the wonderful contribution of their songs “Soul Train” and “Retro Gamer” for our Sponsorship and Interview Segments. These songs can be found in full on this music archive. Also, thank you to Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) for his creative commons 4.0 contribution of “Getting it Done” for our Game Segment.
Our Facebook Group for Educators: Games-based Learning, Gamification, and Games in Education
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Board Gaming with Education – Tabletop Games for Learning – 00:00
Who is Dan White – 1:40
Dan White is CEO and co-founder of Filament Games, a full-service digital studio that exclusively creates learning games. Filament has completed 160+ education-focused projects since its conception, and has partnered with some of the biggest names in education such as Amazon, Scholastic, Smithsonian, National Geographic, Television Ontario (TVO), McGraw-Hill, and the US Department of Education. An alumnus of Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Dan earned an M.S. in Education Technology under seminal learning game scholars Drs. Kurt Squire and James Paul Gee. Dan’s passions include learning games, sustainability, mindfulness, and modernizing institutional education.
What are Games? – 2:42
Dan defines what he believes games to be and the mission of Filament Games:
…we also care about what happens to play the player after the game. A lot of people think of this in terms of, you know, the colloquialisms of transfer, like how does that experience transfer out into the real world? So for us, it’s how did that behavior change that player? Or that player? Is cognition in some way? Did we create a new behavior? Do we create a new perspective, a new skill set, a new mindset, etc? And, and ideally, it’s a positive as well.Dan White (Episode 141 of the Board Gaming with Education Podcast)
Dan and Dustin also discuss the games as an art form and how co-creation can be leveraged as a dialogue between the player and the creator of the game.
Video Games as Part of your Learning Environment – 5:12
Dan defines games as “experience engines” and talks about game-based learning as a “cousin” to project-based learning or inquiry-based learning. “Games can create a problem-space for the player to explore and make decisions in, and in the process of playing in the space they are exllllposed to the learning objectives.”
Filament Games – 8:56
Dan talks about several different points focused around Filament Games, Video-Game-Based Learning, the Pandemic, and Remote Learning. Dan defines a spectrum of game-based learning through problem-based learning with huge levels of automation and exploration to the other side of the spectrum toward content-knowledge and route memory and learning. Dustin and Dan talk about different games from Filament Games and elsewhere and where they may fall on this spectrum.
Dan and Dustin also talk about what role video games and game-based learning played throughout the pandemic and how teachers took to using games online during this period. Let us know how you used games during the pandemic in the comments below!
Dustin Challenges Dan to a Game of 5-Second Rule – 33:33
Dustin challenges Dan to a game of 5-Second Rule. Check out our YouTube Video for a visual representation of the game.
Game-Based Learning, Video Games, and Remote Learning feat. Dan White from Filament Games – 141
Transcript automated and provided by otter.ai. [Using this link helps us continue to use this transcription service for future episodes.] Disclaimer: This is an automated transcript and may have errors in grammar, wording, and/or word choice.
Dustin Staats 0:00
What’s up edge gamers today we’re talking with Dan Wyden from filament games, we’re chatting about video games in game based learning, we’re gonna look at what that looks like as a remote experience, what it looked like before the pandemic, and that transition to the pandemic and what that might look like in the future. I’m super excited for our chat today. So let’s get into the episode.
Board Gaming with Education 0:24
Board Gaming with Education, a podcast for anyone curious about how games and education mix, we explore various topics like game based learning, gamification, and board games, and the impacts they have on learning. here’s your host, Dustin stats.
Dustin Staats 0:42
If you’re new to our YouTube channel, or new to the podcast, or if you’ve been around a while, this might be just a reminder for you. But we are Board Gaming with Education, we focus on providing game based learning gamification, resources, tips, tricks, we we do it all. And one of the things we do on our website, we carry different hobby in mass market board games. So if you’re interested in implementing a tabletop game, as part of your learning environment, whether that be at home or in the classroom, be sure to check out Board Gaming with Education comm we’re working on a lot of new things coming up, including a board game crate, and that comes packed with different games to get you set up with your learning environment. If you have questions or anything, feel free to reach out to me podcast at Board Gaming with education.com. Alright, let’s get to the talk.
So welcome to another episode of Board Gaming with Education. I am your host, Dustin, I’m here joined by Dan, super excited to have you here Dan white from filament games, and filament games is all about creating experiences and learning or playful experiences that improve people’s life. So there are a lot of games that filament Games has have produced. I’m excited to learn more about some of your games and kind of what you’ve done with game based learning. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today is using video games for learning. Before we kind of jump into the topic, would you mind just sharing a little bit about yourself and what you do and maybe an introduction of filament games? Absolutely,
Dan White 2:18
yeah, so filament games everyday we get up, we put our pants on. And we develop games for positive impact. As you mentioned, a lot of people make games, or everybody who makes games is trying to have some kind of impact on the player, right. But usually, it’s in situ, it’s in the moments while they’re playing the game. And usually the desired impact is entertainment. So one of the main things that sets us apart is we also care about what happens to play the player after the game. A lot of people think of this in terms of, you know, the colloquialisms kind of transfer, like how does that experience transfer out into the real world? So for us, it’s like, how did that behavior change that player? Or that player? Is cognition in some way? Did we create a new behavior? Do we create a new perspective, a new skill set a new mindset, etc? And, and ideally, it’s a positive as well.
Dustin Staats 3:05
Right? So I’m wonder before we kind of go further, I want to ask when you come across someone, because this is something that that you kind of learned pretty early on when you start looking at game based learning and games as an art form? Right? It games are art, and not a lot of people maybe consider games as art. How do you approach or open up that conversation to someone who’s never thought about that before?
Dan White 3:28
Yeah, you know, it’s, it’s interesting, I was I was just watching a video about the unintended consequences of designing rewards into games. And, and I think one of the really interesting artistic aspects of games, while all art is intended to have some kind of impact on people, right. But games almost take it to this, this next level of like it, some people might even consider it like cognitive manipulation, right? Like, I want the player to do X. And so I’m going to give them incentive y or encouragement, z. And so I think one of the things that’s really interesting about games as art is that as a, as a game developer, or a game designer, it’s a it’s a dialogue, as opposed to a one way street, right? I’ve, I’m not filming a movie, and then having you sit and consume it passively, or making a drawing a picture or a painting and having you passively consume it. I’m giving you a space in which you can actually bring your own thoughts and ideas and perspectives. And then implement those thoughts and ideas and perspectives in the form of actions in the context of the verbs or mechanics that I’ve created for you in the game. And then you get a response. And that response is something that I as a designer, maybe thought of, or maybe it’s emergent, like so for example, right now, we’re working on a robotics game where it’s a very physics based space. And so the players inputs, a certain number of things are predictable, and there’s certain variables that are simply not predictable. And so that’s the thing that I think is actually one Other things that makes games are in a very different way than traditional forms of art traditional medium is that it’s a it’s actually a type of CO creation, which is, to me just absolutely awesome.
Dustin Staats 5:10
Yeah, that’s super cool. I like how you put it as a dialogue between right the player and the creator of the game or the just the game and the player. And it reminds me of one of the first times I kind of experienced that perspective was with Raph Koster, he talks about games can do something no other art form can do. And you mentioned that response that feedback you get from playing a game. Absolutely. Awesome. So I want to we want to get into the topic of using video games for learning. And I know, this was a pretty big deal this past year, because a lot of people were online, and how we use video games remotely or in the classroom. How would you approach this topic maybe to someone first kind of getting into this idea of using video games as a part of their learning environment
Dan White 5:56
or in their classroom. I like to think of games as experience engines. And I think that’s part of the reason why they’re so potent as a pedagogy. And for people who are sort of steeped in the, in the vernacular of the learning sciences, I think of game based learning. And game based learning is, in many ways being like a cousin to project based learning or inquiry based learning. So the idea is we’re we’re creating a problem space for the player to explore to make decisions in ideally, interesting decisions. And then in the process of playing with that space and trying to solve those problems. They are exposed to the learning objectives that we that we want them to learn. And this is really powerful stuff, right? Because, you know, every, there’s all different ways that people learn. But one of at least in my experience, in grad schools, it was quite a while ago now, for me, but at least from what I remember, from my learning science degree, as well, is that a lot of people learn through experience, and the more hands on those experiences are, the better. And it’s so so games, yeah, again, are essentially experience engines, they give you an opportunity to experience something that otherwise might be very difficult or even impossible. So for example, if I want to step into the shoes of an astronaut, you know, as a 12 year old, that’s, that’s probably not feasible or practical, right. But in a game space, it absolutely is. And the other cool thing is in the game space, we can play with a fidelity so that we we can set it at just the right point to highlight the lessons that we think are most important in that space for that learner at that time. So for a 12 year old, there’s, you know, thinking about Astro, you know, physics and, and, you know, think of things around being an astronaut, obviously, I don’t know a lot about math and stuff like that stem right? There, there’s, so here’s maybe a more salient example is, if I want to teach you about a cell and how a cell works. In the beginning, when I’m going to show you a picture of a cell, that’s not actually what a cell looks like, right? It’s sort of an intentional why like a simplification of an abstract idea or concept that gives you handholds to grab onto in your learning trajectory. And then over time, I can those lies can congratulate work their way toward becoming truths. But in the beginning, it’s actually it’s less about telling the player exactly how a system works. So this is where this is one of the reasons that games are very different than simulations, right simulations are obsessed with, like this idea of fidelity, like we want to tell the learner exactly how this works. But in fact, simulations always lies as well, right? Because there’s no such thing as perfect simulation. So it’s all just a question of the extent to which you’re willing to suspend a certain amount of disbelief in order to focus on the parts of the learning objective that are actually important based on your personal learning trajectory. Yeah, and
Dustin Staats 8:56
I want to go back to the point you made, and I really, really like it, and it’s very well said is, and I think it works to is to introduce teachers that are not familiar with game based learning is called the cousin of gait project based learning or inquiry based learning, because really, it is experiential learning. You’re, you’re experiencing whatever it is learning outcome through the game, which is really great. Um, so how, I guess Can you share maybe some examples of filament games and what they’ve done to use video games this past year, particularly in a remote, I guess who I mean, most schools were remote. So how or what games have you guys used?
Dan White 9:33
Yeah, so I’ll illustrate I’ll use two different examples to illustrate kind of what I see is different into the spectrum. And, and this spectrum is also on its itself on a larger spectrum as well, which I’ll try to articulate briefly. So the overall spectrum I see is from being sort of practice oriented experiences Joe and practice oriented experiences that tend to be focused on declarative knowledge. And on the other end of the spectrum, You have more procedural oriented experiences that are about concepts and understandings. So and that’s where you oftentimes get into a lot of your soft skills education, like critical thinking or computational thinking, problem solving, design, thinking, collaboration, creativity, etc. So we tend to focus on the right side of that spectrum. To the extent possible fill in this, we make a lot of different games for a lot of different types of organizations. So obviously, the client has to say in that in that as well, but it to give examples on more toward the right end of that spectrum. If you ratchet all the way up, or all the way to the right, as it were, you’re looking at again, so this this game, I mentioned Robo CO, which is a robot building sandbox space where basically like, here’s a problem, you got to build a robot that can deliver a sandwich to this table on a piece row, or cross this bridge and shutoff valve that’s causing toxic goo to leak out or whatever. How you solve that is entirely up to you, we’re going to give you the parts here, some pistons, your springs, here’s, you know, servo, motors, blocks, etc, gears, and then how you solve that problem. It’s entirely up to you. Then as you move down the spectrum more toward the content, knowledge end of the spectrum, you have games, like icivics. So we’ve made almost, I think, 20 games for an organization called iCivics, which uses a game based curriculum to teach civics, basically civics, literacy and knowledge. So these are things like, Well, yeah, how does my government work? What does the executive branch do? Etc, etc. And so even on that end of the spectrum, and this is why I say we inhabit the right side of this overall spectrum. So even even on the low end of our spectrum, we’re not going to put you in a space where, say, for example, we say, you know, what is what’s the Second Amendment? And then ask you that question is in the form of a quiz, and then give you some sort of candy, you know, coating around, right, right, or whatever, after you get it. Right. So and that stuff’s fine, by the way, like, I don’t have I don’t have any, like philosophical chip on my shoulder about that. It’s just that I would classify those lessons games and more as like digital interactives. And so so in the case of a game like iCivics, what we’re really trying to do is we’re saying, what sort of identity or role can we put you in, in this space, where you have a logical reason to engage with this content and learn this content? So basically, how can we make it so that this content has some sort of utility to you as a player, and then, you know, at the end of the day, our goal is to make sure that you not only understand it, but will retain it in some kind of longitudinal way. And that’s really where that experience based learning comes back into play.
Dustin Staats 12:46
Yeah, that’s awesome. I kind of want to maybe pray a little bit further on the, I guess I think of what is it Kahoot, or quizzes? What’s the third one? So yeah, I mean, you mentioned they’re not there. But they’re good tools. They’re great tools. But looking at that, versus I think the name of the game. I know your rights. Is that correct? Do I have a right? Do I have a Right, right. So that’s, I’ve had a chance to play it a couple weeks ago, someone introduced it to me before we had connected, which was kind of coincidence. But, um, so it’s essentially a card game where you’re practicing the Bill of Rights. Is that correct?
Dan White 13:23
Yeah. Do I have a right? Oh, so Yeah, actually, we, incidentally, we’ve made two different games about Bill. Right. Okay. Okay. And so in one of the and, and one of them was called, and they’re both, by the way, a very long time ago. So testing my recollection here. One. Do I have a right, and the other one is? Oh, gosh, what is the other one called? Well, not so you’re gonna have to tell me more about the game? I’ll tell you.
Dustin Staats 13:51
Yeah. So it was the one where you have to match the amendment with the rights. I have a right. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I was, you know, and that’s kind of I shared it with like, another colleague, as giving an example like this is the epitome of game based learning. You’re learning the amendments through, like, practical examples in the world. I mean, some of these conversations come up on social media all the time now. And they’re in amendment. So I wonder, can you kind of share a little bit more of what something like that experience game based learning experience like that game versus, like using something like quizzes or Kahoot, and maybe some benefits to using the game based learning experience?
Dan White 14:33
Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting to use that as an example in particular, because I would say that is probably as close as we, I mean, that’s, that’s actually an example of a game that does trend a little bit closer to the toward the Kahoot end of the spectrum. I mean, the thing is, what if you want to sort of put on your, you want to sort of wax philosophical for a second, like every game, no matter how complex or deep it is, is always a set of questions. And those questions are, they’re not as explicit questions on the screen, but the game is asking you in one form or another, what do you want to do? Like what is? What is the thing that you want to do next? And really, I think one of the things that separates interesting games, whether they’re learning games or not, from less interesting games, I don’t I don’t mean to sort of put a pejorative angle on it. But basically, is the answer to those questions. Interesting. And is it? Is it objective really right or wrong? And I think some of the most interesting learning experiences in general, whether they’re games or not, are spaces where there’s not like an objective right? or wrong it like, like in real life, right? Do I do a or b, it’s like, well, that there’s benefits and drawbacks to A and B. And there’s also infinite other possibilities as well. And so I think what we’re trying to do, regardless of where we are on that spectrum, is trying to give the player the sense that they’re inhabiting us space, where they have a as much agency as possible, and the possibility space is as big as possible. And do I have a right is actually funny example, kind of going back, what I was saying before is that it’s a space where we, through a little bit of smoke and mirrors, we sort of use some tricks of the trade to give you the impression that it’s a larger possibility space than it actually is. And so, so, so, but but then, I guess, I would still argue that, that context still matters. Like it still matters, that you’re put in the role of somebody triage being locked cases in a law firm, that there are actual people coming in who have actual problems that you’re helping to triage through your understanding and expertise about or your ability to apply your knowledge of, of the Constitution. And, and that’s a and I think that sort of taps into this larger point that learners, whether they’re young or old, just crave context, they crave a sense of like convening, and matter outside of the context of this specific intervention. And even if it feels like, even if it’s as simple as you know, we put you in, in the role of this particular character in this particular environment. If it feels logical to the player, and it gives them a reason beyond just, I need to try to figure out what the right answer is based on my knowledge of the Constitution and what this particular client needs, then that’s a win. Right, right.
Dustin Staats 17:25
And I mean, I see the game as like a very basic version of Hearthstone if you’ve ever played that, where it’s, you know, it’s a card based game, and yeah, maybe I didn’t have enough time to explore to see that maybe it is more confined than what my experience was. But it seems like there’s some some deeper strategy that could be involved in the game.
Dan White 17:47
Now you’re making me question because the other constitutional rights game that we made is almost exactly like Hearthstone.
Dustin Staats 17:54
Okay, maybe that is the one I thought I thought. Yeah, I’ll have to look. Because because, yeah, there’s one because I played one. And then I think I probably went on to Google to like, search it again. And then maybe it’s the first one that came up, and I’m using that title as the game name of the game. So now I’m gonna have to look
Unknown Speaker 18:13
that way, awesome.
Dustin Staats 18:17
I’ll leave it. I’ll leave it in the description for anyone that’s curious about the game. Because I enjoyed it. And I think it does definitely demonstrate some practical demonstrations of the experiences and arguments for the amendment, the different amendments.
Dan White 18:33
The second game is called, that’s your right, by the way. That’s your right. Okay. Everybody understands why we’re both confused. So there’s very similar titles about the same subject matter, but different, different treatments. Right?
Dustin Staats 18:45
So could you share a little bit more about filament in their games versus in person games in virtual environments? And kind of compare that through this past year? And maybe going forward? what that would look like?
Dan White 18:59
So just want to make sure I’m clear, are you asking about the use of games in the context of a pandemic, where everybody’s learning remotely versus the context of using digital games when everybody’s physically co located?
Dustin Staats 19:10
Right, right. And then maybe what that looks like now that we’ve kind of, we’ve lived through a pandemic, we’ve seen some things work well, that may carry over beyond the pandemic to you.
Dan White 19:21
Alright, you know, this is a, this is an interesting question. And here’s why. During the pandemic, you your first instinct would be, okay, everybody’s remote, game based learning is going to appear teachers are going to use games a lot more than they did in pre pandemic. And I think, I think you can find examples where that is true. And I know for a number of clients that we work with, where we get to see the statistics on usage, that was in fact the case, but across the board, I’m not sure that it averages out That way, and my theory is that the when that mean, the pandemic was hugely disruptive, right? So it changed, right? It required everybody to scramble and figure out how to do distance learning full time distance learning for the first time. And, and game based learning even before, before the pandemic, game based learning. Like, again, I would say like project based on or inquiry based learning, this more sort of advanced pedagogy that requires it’s, it’s, it’s not as I mean, frankly, it’s not as easy to implement as, as some more standard or traditional pedagogies. And so, so even before the pandemic, I think a lot, a lot of educators were, at least a lot of the educators I talked to about game based learning, they’re like, how do I, how do I do this? You know, what’s the what are the best practices, and what are the what’s where’s the good content, how I find out how to implement it. And, and, and so when the pandemic came along, was super, super disruptive, and everybody’s trying to figure out how to do remote learning, I almost feel like that sucked so much air out of the room, that it was difficult that almost compounded that problem more than more than facilitated the increased use of game based learning. So if your now all of a sudden, trying to just figure out how to do the things that used to be super straightforward, you know, just like conduct a class, then it probably just have less bandwidth to think about now integrating these new technologies that you may or may not have integrated before the pandemic. So, you know, I think the I think, I think using games during that like for I think, for a lot of educators who who were able to like make that transition relatively quickly, and then get up and running and then say, okay, there are clearly some deficiencies to virtual learning compared to physical learning, how can I shore up some of those deficiencies by adding some virtual resources that are higher quality than the default digital resources that are available to us? And I think in those instances, game based learning was used to very good effect. I’ve just not hurt not really sure how widespread that was. And then post pandemic answer the second part of your question, I, what I hope will happen is that everybody, you know, and even as we sort of go back to things the way they were, that everybody will say, Okay, well, clearly, one of the things that is pandemic showed us is that our, our, you know, everything digital, like digital learning for us. And when I say I was I guess I’m specifically saying Cato, but I guess it applies across the board. It’s a bit like Digital’s a plan B, maybe a Plan C, that we haven’t really like it’s a it’s a plan. It’s a contingency plan that we haven’t put a lot of as much time and effort into as maybe we should. And now it maybe should at least become Plan B or should like now that things are sort of going back to normal, we’ve realized that, that there’s actually some some real benefits to remote learning or digital learning. There’s some big drawbacks. It’s just like remote work, right? There’s some real benefits, real drawbacks to remote work. So I hope we see a lot of people saying, Well, how can we retain some of the benefits of, of remote learning and, and I hope that game based learning rises, you know, sort of percolates to the top is one of the things that can be that that can move closer toward a plan A where we’re like, Okay, now we’re actually going to spend some time and energy on, on integrating this pedagogy more intentionally and more mindfully into our everyday practice, even now that things are going back to, to physicality.
Dustin Staats 23:41
Right, right. And just to maybe I want to go back to talking about during the pandemic, but to kind of bring that point home one thing that I did, and I was only able to do it for a year, and I wish I was maybe back in the classroom, or maybe I’ll have an opportunity to do it again in the future was flipped my classroom. And that was really beneficial for me, because one I had two courses was 60 to 70 students, and it was a writing class. So it’s like almost, I need to figure out something to do this, right, and give the individual attention to the students that they need to help them with their essays. So I was able to do that. And that was really great, because it did facilitate an experience where there was more a student centered approach to learning. I was also there as a coach in the sense where I could kind of walk them through their essays and meet with them one on one, and then they had opportunity where they get peer support in the classroom as well. Yeah, so I really like that. And I hope that we kind of take some of those things from maybe the flipped classroom experience and some things we’ve learned from the pandemic and kind of apply it to the future. But you also made a really good point with the during the pandemic that it was disruptive, and for some teachers, they were just trying to keep up right. And for me when I’ve done game based learning or gamification I’ve taken that summer to kind of prepare for like stuff Bigger, newer, you know, like, a game of fight an entire semester. And that took me like a month to kind of lay down the framework for it. And you can’t do that during a pandemic. I mean, a lot of teachers are still figuring out that over the summer, how they’re going to do virtual learning. So I think maybe it was, like you mentioned, maybe some of the teachers that already have an experience with game based learning, were able to integrate it a little bit more and lean into it, during the pandemic.
Dan White 25:27
Exactly. I think that’s exactly right. I’m fond of the phrase never waste a good crisis. I don’t know who said it, but in terms of attribution, but I yeah, I hope that I sincerely let you know, the education system in general, I think was overdue for a good shake up. And, and for everybody to just sort of be forced to not be able to do things the way they normally do and get outside their comfort zone. And yeah, just try, just try new things. And so I really hope that, you know, in the same way that even outside of the education system, a lot of people were like, Hey, I think I want to try biking out now. Or I want to try owning a pet or whatever, what you know, baking bread garden, it, you know, all the all the standard pandemic, hobbies that emerged. And it’ll be really interesting to meet to see to what extent things progress afterwards, if it’s just like, Okay, now let’s, let’s go back to business as usual, more there is this. And I really do think it, I think it will not, I think that will not happen, I really do think that that there, that things will not revert to business as usual, and that a lot of people will sort of carry this new perspective with them. And whether that’s specifically game, you know, game based learning should be another tool in my tool belt, as part of, you know, that I, even if I don’t use it every day, it’s you know, I think of it as being something that I use every year, every semester alongside all these other resources that I use, or if it’s just people thinking more critically about our digital learning infrastructure, and digital learning resources, and what good digital learning looks like. As opposed to thinking of digital learning as a band aid, which is how we kind of had to think of it during the Right,
Dustin Staats 27:17
right. Yeah, I’m super curious. I mean, I, I’m a little biased, but the game based learning give kidding, like, I really am curious how that’s gonna turn out. But you make a good point with digital learning, what, what are we going to bring to the classroom, I mean, one on one with Chromebooks, or iPads, that’s been a big push this last year, like you have like this, you have to provide that now. And I imagine that’s gonna be a thing moving forward, which is awesome. Like, that’s super cool.
Dan White 27:45
It is. And that’s actually something. I’m glad you brought that up, too, because that’s another, at least from my perspective, it’s another one of those double edged swords, right. It’s like, there’s, I love the idea of giving kids the tools that we use as professionals outside of school, to facilitate the types of tasks and, and more importantly, thinking that that grownups do, at the same time. For for reasons that make total sense, we are making really big investments in a very particular type of digital infrastructure, right. So like, web enabled, computers, like Chromebooks, or tablets. And in general sort of low end from a processing power perspective, or graphical processing power perspective, especially sort of devices that are lower on the lower end of the spectrum, which facilitate all sorts of awesome things, Google Docs, and, you know, just access to the internet in and of itself is it’s huge. But what it what it leaves behind is some higher fidelity. So I’m, I’m, I’m now speaking from the perspective of a game developer, and games. So here’s another spectrum we can talk about, and that is the spectrum of system requirements. Right? And, and if we really want to push the envelope in terms of production values, and sort of creating virtual spaces that are really engaging and really draw the player in and and in some cases, maybe the visuals are really important to the learning objectives. Like say we’re making it a game about historical topic or something like that, that we have this really, really hard ceiling with delivering games through internet enabled devices, like Chromebooks and tablets that don’t have onboard, you know, high rank processing systems or graphical GPUs. And so that’s not like that’s a problem for the future. Probably. I think in general right now, it’s the the focus really does need to be on like, let’s push us a hard part one to one as possible, but something for consideration for down right.
Dustin Staats 29:51
Right. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, one one thing I had to go through is the access to technology to is it teaching a class among us games in human behavior. And among us is not available on Google Chromebooks at the school. So I’m like, Okay, well, I have to make sure everyone has access to another device. Otherwise, we probably have to do different game.
Dan White 30:14
Download install can be the kiss of death for Yeah, right. The school infrastructure.
Dustin Staats 30:20
Yeah. Cool. So, before we move into our game, do you have anything else you kind of want to share? Or maybe last words of advice to someone looking at games or game based learning or video games for learning?
Dan White 30:32
Yeah, absolutely. So. So kind of returning to that spectrum that we the original spectrum that we talked about from sort of more content oriented games to more soft skill oriented games, I think there’s we’ve seen games games of all different types gradually infiltrate school system, it’s been, it’s been a lot slower than I personally would like, and it’s been more weighted toward the good end of the spectrum than the other end of the spectrum. Also, to my chagrin, that’s okay. Right. But what I’m really hoping is that the thing that makes games come to the forefront digital games and shine as a learning tool, well actually be less sort of the pandemic, and digit and remote learning, or distance learning, and more, this sort of realization that, oh, wow, like, in less than 15 years, you know, maybe half the workforce is going to be eliminated by machine learning, and robotics and automation, right. And that we have to be pushing more 21st Century Skills curriculum, we have to be pushing more future facing skills, soft skills, etc, we have to be pushing, you know, 21st century literacies, like, like, like coding and robotics. And that’s where I’m really hoping that games shine, because, like, using games to teach content is fine, it works, we do it all the time. But the further you get to the left end of that spectrum, the more it’s sort of like a nuclear powered flyswatter, if you will, and and we’re where we ultimately want to be is like, we want to be making these really rich and interesting problem spaces that let students flex their creative muscles and flex their problem solving muscles, and, and all that kind of stuff. And, and those also, coincidentally, are the exact skills that they’re going to need in order to not be replaced by machines when they grant. Right. And so I’m really hoping that those two trends converge. And that sort of that, that becomes the that that that ends up being the thing that really makes the system at large wake up to the idea that learning games deep, sort of deep, meaningful, impactful learning games have an important place in the educators tool belt.
Dustin Staats 32:51
Right. And I mean, in my in my bubble, I feel like people are pushing for that for sure. But it’s like, okay, we’re all pushing for it. But why is it not happening? Why is it not changing? I mean, that’s one of the reasons for Yeah, and in also, yeah, I guess that I mean, how our, how is success? How’s a successful student assessed, right? I mean, another thing I am hearing a lot even more so during the pandemic is a social emotional learning and how, right i think games are great for building those nurturing environments in your classroom with your students. And even just having an opportunity to do that is super important. super valuable. Yeah. Cool. So we’re gonna move into our game.
I mentioned we’re gonna play five second rule this I’m still kind of figuring out how to do this. Usually I do it by audio. So it’s just gonna take a second to get it up. Alright, so if you haven’t played five second rule for anyone watching you have three or five seconds, five seconds to name three things in a category. So yeah, just start rattling stuff. And go
Dan White 34:11
animals. Okay, Cheetah, zebra. Lion, giraffe, elephant. We all
Dustin Staats 34:17
I think you got it you got you got it you name three. But you want to keep going that’s fine, too. You know extra credit. Go when it shows that the five things are okay. Rocks, birds and grass. Oh, nice. even add a second to spare. Your two for two. Right? The next. Phone computer and tablets. Nice talking about one if we want to think TV lines three for three. We’ll go to the next one in two seconds. Sex okay. cicadas flies and men I was like, oh, what’s the? What’s the cool you got mantises? The entomologist. Okay. All right, and I think I think this might be the last one. No superheroes. Okay, um, Superman and Batman and Robin. Nice. Like everyone goes Superman Batman. That’s always too you know, it’s
Dan White 35:23
it. I was thrown for a second because I just finished watching the series The boys, which is about Oh, add superheroes. That’s gonna call them up. But they’re, they’re they’re they’re bad guys. Yeah.
Dustin Staats 35:39
It’s an interesting take on superheroes. I think it is. Alright, and the last one from go 321.
Dan White 35:49
board games. Okay, civilization, risk and monopoly.
Dustin Staats 35:53
Oh, just barely got that. I think you’re five or six, which is pretty good. That’s pretty good. Praying Mantis. I didn’t. Awesome, Dan. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing your insights. I’ve learned a lot and I really enjoyed this conversation. I think it’s good to reflect on some of the things about the pandemic and kind of moving forward. If anyone wants to learn more about filament games, or maybe learn more about you, where might they do that?
Dan White 36:21
Yeah, so our website is filament games.com and we’re on Facebook and Twitter and all the usual suspects. And and I can also reach be reached directly at White Hat filament games.com.
Dustin Staats 36:35
Awesome. Thank you so much again. Yeah, thanks so much. Alright, so thank you again for checking out the Board Gaming with Education video cast. Again, if you’re listening to us on a podcast, come on over to YouTube. And for whether you’re on YouTube or the podcast, be sure to sign up for our newsletter. That’s where you will get a lot of different tips, resources and all updates with Board Gaming with Education. You can go to Board Gaming with Education comm or we will leave a link to the newsletter in the video description or in the show notes below. Alright, we’ll see you next week.
Board Gaming with Education 37:09
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