Game On! 2016 Instructional Innovation Spotlight

Game on

By Lisa Peel and Tim Mello
Early Childhood Education Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Terry Campus

A recent article comparing pedagogy (the method of teaching) and andragogy (the method of teaching adult learners) posed the question “Is it too late to be a child? Is it too early to be an adult?” (Nikolova, Zafirova-Malcheva, Staganova, Boytchev, 2013).

Essentially, the researchers wanted to determine if game-based learning was as effective with adults as with children, who are naturally inclined to learn through play. While the study focused a great deal on video games, in regard to story-telling and traditional games, the study concluded that when adults become immersed in games and are allowed to become children again more learning occurs. Continue reading

Why Do Students Fall Asleep?

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

Do you ever have students fall asleep in your class? Did you ever wonder why?

Well, Michael Wesch decided to find out, and here’s what he discovered about one student named David Dechant:

This video resonated with me because I was David Dechant in school. I never fell asleep in class (well, not much), but a LOT of my time sitting in a desk throughout high school and college was spent doing what I call game-storming (Brainstorming about games. Get it?).

In fact, I loved going to some of my most boring, lecture-heavy classes because I knew that it gave me a solid hour or more to zone out and scribble in my notebooks about the next video game I wanted to create, a board game I had in the works, or the storyline for my weekly D&D game.

Maybe we can’t all invite our students to classes with “no PowerPoints, no lectures, no textbooks, no syllabus, no grades” like Wesch did, but there is plenty that we can do to recognize and leverage the talents that our students bring to our classrooms.

Thanks to Al Drushler for sharing this video with me!

Thoughts on Three No’s Every Student Wants to Hear

Three No's

By Lindsay Gigous
Education Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Wilmington Campus

Here’s a scary thought: ever try to get into your students’ minds? What do they really think about your assignments? Are they completely bored in your classes or do they like what you’re doing? Continue reading

Three Easy Ways to Follow Forward Thinking

Social Learning

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

I often run into colleagues in the hall or during a workshop or at lunch who tell me that they loved such-and-such blog post, but that they always forget to check the blog for more.

Well, the good news is that you can subscribe to Forward Thinking in a number of ways so that you never have to remember to check in again (you don’t even need to know our url!).

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The Center for Creative Instruction & Technology shares every Forward Thinking blog post on Facebook, so if you want blog updates on your timeline, just click here to go to our Facebook page and give us a Like.

If you want to ensure that you don’t miss anything, select the “Get Notifications” and “See First” options from the drop down menu too. (See image).

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We also tweet out every single blog post, so if you are on Twitter, head over to our page and follow @CCIT_Tweets. New posts will automatically appear in your feed. It’s just that simple!

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Maybe you’re not on social media, or maybe you just don’t need more stuff clogging your feeds. If that’s the case, you can just enter your email address in the box below (or click the button if you’re already logged into WordPress) to get automatic email updates for every new post.

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Thanks for joining the Foward Thinking community, where we…

Educate. Innovate. Together.

The Future of E-Sports and Education


An e-sport competition with live audience “The International 2014” by Jakob Wells. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

I remember lazy summer days as a child, when we’d gather around the Nintendo or the computer and play video games. There wasn’t too much opportunity for multiplayer back then, so the days would usually involve us taking turns going solo while everyone else spectated.

I remember my older brother often repeating the same line: “The only thing lazier than playing video games is watching someone else play.

Admittedly, I think leisurely would have been a better word to describe those summer days, but still, my brother’s quote echoed in my mind this morning as I read an article from the New York Times with the headline Vainglory Breaks Through in E-Sports.

In a post last week, I shared some of the lessons that Vainglory has taught me about the practice of teaching and learning, so when I read this piece from the New York Times, I had to share. (If you missed my last post, you can catch up here).

In the New York Times piece, author Nick Wingfield shares several insights that made me again reflect on the impact that video games can and will have on the classroom.

First, if you didn’t realize it, competitive e-sports are a thing.

Professional teams battle head-to-head for real cash prizes. These athletes practice regularly, attract product sponsors, and, according to Wingfield, broadcast on the internet and prime-time TV for 113 million viewers.

And that audience is only likely to grow. Wingfield also shares that 1.1 billion people play games on mobile devices worldwide, according to analyst David Cole of DFC Intellligence who predicts that number is rising.

So what does this have to do with education?

Raising Hands


If about one-seventh of the world’s population plays video games (and that’s just on mobile devices), then the concentration is likely even higher among our students, who have grown up in the mobile age.

Another way to look at it is to compare youth sports with video games.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 35 million U.S. kids age 5 – 18 play organized sports. The 2015 Sales, Demographic and Usage Data report published by the Entertainment Software Association reports that just over 40 million U.S. video gamers are under 18.

Combine those numbers with the wide-spread decline of participation in youth sports and we can start to predict the impact of video games on learners in the coming decades.

Here are a few of my thoughts on the future of e-sports and education:

Those 40 million under-18ers will be the next generation’s parents, so video games and e-sports will be valued in schools.

Serious video gamers, often a marginalized social group, will grow numerous enough to be considered normal.

Video game clubs, and even school sponsored e-sports teams, will be as standard as chess clubs and football teams.

Teachers will either find ways to meet gamers where they are or they’ll lose the attention of an entire generation to increasingly engaging and distracting e-sports.

It’s not gonna happen tomorrow, but I bet before I retire I’ll here more hype about some global e-sports competition than I will about the Super Bowl.

Teaching, Learning, and the Halcyon Fold

Vainglory Halcyon Fold map” by Super Evil Megacrp. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

Pictured above is the Halcyon Fold, the fictional setting of a game called Vainglory (you’ve got to click the image in order to appreciate the full screen beauty of the Fold).

Vainglory belongs to the genre of games known as MOBAs, or Massive Online Battle Arenas. According to the developers, Super Evil Megacorp (who seek “to destroy the productivity of mankind with endlessly entertaining games”), Vainglory is “the MOBA perfected for touch”.

The Halcyon Fold is a coliseum where gladiators from around the world gather to compete in fast-paced, strategic, 3 v 3 combat.

The Halcyon Fold is an arena where the mighty walk away with glory dripping from their weapons, and the weak walk away with a few lessons learned and a good dose of humility.

The Halcyon Fold is a fictional world that I escape to every now and then to quench my thirst for competitive e-sports.

And–finally getting to the relevance of this blog–the Halcyon Fold is a classroom that has offered me a visceral experience with the practice of teaching and learning. Continue reading

Thinking Forward about Forward Thinking


By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

Now that our blog has a new name, I wanted to take some time to think about how other things might change around here.

As I mentioned in a previous announcement, we changed the name from Ask CCIT to Forward Thinking to better represent the voices that speak through our blog. It’s not just a soap box for CCIT to shout from. Forward Thinking is a place where any educator anywhere can share their wisdom with the world.

With that in mind, I’ve thought up a few goals for the next six months or so. If we hit these, then we can say that Forward Thinking is growing into its new name.

Goal 1: Host at least one contributor outside of Delaware Tech

The blog has always been a place where instructors at Delaware Tech, particularly new faculty, can show the world what’s going on in their classroom. But I know we have readers from outside of the institution–even from around the world–and I’d love to see a few of them come out from hiding and share.

So if you’ve been lurking in the shadows for a while and want to become a more prominent member of the Forward Thinking community, check out our submission guidelines. Don’t be shy!

Goal 2: Fill the comment boxes

A conversation goes two ways (or more!), so if we want to start meaningful conversations about what matters most in teaching in learning, we need more input from the community. Over the next six months, I’d love to see a comment for every post, and a reply to every comment.

If you’re a frequent reader, and you like what you see, consider letting the author know. If someone raises a point you disagree with, don’t be afraid to voice your opinion. Dialogue is how ideas are developed.

Start with this post. Once you’re done reading, leave a comment and let me know what you think we can do to achieve these goals.

Goal 3: Share the love

In the social media age, everyone loves to share. So, over the next few months, I challenge you to share more on CCIT’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Whenever you come across a handy resource, a challenging website, or a funny video, share it with us so that you can share it with the entire Forward Thinking community. At the moment, you can use the hashtag #askccit to share tweets in the feed on the sidebar (we’re still working on finding a new hashtag to reflect our new name–suggestions welcome).

I can’t make these goals happen. You can’t make these goals happen. Only WE can. So if you enjoy what you read on the blog and want to help it grow to its full potential, I invite you to join us in thinking forward about Forward Thinking.

Thanks for following,  and don’t forget to…

Educate. Innovate. Together.

If Teaching Was Valued Like a Professional Sport

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

And now it’s time for a little light-hearted comedy to start your Monday off with a laugh. Here’s Key and Peele’s look at Teaching as a pro sport.

Many laughs, but a few nuggets of wisdom, inspiration, and truth sprinkled about as well.

Thanks to Chris Terranova for sharing this gem!

What Time Does Class Really Start?


By Carey McDaniel
Language Department
Delaware Technical Community College
Owens Campus

When I walk into my daily Advanced Grammar class, I am pretty stoked to talk about past progressive verbs or the benefits of using noun clauses as the objects of the prepositions. Who doesn’t love the snappy banter of gerunds in the morning?

I couldn’t understand why my students straggled into class–coffee in hand and texting away–between 8:35 and 8:50 (class starts at 8:30:01 AM). The only student I could excuse was a woman who had to put her kids on the bus every morning.

Wasn’t my energy, enthusiasm, and compassion enough for them to get to school on time? Wasn’t I modeling the professionalism they were striving for?

In a word: no.

Not even close. Continue reading

Welcome to Forward Thinking

Ish Stabosz - Time for Change

By Ish Stabosz
Center for Creative Instruction & Technology
Delaware Technical Community College
Stanton Campus

I’m happy to announce a long awaited update to your favorite teaching and learning blog. That’s right. We’ve got a new name.

From this point forward Ask CCIT will be known as Forward Thinking.

Believe it or not, Ask CCIT has been running since 2012, and in the days since its inception, the blog has evolved. It has become a voice, not only for CCIT staff, but also for faculty.

Because we want to focus even more on the important lessons and resources that faculty have to share, we feel the name Ask CCIT no longer reflects the mission of the blog.

The title Forward Thinking envisions an audience and a body of contributors who are on the cutting edge of pedagogy–readers and writers who love to play with the newest ed tech, stay current with the latest research, and practice the most promising instructional strategies,

Our new tagline–Educate. Innovate. Together.communicates what the blog has become and what we hope it will continue to flourish as: a place where CCIT facilitates conversations among educators about what matters most in teaching and learning.

For the moment our blog will still be located at, and you can continue to share your resources on Twitter with the hashtag #askccit. We’ll be changing both of those in due time, and you’ll be sure to get an update when we do.

Thanks for following and helping the blog continue to grow into an inspiring online water cooler for educators.