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Business Simulation Games are a Great way to Bring Active, Applied Learning into Business and Marketing Courses

Of the many different forms of Active Learning made possible through modern instructional technologies, one of my favorites is Simulations. These can come in so many forms … Clinical Healthcare Simulations, Flight Simulations, Weather Simulations, etc. Today we feature a guest post about Business Simulations from Finland based ed-tech company Cesim that teachers have been using productively for years. – KW

At Cesim we believe that “for successful learning experiences, students need to experience a variety of instructional methods and that direct instruction needs to be accompanied by methods that further student understanding and recognize why what they are learning is useful.” – Lalley and Miller (2007)

Business simulation games belong to the realm of ‘active learning’, which entails all forms of learning where the participant is behaviorally and cognitively active. They complement theoretical education by providing a dynamic, reactive, risk free learning environment for students to engage in and help to close the gap that exists between the knowledge of graduating students and the actual skills required in the workforce today.

Cesim-Global-Challenge-Strategy and International Business Simulation

Benefits for the Educator

It has never been more challenging to be an educator than now. The rapidly evolving landscape of educational technology is drastically changing the way students consume information, and it is imperative that you keep up with them, or risk being left behind. The modern student is increasingly looking for ways to be engaged both outside and inside the classroom, and combining that with their natural aptitude for the digital environment, makes teaching them a difficult endeavor at times.

Business Simulations can be highly effective at engaging and motivating students, providing them with an active, hands-on experience they will enjoy learning from. Instructor Giles Forbes, Marketing Course Leader at University of Huddersfield explains, “I was pleased with the way that SimBrand caught the students’ imagination and kept them motivated and involved throughout the module. It got them thinking about marketing strategy in a practical and integrated manner.”

Using Business Simulation Games in your course can:

  • Give you the ability to better illustrate theoretical business concepts
  • Increase student engagement and enjoyment
  • Improve student knowledge retention, decision making and teamwork skills
  • Allow you to run all of your simulation based courses online in any format (classroom, blended, online)
  • Give you a powerful tool to test the hands on skills and strategic thinking of students

In an interview with Mike Geringer of California Polytechnic we discussed the integration of the Cesim Global Challenge simulation into international business and strategy courses, the reaction of students, the role of the educator, and tips to other educators planning to use business simulations in their classes.

Benefits for the Student and Institution

High Schools, Polytechnics, and Colleges and Universities are increasingly pressured to prove that their school curriculum is improving overall student knowledge retention rates and employability. Good quality simulations games can surely help.

Incorporating Business Simulation Games into your school curriculum can:

  • Improve the employability of students
  • Improve cooperation between institutions (even across borders)
  • Improve student-faculty interaction
  • Improve student-student interaction
  • Improve academic achievements (i.e. higher grades)
  • Create a more enjoyable school curriculum
  • Help in making the school offering more versatile

Teachers Share Successes in Teaching with Business Simulations

Educators have been sharing their appreciation of these engaging simulations in testimonials …

Dr Loïc Plé, Associate Professor in Management, Head of the New Educational Technologies division, has been responsible for the Cesim simulations at IESEG School of Management.

“Our students really enjoy CESIM’s simulations, because beyond the examples that they learn in their courses, and even beyond the case studies that they work on, it actually gives them the opportunity to practice strategy. They are enthusiastic about managing their own company and competing with others. They like the online interface that is put at their disposal. They also enjoy the animation plan that we have designed with the help of CESIM’s people. … at the end of the simulation, they must write a report that is intended for their shareholders, and where they also have to add a specific part where they reflexively analyze the teams’ dynamics during the simulation. Thanks to the simulation and this animation plan, we have noted a more pragmatic assimilation and understanding of strategic management among our students”.

Professor Madalena Abreu, Senior lecturer in Marketing and Business Economics  summarizes:

“I have been using Cesim simulations since 2008. The experience has been really excellent. The two simulations we have been using are quite user-friendly, supportive of our academic content, and provide the students with an exciting and real approach to understanding the markets.”

“The students are very motivated and like to play the simulations. Moreover, the support of the company is a case study of excellent service. The support received during the simulation was great, and the response time for inquiries was fast. I can highly recommend the use of these simulations.”

Read more customer success stories here: http://www.cesim.com/customers/higher-education-success-stories/

If you are interested in learning more about Cesim business simulations, head on over to their webinars page to sign up for one of their upcoming live sessions or to watch the recordings on demand. Be sure to stop by and check out their blog as well.

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5 Tips for Using Google Apps on an iPad

by Kasey Bell on September 16, 2014

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Kasey Bell is an instructional technology consultant with a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, and more than ten years in the field of education. Kasey will be presenting the session “Ooey Gooey Google! Google Apps for the iPad” at the 2014 Teaching and Learning with the iPad Conference this November in Raleigh, NC. Follow Kasey Bell’s blog, Shake Up Learning, for more great Google tips and edtech resources.

Google and Apple are two very different ecosystems. Both provide great technology and digital tools for use inside the classroom and beyond. When these two worlds collide, they offer a powerful toolbox for educators giving you the best of both worlds.

When iPads were first introduced, they did not play nicely with Google Apps. We have come a long way, and the two CAN play nicely with each other if you know a few tricks! Here are five tips for using Google Apps on the iPad.

Tips for Using Google Apps on the iPad

1. Google works best with Google.

Go figure! Google Apps work best with other Google Apps. So be sure you install all of the featured apps on this page: Google Apps for iOS. All of Google’s mobile apps were designed to work as a team. Links will open in Chrome instead of Safari, tap on an email address and it will open the Gmail app instead of Mail, etc. If you leverage this team of apps, using Google on the iPad will be a much better user experience.

2. The Google Search App deserves a second look.

If you are like me, I downloaded the Google Search app ages ago and forgot about it. Why do I need a separate search app when searching is built into the browser? Here’s why I challenge you to give this app a second look.

The Google Search App integrates with Google Now cards. Google Now gives you timely, convenient, and customized information like weather, traffic patterns to work, tracks packages, travel information.

The second reason you should give this app another go: “Okay, Google!” If you haven’t heard this phrase yet, you will! “Okay, Google,” is a hands-free, voice search trigger for the app. (You must enable the feature on your device.) Then simply say, “Okay, Google,” the device will beep, and start “listening” for your search query. Bonus: If your search is in the form of a question, Google will read the answer back to you! Think of how much this little gem can help students.

Note: “Okay, Google,” can also be enabled in Google Chrome on the desktop. Chrome on the iPad can also do voice search, but not “Okay, Google.”

3. Forget the native Mail app on the iPad!

Native iPad apps may not be the best app for the job. Just because it came on the iPad, doesn’t mean it is the best app for task at hand. If you use Gmail, and you should, stop using the native Mail app on your iPad. There is a better way. The Gmail app is better, faster, and is cloud-based. The Mail app takes up precious storage space on your device because it is downloading your messages to the device. Have you ever tried to search for an old email in the Mail app? It can be frustrating and time-consuming as you continue to download more messages to search. The Gmail app will also let you connect multiple gmail accounts. Try the Gmail app for a better, faster solution.

4. Forget the native Calendar app!

Google Calendar plays nicely with most other calendar applications out there, but if you want to mimic the gcal functionality you have on the desktop, you must let go of the native calendar app on the iPad. Google does not offer an official Google Calendar app for the iPad, but there are many out there with gcal functionality. I recommend Sunrise (free) or Calendars 5 by Readdle ($6.99).

5. Google+

Google+ is currently the fastest growing social network. Even if you have no interest in adding another social network to your repertoire, you will want the Google+ app on your iOS device for one simple reason: auto-backup your photos and videos to Google! The number one storage hog on iPads is photos and videos. Let Google+ do the work for you and back up to your Google+ account.

Google+ is also a great way to expand your personal learning network and collaborate with like-minded educators. Here are 5 Reasons Educators Should Use Google Plus.

Using Google Apps on the iPad is not only possible, but if you just know a few simple tips, you can have the best of both worlds. These tips only scratch the surface of what’s possible. So what are your favorite tips for using Google Apps on the iPad?

Come and learn more from Kasey and dozens of other practitioners at the original iPad focused education conference – Teaching and Learning with the iPad, November 20 – 22, in Raleigh, NC. Hope to see you there!

TLlogo

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