The Gamification of Fair Play

When we think of modern tools for learning we might reach for the usual, books, videos and Google. However, ‘gamification‘ has found a way to teach an entire course by offering challenges to collect items of knowledge that will lead the main hero to achieving his quest. The game Fair Play is a notable example in the world of gamification and it was created by the UW Madison Games+Learning+Society or GLS. The GLS examines the purpose and contribution of video games in education. They are a collective group of researchers, game developers, and government/industry leaders who investigate how games operate, transform learning, and affect society. Fair Play is a game that teaches a person how to live socially in another person’s life. Not quite as drastic an experiment as ‘Black Like Me‘ author John Howard Griffin’s but the concept is similar.

In the Mashable article “Is Gamification Just a Fad?”  there was an important quote about the use of game theory in education from Charles Duhigg’s, author of “The Power of Habit”. He said:“The key to gamification is turning extrinsic rewards to intrinsic rewards. Eating a cookie when you finish your homework might encourage your good behavior, but when you run out of cookies, you might find that you enjoyed finishing homework early and continue to do so regardless of cookies.”

So, I began the game, of which Fair Play provides easy instruction to downloading the game driver. You must to install the game drive first. After, reading the game objectives, game play and control instructions I was able to complete two chapters or levels. I did not want to stop but the storyline and the quest for materials, i.e., Jamal’s Curriculum Vitae, was so interesting that it made me curious about the next steps.  I wanted Jamal to win and to gain the support he needed to become a college professor. The system of rewards in this game are found in a deeper purpose than badges or coins. In the game of Fair Play your quest is to become a professor but you must first make it through the gauntlet of unfairness, socialization and responsibility in the land of academia and campus community social circles. Most students may not have experienced these moments of opportunity in their lives. This game reminds you recognize the gift of opportunity, and to not to take lightly gifts of opportunity even in the face of adversity. It also teaches you that if there is adversity then there is also opportunity.

The location software, Foursquare use to offer rewards or badges for being the king or queen of a particular location. By checking in a room or place before anyone else on a daily basis you become the leader and this bestows you with badges. Foursquare, is rethinking badges as a reward system. What is rewarding about Fair Play is the console set up that includes notes, tasks, almanac and other tools which help to remind or reference your experiences which helps your journey to progress.

Knowing how to win means knowing how to play the game in this academic world of graduate school.  In real life, many of the tools one might use in this game to resolve a dispute will not work.

You have to think your way through by learning bias concepts, socialization techniques and professional organization methods of your references. I have to say this game does cause you to recall memories of experiencing past bias and it also makes you question if you could have handled those past encounters better. Recall is apart of effective learning but so is responding appropriately to each situation we encounter. What we do with our knowledge separates us from others. The visual landscape of each scene is taken from the campus streets at the University of Wisconsin, in Madison, Wisconsin. For me, a graduate of UW, the game does trigger some moments where I experienced bias and also opportunity. Gamification is a learning method that would fit most learner target markets. However, I am not sure if target groups that represent the very old or very young would have enough patience or socialization skill development to play this game. This learning game is perfect for ages 9-12 and up. After playing Fair Play for two chapters,

I starting wishing I could add to the game a consequence for overt acts of bias and rewards for those of kindness. Navigating around social obstacles by avoiding the problems is a talent one needs to develop.  I had a hard time supporting the bias behaviors of perpetrators in the game, by allowing them to remain in a position of power.  I think I will complete the entire game before solidifying my judgment.  Maybe at the end of the game Jamal will take the place of the professor that rejected him or we will see in the game, the local newspaper release an article that shows acts of justice against previous bias.

Fair Play has inspired me, and I look forward to learning more about gamification in education.

iOS7 for iPad is Close to Heaven

The new iOS7 upgrade is visually appealing and works very fast on our CPCC network. Typically, when major visual changes are made to a OS there is chaos across the land. However, the iOS7 update is very appealing and ergonomically easy to navigate. You may need to re-acclimate yourself to the new typeface (Helvetica Neue Light) used throughout. Neue enhances layouts with clean lines and a strong sense of modern organization.

Regarding the affect iOS7 has on updates and load time, I had 51 updates waiting (and you too may also have that many waiting). I decided to update them all at once, just to see if I could crash the system but no such luck. The system moved through updates with speed and accuracy. Another change you will notice is the dock, which is activated by the ‘four finger up-swipe’. This action now shows the corresponding window to the application above the ‘film strip’ of apps (see illustration below). Click on the large window and you are quickly transported inside your application, which is very convenient.

The calendar layout is also well designed from both a layout and design fundamentals point of view. The two column design in the calendar ‘day’ window mode provides all the information you need to see your event details. When you open a folder you will see a set of nine apps. When you click on the folder the window zoom in close-up and reveals the nine apps. When you see an app with a blue dot in the name field it means that app has been updated.  There is an app icon layout limit of nine for each folder which shows all nine at once. However, the folder can contain more and the rest of the apps are hidden on other pages. To reveal these hidden apps just swipe left or right. Opening Facebook, when you access it for the first time after the update, you will notice a delay in loading but be patient.

You may also have to reset your ZAGG Bluetooth keyboard. When connecting, turn off then turn on the Bluetooth setting and your device will appear in the general setting bluetooth window. I tried ‘paring’ then turning on and off the keyboard and the spinning hyphens of wait ( unofficially I call SHOW) kept spinning. I will play with the iOS7 system over the weekend but so far I am enjoying all the pluses from the new iOS7 graphic changes. You should too. This event should make up for  IKEA disowning ‘Futura’ as their main typeface change. I know…I should find my quiet space and just let it go. Let it go…man!

Slideshark Swims Effortlessly Through Presentations

Recently, I gave a presentation to the Paralegal staff at the Cato campus, on how to use Google Docs and Slideshark. The crowd favorite of the two applications was Slideshark because I was able to show how you can walk around the classroom and control a PowerPoint presentation at the podium using data projector.  What is great about Slideshark the ease in setup, the ergonomic app design and it is FREE. The free version will only allow a limited amount of logins.  Here is the best way to test out Slideshark on your iPad:

The Setup

  1. Download the Slideshark app to your iPad or tablet.
  2. Open a browser and go to and sign up for the Slideshark service.
  3. Upload a PowerPoint presentation from your desktop or cloud storage. You will have to give Slideshark access to Google Drive, Dropbox, Skydrive, Box or a Sharefile account on a tablet.
  4. Go back to the iPad app and launch.


Control Setup

  1. In app window, in the bottom left corner there are four graphic buttons.
  2. Click the first one, i.e., ‘the remote control’ and make sure the setting is ‘on’. (you may not need)
  3. Click the second one, i.e., ‘broadcasting control’ and then click the ‘broadcast button’.I suggest that you input a security code (ex:111) if you want to control when you release your presentation to students.  When class starts give the code to students when the time is right. (This works for those with paid monthly service)
  4. Write a message in the ‘meeting information’ field to prepare students for what they are about to view. Make your message brief.
  5. Click ‘Start Broadcasting’ button.
  6. The window will change and show that you are broadcasting your presentation.

Attendee Setup

  1. Next, input your email address in the ‘attendees’ field.  Click the field then fill in the email window fields and send. (this only your email address)
  2. Go to the email provider where you mailed your invitation and click on the link inside that email. However, make sure you are viewing this email message at the podium or laptop that is projecting your presentation. (the presentation will pop up in a new browser tab)
  3. Fill in the information and then click the ‘Join Meeting’ button. (a black window will appear as you wait for the presenation to begin on your podium/data projector)
  4. Go back to your iPad and you will notice your name is registered as the one and only attendee for the broadcast.
  5. You are now ready to launch your presentation on your iPad in the SlideShark app by clicking on the round ‘green’ button under your presentation above the broadcast/attendee pop up window.
  6. Start swiping your presentation left or right and you will notice on the podium the slides respond to your move



Sometimes wirtten material is not enough to explain how software works. Slideshark offers video tutorials and PDF instruction downloads on the following topics:

For more information and tutorials go to:   Remember, Learning Technology Services would be happy to speak to your faculty or staff about SlideShark and other campus applications.  Please feel free to contact us.

Best regards,


‘Campus Tour’ Comes to a Close

We just completed the first six campus, annual ‘Campus Tour’ for Learning Technology Services. Gary Ritter, ITS Faculty Liaison of Learning Technology Services,
and History Instructor
and I offered two professional development sessions at our campuses, i.e., “iPad Tablet Users Group” and ‘The State of Learning Technology”. We were also joined by David Kim, Associate VP for Technology and CIO, who gave a brief presentation on the upcoming ‘Data Center’ move for our Central Campus.

Gary Ritter, “State of Digital Learning”

Don Michael, Jr., “iPad /Tablet Users Group”

Branding and Banner advertisement for the ‘Campus Tour’:

Campus Tour Flyer: