Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning: Digital Role Playing as a Motivator of Study

Gaming for Classroom-Based Learning: Digital Role Playing as a Motivator of Study

Proposal Submission Deadline: January 31, 2009
A book edited by Dr. Young Kyun Baek
Korea National University of Education, Republic of Korea

The new generation is particularly accustomed to playing games anywhere, anytime. Small mobile devices such as cellular phones and PDAs are in their hands at all times; they are ready to play! Thus, digital game-based learning, in which students are playing a game while they are learning is highly motivational as a game motivates students to engage in learning.

Digital games offer a powerful extension of play into complex simulations of concepts, theories and facts needed for classroom-based learning. This book will focus on advanced research topics concerning the implementation of games in classroom settings and will provide models for adopting games in classrooms at a variety of levels.

Many researchers have been reporting the potential of games as a tool for enhancing students' achievements and individual variables related to their learning even though opponents are worrying about its harmful effects on players. However, there are many games which can be used and have been used in the classroom as tools for holding students' attention, enhancing classroom activities, and helping students summarize what they have learned.

There are major challenges. In what ways should we implement games in a classroom? Is there a special type of game adequate for classroom teaching? Under which model of teaching are games most effectively used? What do we need to consider for the successful integration of a game into the classroom? What does previous teaching experience with games suggest to us in terms of research and development questions? This book will raise and answer these kinds of questions and provide both frameworks and concrete examples of how researchers are addressing the issues.

Objective of the Book
This book's mission is to create an edited collection of essays that can be integrated into pre-service and in-service teacher training programs. This book aims to develop a trainee's understanding of instructional games in order to increase game use in the classroom. For the theoretical reader, the book will support the examination and consideration of learning and pedagogical theories within a gaming context. The practical reader will find that this book assists people in the use of games that embody those theories.

Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals and researchers working in the field of game-based learning in classrooms. It will include educational technologists, educational game developers, in-service teachers, pre-service teachers, teacher educators, and graduate students in educational psychology and educational technology.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Description of digital game-based learning: definition, background, and current research and usage in education

- Methods, principles and structures for game use in classroom

- Cases and examples of teaching games in various subjects

-Future directions for games in teaching and learning

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before January 31, 2009, a 2-5 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by February 15, 2009 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by April 15, 2009. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the "Information Science Reference" (formerly Idea Group Reference) and "Medical Information Science Reference" imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) to:
Dr. Young Kyun Baek
Korea National University of Education

Virtual Praxis: A Conference on Women's Community in Second Life

Virtual Praxis: A Conference on Women's Community in Second Life
Saturday, November 15, 2008
To be held on Minerva, the teaching and research space in Second Life maintained by The Department of Women's Studies, Ohio State University.

As teachers, librarians, artists, health care workers, and as volunteers in the many charitable and activist organizations of Second Life, women are a very visible element of our virtual community. The number of women's groups and community centers is increasing, supported by an informal network of committed individuals. Those who come here out of curiosity often find themselves involved in these community activities, and those who came for professional reasons often find that their interests have widened and diversified as they have come into contact with Second Life society. Is what we do here just relaxation, a metaphor for what we do in real life, or do our Second Life activities have importance for our home communities and for society in general?

Virtual Concerts in the Park
Linda Rogers (Second Life: Kate Miranda)
Executive Director
Toronto Philharmonia

There was a time when orchestras wanted to reach out to new audiences, they would go out and play in public parks or shopping malls. These days people are increasingly gathering on the internet and in virtual reality to play and shop. As an arts administrator I have been curious about the possibilities of audience development within Second Life. Who are the musicians that are active in Second Life? Why are they performing there? And who makes up the audience?

Virtual Praxis: In the Director's Chair
Phylis Johnson, Ph.D. (SL: Sonicity Fitzroy)
Associate Professor & Interim Chair, Department of Radio-Television Southern Illinois University

This paper looks at women involved in the creation, production, and distribution of news and entertainment content, and provides a wide scan of their contributions in-world. This content is created for and distributed to radio streams and news and entertainment cable services, and printed in magazines and newspapers in Second Life. The discussion specifically investigates the role of "media" women in SL content creation, and the potential impact on the larger media industry. SL users, internationally, are becoming notable media makers, and HBO featured the first documentary produced inside this digital community in early 2008. This paper attempts to create a portrait of an emerging woman producer who resides in this hall of media mirrors, and subsequently considers how much originality is realistically possible during construction in this parallel mediated universe.

The Women of Chilbo
Chris Collins (Second Life: Fleep Tuque)
Instructional & Research Computing, University of Cincinnati

Chilbo is a community of artists, architects, educators, musicians, parents, hobbyists, students, and people from around the world who share a common vision that our interactions and experiences in virtual worlds can have a positive impact on our real world and our real lives. The Chilbo sim in Second Life is the cultural center of our community, but neither physical nor virtual location limits our ability to collaborate and share resources with one another.

A Village of our Own
Leta Hendricks, MA, MS (Second Life: Tamu Oh)
Librarian, The Ohio State University

"A Village of our Own" is a discussion of womanist resources available in Second Life. The Discussion will include a review of Second Life contacts, landmarks, and other womanist sources.

Gender and Race in Ultra-Conservative Groups in Second Life
Randolph Hollingsworth, Ph.D. (Second Life: Bella Yan)
Assistant Provost, University of Kentucky

My presentation will focus on the role of female avatars in racist right-wing groups in Second Life. Why would a right-wing group choose to use Second Life for communication and outreach - and especially in regards to women? Katherine Blee's Inside Organized Racism (2002) states that women are heavily sought after by American hate groups, making up half of all new recruits. Second Life is ideal for imagining and practicing gender and race, and ultra-conservative groups have found land, groups and events in Second Life that match their needs.

There is a clear connection between some white power, nationalist websites and groups in Second Life. Individuals identified in fascist discussion groups and MySpace profiles sometimes post their Second Life avatar names. Portraits of female avatars participating in right-wing groups in SL will be described. Attendees will be given a party favors bag with hyperlinks to important rightwing groups' websites and SL landmarks to interesting sites. Attendees may wish to be teleported to one particular site to see and discuss the symbolic structures present. In this session, as Ingeborg Reichle wrote in her 2004 essay "Remaking Eden," (Cyberfeminism. Next Protocols): "the observer is no longer merely an observer, but rather becomes a participant." The presenter will facilitate a short discussion on the role of gender and race in rightwing groups in Second Life.

Performing Virtual Women's Community
Lea Popielinski (Second Life: Lette Ponnier / Laertes Parx)
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Women's Studies
The Ohio State University

This paper will explore the ways in which the concept of "women" in Second Life shapes the building of women's homosocial environments within SL through an examination of the concept in terms of gender performance. The facility of constructing an SL avatar that is, by conventional definitions of sex and gender, incongruent with one's physical body, is enough to place such concepts as "women's community" in tension. This paper will explore the meaning of the phrase "women's community" through the concept of performativity as it is understood through the work of Judith Butler. I will argue that the physical sex of SL users is filtered through the SL medium to obligate avatars in presumptively all-female spaces to perform "women's community." The creation of "women's communities" in SL is a practice in referentiality wherein tropes that take their meaning in users' understanding of women's community come to be recognized and reiterated in the virtual context, but with a latent awareness that gender performance takes precedence over physical sex in the creation of such spaces. One SL space I particularly wish to examine is the Joyous Harmonious Park, formerly known as the Baths of Sisterhood, a women-only relaxation park with a history that seems to involve several characteristics stereotypically associated with the creation and dissolution of women's spaces.

Panel discussion: Is Second Life a welcoming space for women?

As educators, business people, community activists, artists and musicians, women make a strong contribution to Second Life society. According to the last published metrics from Linden Lab, 40% of user hours in Second Life are spent by people who self-report as female.

While their achievements are to be seen everywhere in our virtual world, the energy and creativity of women in our community may face obstacles. Although no formal studies have been published, there is anecdotal evidence of harassment and intimidation. This panel will be one of the first attempts to assess the problem, beginning with a discussion our own personal experiences.

Futures of Learning Blog

Heather Horst (and the Futures of Learning Team have launched a new blog:

Hosted at the University of California Humanities Research Institute at University of California, Irvine, Futures of Learning is a collective blog dedicated to the topic of new media and learning.

The blog is part of the Digital Media and Learning Studio, a research network hub in development at UCHRI and funded by the MacArthur Foundation. The members of the blog are part of a project conducting an international survey of research in the field in two areas:

One is an international review of research on how people are adopting digital and networked media (mobile phones, gaming, internet use and digital media production) around the world.

The second area is a review of learning institutions that are incorporating new media in innovative ways.

The Futures of Learning Blog is used as a way to share some of what they are learning, and to solicit feedback on their work in progress. There are already book and article reviews as well as reports from their visits to various sites and conferences available to read on the blog, e.g.

Book Review: Born Digital
Social network sites in an international context
Locating Gaming in International Contexts

For more information about the Digital Media and Learning Initiative, please go to

Thursday, October 9, 2008

E-books put to the test

E-books put to the test

Librarians at the British Library have given their opinions on electronic readers designed to replace paper books.

BBC News Video:

Virtual world avatars on one site

Virtual world avatars on one site

Francesco Dorazio designed Myrl, a site to store avatars, or characters, for forums like Second Life.

BBC News Video:

What is Myrl?
Myrl is a cross-world entertainment platform, bringing virtual worlds and their users together on the web. Myrl are building a layer on top of each virtual world, linking them up to create an integrated playground with endless possibilities and applications.

The first release of Myrl is focused on social virtual worlds and connects users from 19 worlds like Second Life, Lively, Entropia and There. Check out the complete map of the worlds supported here:

What does myrl stand for?
Myrl stands for both My Real Life and My Role Life. The boundaries between real life and virtual life are more and more blurred. As far as virtual lives imply shared experiences and persistent worlds/characters, they are as real as the "real" lives.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

HCII 2009: Usability and Sociability in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds

HCI International Conference 2009

Session invitation on the topic of: Usability and Sociability in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds

We are inviting potential presenters to join us in the session, "Usability and Sociability in Computer Games and Virtual Worlds" in HCI International Conference 2009 which will take place in San Diego, USA, 19-21 July 2009.

Social oriented games such as MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) and 3D virtual worlds (e.g. Second Life) provide a flexible social space for the users to interact as well as an open space that invites the user's imagination and creativity to engage in various types of play and learning activities. One major issue of 3D virtual worlds is the usability obstacle the users have to overcome (the so-called "pain barrier") in order to fully utilise this exciting 3D social technological medium. We believe that this problem, usually due to the interface design, seriously undermines the potential of 3D virtual worlds. Unfortunately not much has been done to address this critical issue as most research in this area is oriented towards the application of 3D virtual worlds, assuming that all users are proficient in this game-like environment.
Therefore we firmly believe that there is a great potential in researching these usability issues.

The session aims to discuss the latest findings of usability and sociability of 3D virtual worlds. Topics include but not limited to:

a) methodologies of studying usability and sociability of games and 3D virtual worlds

b) case studies of the application of games and 3D virtual worlds and their usability issues

c) empirical studies of user interaction, social interaction and social network within this context

If you are interested in joining us, please send the title of the presentation, a 100 word abstract and your contact details to by 24 October 2008 (Friday).

Collaborative Information Behavior: User Engagement and Communication Sharing

Collaborative Information Behavior: User Engagement and Communication Sharing
A book edited by Dr. Jonathan Foster
University of Sheffield, UK

Proposal Submission Deadline: November 15, 2008

Collaborative information behavior can be broadly defined as the study of the behaviors, practices, and systems that enable people to collaborate during the seeking, searching, retrieval and use of information. In recent years, it has become commonplace for users and organizations alike to engage in such collaborative information behavior. Collaboration may be quite direct when users seek, retrieve, and use information as part of a shared work activity (e.g. research and development project) or learning activity e.g. (collaborative group work); or more indirect as users draw for example on the automated recommendations generated by collaborative filtering and reputation systems. In the fields of information studies, information science, information
systems, human-computer interaction, and computer-supported cooperative work, there is a need for an edited collection of articles in this area.

Objective of the Book
This book will aim to coordinate and integrate current research and practices in the area of collaborative information behavior. It will aim to provide information on empirical research findings, theoretical frameworks, and models relevant to understanding the following aspects: the range of contexts in which collaborative information behavior occurs; the range of approaches, qualitative and quantitative, currently being used to study collaborative information behavior; and the range of systems and practices that enable and constrain its occurrence.

Target Audience
The target audience of this book will be composed of professionals, educators, and researchers working in the fields of information studies, information science, information management, information retrieval, and knowledge management, human-computer interaction and computer-supported cooperative work. Practitioners who have role in organizational information, communication, and knowledge sharing will also find the publication of value in understanding and assessing the collaborative information behaviors that occur within their organizations.

Recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

- Collaborative information behavior - conceptual frameworks

- Collaborative information behavior - methodologies and methods

- Collaborative information behavior - qualitative and quantitative approaches

- Collaborative information behavior - frameworks and models

- Collaborative information behavior in business settings

- Collaborative information behavior in educational settings

- Collaborative information behavior in legal settings

- Collaborative information behavior in medical settings

- Collaborative information behavior in government

- Collaborative information behavior in other professional contexts

- Collaborative information behavior in everyday life

- Collaborative information needs, seeking, and use

- Collaborative filtering systems

- Collaborative querying systems

- Recommender systems

- Social bookmarking systems

- Social navigation systems

- Social tagging systems

- Designs for systems to support collaborative information behavior

- Evaluations of systems to support collaborative information behavior

Submission Procedure
Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before November 15, 2009, a 2-3 page chapter proposal clearly explaining the mission and concerns of his or her proposed chapter. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by November 30, 2009 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 15, 2009.

All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. This book is scheduled to be published by IGI Global (formerly Idea Group Inc.), publisher of the Information Science Reference (formerly Idea Group Reference) and Medical Information Science Reference imprints. For additional information regarding the publisher, please visit

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded electronically (Word document) or by mail to:

Dr. Jonathan Foster
Department of Information Studies
Regent Court, 211 Portobello Street, Sheffield
Tel.: +44 (0)114 222 2665 Fax: +44 (0)114 278 0300

The Future is Prologue: New Media, New Histories?

New media encompass both new opportunities and new dilemmas for scholars.

This ICA pre-conference invites participants to reflect on ways to analyze, preserve, and understand new media in a manner that is both sensitive to the past and to future needs of historical research.

The history of new media is a burgeoning new subfield, but one aspect that often goes overlooked is how new media involve new ways of doing history.

The purpose of this pre-conference is to focus attention on the shifting needs of historical scholarship about new media.

It will include a demonstration of new technologies for collaboration and visualization under development at the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, University of Illinois at Chicago.

We welcome papers on a wide array of historically-grounded themes. The following illustrations of topics suggest - but are not intended to limit - topics suitable for paper submissions:

* The idea of 'storage' as it relates to new media and historiography.

* The contextualization of historical problems in a new media milieu.

* The changing meanings and implications of inscription as the internet more fully embraces a range of audio-visual forms of communication.

* Ideological implications of speculations regarding the future.

* The changing place of 'the virtual' in new media studies.

* Digital history.

* The reputed move away from print media to new media.

* Changing meanings of the 'global' in relation to new media.

* Ubiquity, indexing, correlation and access.

* New media and transformations in the scholarly enterprise.

Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted no later than November 1,2008.

Send abstracts to: David Park, Chair of the ICA Communication History Interest Group, at

Authors will be informed whether abstracts have been accepted by 21 November 2008. Papers will be due by May 1, 2009.

The program for this pre-conference will take place all day on May 21, 2009, the date established for ICA pre-conferences. The available time allows for three consecutive blocks of short presentations and roundtable-style discussions.

The pre-conference is a joint initiative by the Communication History Interest Group of the ICA, New Media & Society and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory and Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The pre-conference will be held at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and there will be transportation available for participants and attendees between the conference hotel and the UIC campus.

Organized by
* Dave Park, Chair, Communication History Interest Group,

* Nicholas Jankowski and Steve Jones, co-editors New Media & Society,

Click here for more information: