Week 10 Learning activities

Technology in Practice

Over the next two weeks we will be exploring how technology engages us – how it can encourage us to create, participate, and grow – and what makes these technologies engaging (or maybe not so engaging). We’ll be taking a look at how games engage us, using gamification, game-based learning, and serious games. We’ll also be examining the intersection of technology and community in the form of makerspaces.

You will have your choice of three play and three reflect activities. Remember, you only need to complete one of each. Don’t forget to document your play activity on your blog.

The activities need to be completed by 11.59pm, Sunday 22 May (Note: If selecting the game as your play activity, this will conclude at 5:00pm, but you can blog about it until 11:59pm).

Learning activity: 

This fortnight we will be shaking things up a bit. Throughout the course we have been getting you to play with different technologies. For this topic, Technologies in Practice, you have the option of actually playing a game.

The game

You’ll be completing challenges throughout the fortnight to earn points, badges, and a place on the leader board. And there will be prizes for the top 3! You must accrue a minimum of 250 points to complete this activity. The first challenge will be announced on Monday, 9 May at 9:00am over at the game page. You’ll find full details there. The game concludes at 5:00pm on Sunday, 22 May. Any questions, post them below, or contact me at k1.henry@qut.edu.au.

For those of you who are not feeling so playful, you have two other options:

The Makerspace

Visit a hackerspace or makerspace. If there isn’t a makerspace in your community, check out an online maker community. Take a photo or screenshot of your activity and tell us what you did / witnessed / made. Or check out some ideas from Make: magazine, the bible for DIY technology projects,  at http://makezine.com/projects/, and build something of your own.

Makerspaces in Brisbane and surrounds:

Choose your own adventure

Devise your own game for a library or other organisation. Suggest a target group, develop the aim of the game, an overview of the rules, go crazy – you have an unlimited budget!

Check out these library games for some inspiration:

Reflect activity: 



Prepare a reflection of at least 500 words or 3 minutes on one of the three topics listed below.

Option 1
Respond to the question: How will the maker movement revolutionise our society?

Option 2

Discuss, defend, or dispute one of the perspectives on gamification below:

  • “Gamification presents the best tools humanity has ever invented to create and sustain engagement in people. […] It’s a proven approach using breakthroughs in design and technology to vastly improve the world as we know it…”
    – Gabe Zichermann,The Gamification Revolution (2012, p. xvii)


  • “Gamification is bulls**t.”
    – Ian Bogost, game designer and professor at Georgia Tech

Option 3

Take some time to play a ‘serious game’. How did the experience help you to engage in the game’s theme? Are serious games effective at getting people to think about some of the world’s most pressing problems in new ways? Discuss.

Here are some suggestions for your activity. Most of these games are free to play – there’s no expectation for you to pay to play. Share any others you find in the comment section below!

  • The Migrant Trail – Experience hazards facing migrants and Border Patrol along the US-Mexican border.
  • Pipe Trouble – Make a profit laying natural gas pipelines while handling negative community responses.
  • Darfur is Dying – An early example of serious games, this viral video game for change provides a window into the experience of the 2.5 million refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan.
  • Half the Sky – A Facebook game that raises awareness & funds to empower women & girls across the world.
  • Parable of the Polygons – A playable blog post on how harmless choices can make a harmful world.
  • Bioharmonious – Resolve the desolation of the balance between nature and machinery.
  • Digital Compass – Designed for kids in Grades 6-9, Digital Compass shows students how the choices made in their digital lives can affect their relationships and futures.



  • Kate Reply

    Hi Katya,
    I’ve just realised that because I’ve been clicking your embedded email address, I’ve been emailing you from my hotmail account rather than my student account! Would you like me to send them again from my student account (I don’t want to inundate you with emails though). Many, many apologies!

    • Katya Henry Reply

      Hi @katemckelliget,

      I’ve just looked in my spam folder and I’ve found nothing there. I’ve received two emails from you. Let me know if you have sent any others. Wouldn’t want you to miss out on any points!!


  • nicole Reply

    A couple of apps I was interested in playing for Option 3 of the Reflect part didn’t work on my iPhone (it’s a regular iPhone 4 so it’s pretty outdated by most app-maker standards!) so I’ve been playing Hungertown, made by World Vision. Feel free to check it out though I’m not 100% sure on how well it will work with newer phones!

  • Caitlin Reply

    Arduino is an open source platform that provides pro-typing to allow individuals or companies to create electronic objects. I added a post on this as i believe they would fit into the internet of things as their projects include a rain drop detector on your clothes line that can send an SMS if rain is approaching! However their site is just as relevant in relation to maker spaces or the maker movement as they give individuals to make high tech projects.

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