Week 10 Learning resources

This fortnight our topic is Technology in Practice. We will take a look at how technology engages us – how it encourages us to create, participate, grow, and come together. Specifically we’ll consider how technology engages us through the medium of games (gamification, game-based learning, serious games). We’ll also be examining communities and technology, looking at the Maker movement and its impact.

Please note that there are a lot of resources to look at this fortnight (but they’re all pretty fun), and you are not expected to look at all of them in detail. [Additional resources from Thursday’s class can be found here.  – Katya 13/5]


In 2011 Information Technology analysts Gartner predicted that within five years up to 70% of Global 2000 companies would be implementing gamification strategies. The following year they also predicted that up to 80% of these strategies would fail. So what is gamification, is it indeed the next big thing, and how has the implementation of game design elements evolved?

This short article by Deterding, Khaled, Nacke, and Dixon (2011) provides a definition of gamification: “Gamification is the use of game design elements in non-game contexts”.

This video provides a quick (and I mean quick!) overview of gamification, the benefits, and the potential for abuse.



Developments in mobile and social technologies and the expansion of games into new genres and platforms have made games ubiquitous in our lives, a phenomenon game designer Will Wright calls the Gambrian Explosion. Games have tremendous power to motivate, engage and change behaviour. They literally have the power to change the world. Serious games are games created in order to stimulate change for good.

For an introduction to the power of games for change, watch this seminal TED Talk by game designer Jane McGonigal:

This video demonstrates how a game helped kids overcome their cancer. I challenge you not to cry when you get to the end.


Wired Magazine has named 2016 the year of Virtual Reality. Read this overview of the hype surrounding VR and then watch how this film-maker created the ultimate empathy machine with a VR experience.

What do you think?

The Maker movement, or Hacker movement, brings users together around technology. The online maker site, Makerspace.com, defines makerspaces as community centres with tools.

“Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone. These spaces can take the form of loosely-organized individuals sharing space and tools, for-profit companies, non-profit corporations, organizations affiliated with or hosted within schools, universities or libraries, and more. All are united in the purpose of providing access to equipment, community, and education, and all are unique in exactly how they are arranged to fit the purposes of the community they serve.

Makerspaces represent the democratization of design, engineering, fabrication and education. They are a fairly new phenomenon, but are beginning to produce projects with significant national impacts.”

And makerspaces are moving into a public library near you. Check out this article by Dianne Slatter and Zaana Howard which provides an overview of the adoption of makerspaces by libraries.

What about academic libraries? Does QUT Library need a Makerspace? John Burke and I say yes!

If all of this has got your tinkering tastebuds salivating, check out this Make magazine list of podcasts you should be listening to, and watch this playlist of 10 TED Talks to feed your making urge.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *