Danger and deprivation make up the joys of any wilderness expedition. Have you ever heard an adventurer speak of anything else? I have not, sir! Our bold band is bound for a rare excursion! Today, we hope to try our mettle against the Canadian Wild! Continue reading
Video games have reached into every aspect of our lives, and educators are seeing a growth in games being used to teach. Research published by Online College Courses reveal that 95 percent of educators use video games designed specifically for education. Getting started creating and implementing educational video games in the classroom and online requires several key components, and here’s what you need to know to develop and release an educational game:
Many different people are involved in the creation of a video game, and not all of them are programmers. There is software, such as ClassTools, that allows educators to develop educational games on their own, but many larger or unique projects require a team working in concert to develop. Game development requires the creation of resources such as graphics and sound, and while many game development suites have free resources available, any unique game will require the creation of the resources in-house. Additionally, the educational nature of the game will require educators themselves to contribute content — for example, a game meant to teach medical or anatomical lessons will require a professional in the field to contribute information as well as fact check.
Choosing the demographic your game targets will help you develop a game that is appropriate for its audience. Video games meant to target reading skills work best for younger audiences; Research published by Edudemic suggests that video games can improve early literacy skills in players aged 4 to 5, especially when the focus is on letter recognition and story comprehension. Games meant to focus on complex problem solving should contain a tone and mood that is more appropriate to older audiences.
Reaching a demographic is another important aspect of game development. If a game is meant for a specific class, simply allowing them to download should suffice. If the intention is to reach a broad demographic of players, sites that provide free game access, like iWin, are an excellent choice. While console gaming systems do have downloadable games, the console market for educational games has been relatively weak compared to the personal computer and smartphone app market.
Educational games can create profit for their developers if they are well-built and parents approve. The 2012 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry report shows that 66 percent of parents believe playing video games can provide education and positive mental stimulation.
Funding can come from many sources. The U.S Department of Education awards funds to small businesses dedicated to the creation of commercial technologies designed to educate and, according to its official blog, more than half of the recipients of these grants in 2013 were educational game developers.
These sorts of grants are not limited to games for children, and developers working to create adult education games are also viable for these grants. Despite this, most commercially successful educational games tend to target children; The Guardian reports that the children’s smartphone app Toca Boca has generated more than more than 30 million paid and free downloads, and that Duck Duck Moose has reported well over 2 million downloads. Currently, the market seems to best support educational games for children, and developers looking to create a profitable educational game should bear this fact in mind when designing and developing their titles.
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“Don’t you want to feel safe?” asks Rosalind Russell. In response, Clark Gable knits his brows. “I never have. What’s it like?” * Vigorous travel is a grueling sport! One anticipates deprivation and hardship on any trip of significance. One seeks adventure! Exhilaration! One does not select air transportation to wrap oneself in a safe cocoon. No sir! Air travel exists for one and only one purpose. SPEED! Continue reading
BlackBerry won’t quit. Before the word “smartphone” was even widely used, BlackBerry was the best choice for business people who wanted a mobile device that combined the Palm (remember those?) and cellphones. BlackBerry was the first to figure out how to make one great mobile device for work, and delivered better ones than Palm tried, too late, to get on the market.
Then, came iPhones and Android phones, and BlackBerry’s cache fell. People started using these devices to manage their personal lives, and in recent years, their professional ones as well. This launched the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, and changed the face of the workplace.
BlackBerry’s BYOD Revival
BYOD is helping to revive BlackBerry. After an initial struggle with IT staff and CIOs, BYOD is now part of many company’s guidelines on using personal devices at work. According to ZDNet, more than 60 percent of companies had BYOD policies in place by the end of 2013. These policies lay out acceptable uses for smartphones and tablets at work, the brands and models IT will support and a lot on security practices that IT can only hope employees follow.
Since BlackBerry was already in tune with workplaces, it created, along with several cloud providers, mobile device management (MDM) systems to protect workplace data. MDM ensures that company data doesn’t mingle with employees’ personal data. The best systems work with all mobile brands and operating systems, ending the conflict between employees whose devices aren’t on the A-List and harried BYOD policymakers.
BlackBerry’s Embrace of the App
BlackBerry is still in the mobile device market, which is strongly driven by apps. Although it offers about 130,000 of its own apps, the company opened itself up to the Android market for BlackBerry 10 phones. Although the company initially kept quiet about it, they released an upgrade released in January 2014 allowing users to directly download Android apps. There were some initial challenges with an open ecosystem, BlackBerry’s Vice President for Platforms Chris Smith told PC. “That’s held us back in certain markets.”
However, the ecosystem appears to be working enough for Amazon to agree to give owners of BlackBerry 10.3 devices access to 240,000 apps it has available online. Although the numbers don’t match the volume offered by Google and Apple, it includes many familiar ones that consumers love. This deal can only support the current revival BlackBerry is enjoying.
Smartphones don’t last for more than a few years. When it’s time to buy a new one, current Android uses could be more willing to look at a BlackBerry if they know they can continue to enjoy the same apps.
Through this deal, Amazon gets more customers visiting its App Store site instead of the Apple Store or Google Marketplace. These same customers also could decide to purchase Amazon Prime membership or other products while they are there. It also could be another front on Amazon’s war against Apple, where the two have fought over e-publishing pricing. Just a year ago, Apple was convicted in a Federal court of conspiring to raise the price of e-books.
The deal also happens to fall just as Amazon’s first-ever smartphone was released to reviewers. The phone, called Fire, doesn’t appear to be a BlackBerry competitor, but one packaged for consumer use (it features 3D viewing). Could it tempt some iPhone users? “Amazon wants you to purchase things,” says TechRadar, “and it’s come up with a way to do so from your pocket.” What could be sweeter than announcing two new deals in one week?
“Winners have a sense about other winners and you can’t miss the shift in their interest and attention when they encounter another of their own species. Wanting to win is fine – wanting to do the work that it takes to win and to keep at it until you do win is what makes the difference in the end.” Continue reading
by Paul LeRoux
General George Patton, leading U.S. Army general in World War II said, “No one is thinking if everyone is thinking alike.” WARNING – This article will contradict what most believe about speaking to a group. Continue reading