Sim Democracy – Thailand

Questions about democracy in Thailand have been hitting the headlines recently.Learning World explores how one project aims to help students understand governance.

The game is called “Sim Democracy

In the game, the board represents a country and is divided into four sectors – hospitals, schools, forests and police stations, which represent public health, education, environment and security. To start the game, each of four teams runs a brief election campaign to decide who will govern.

“Sim Democracy” continuously receives interest from educators in the region. It is now adapted for universities in Malaysia and South Asia.

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11th Games For Change Awards

The 11th Annual Games For Change festival took place in New York City!

This year’s big award winner was Lucas Pope’s “Papers Please,” a game that also ranked first in Forbes’ Top 5 Indie Games of 2013.

Immigration is definitely a hot issue. Another game featured at the festival was “The Migrant Trail”,  free to play here. It presents a first-person journey through Arizona’s desert borderlands. Play as an undocumented immigrant attempting to cross the Arizona desert and/or a border patrol agent attempting to secure the border. “

Another award winner was “Mission US: Cheyenne Odyssey,” developed by THIRTEEN, American Social History Project, and Electric Funstuff. It won the award for the “Most Significant Impact” award. The game, which you can play for free here, is described as an interactive way to learn history. Designed for students grades 5-8, the game immerses students in a historic context.

read the full experience of Shapiro here.

According also to this sourcehe project, known as Block by Block

“The game makes everything transparent,” said Pontus Westerberg, a digital projects officer at the program, UN-Habitat. “It gives the communities we work with more agency and helps everyone see what’s going on.”

Designing a Classroom Game about History

Historia is a civilization-simulation game that incorporates a year-long world cultures curriculum aligned to Texas state standards. The game is played in class using worksheets, research materials — reference books and a few desktop computers — and an interactive presentation, delivered by Brennan. During the game, students cluster together in teams to form civilizations, which they must govern skillfully as they progress through world history, meeting and measuring themselves against all the peoples that existed between 2000 BCE and 2000 CE.

There is a long tradition of simulation games in social studies. One success in the early days of personal computing was The Oregon Trail, a game where players took on roles as pioneers to face first-hand the hardships of westward expansion. The game debuted in a history class in Minnesota in 1971, with students waiting up to a half hour just to take a turn. Since then, digital simulations have come a long way in terms of speed and sophistication. But some teachers are discovering that, when it comes to learning, and especially in resource-strapped school districts, a game on paper can be as persuasive as anything on screen.

the full article: Designing a Classroom Game That Can Get Kids Excited About History – Brian Waniewski – The Atlantic.

Aalborg Centre for Problem Based Learning

The General Conference of UNESCO has approved the establishment of a Centre for Problem Based Learning in Engineering Science and Sustainability at Aalborg University in Denmark, as a Category 2 Centre established under the auspices of UNESCO.

The overall mission and objectives of the Aalborg UNESCO Centre are to develop the role of universities in promoting engineering, science and sustainability education and innovation through the creation of a global centre and network of excellence on Problem and Project Based Learning (PBL) for knowledge sharing, education and capacity building to address global challenges through North-South and South-South cooperation.

Engineering, science, technology and innovation are of vital importance in addressing the UN Millennium Development Goals and related global challenges ­ especially sustainability, climate change mitigation and adaptation. Particular challenges for engineering and science include the need to develop cleaner, greener technologies, and to encourage more young people into engineering through the transformation of engineering education. Problem and project based learning has been shown to play an important role as an effective framework for educating engineers and scientists for solving complex tasks in a collaborative framework.