How to stop laptop from overheating!

I recently was on vacation, using a brand new alienware computer, and ran into a lot of overheating issues. This is not something I normally experience with my home computer, which is also an alienware, so I had to take steps to solve the issue and make sure the computer wasn’t broken and to lower the temps. High temps can mean a broken machine or it can just mean you need to make a few adjustments.

The main issue I was running into was that games, like Overwatch, were increasing the temps to 99 degrees celsius. That is way too high and can damage a machine. Ideally you don’t want temps above 85-90 when pushing the processor and temps below 65 when idle. To monitor the temps, I used a program call HWINFO, which was showing high temps after just a few minutes of gaming. Here are the steps I took to lower the temps on the machine:

1. Used a laptop board that was vented and angled.
2. Undervolted the machine using throttlestop.
3. Lowered the amount of turbo boost the machine can use.

I describe how I do each of these in the video. By the end of the process I was able to keep the machine below 80 degrees at all times. That means that my machine is not broken and just needed some adjustments to maintain a good temperature. Remember laptops cram a lot into a small space so high temps are not unusual when you push the processor. This was a new machine and hadn’t been tested. I find all of my machines usually need adjustment to find that sweet spot to maximize performance while keeping the machine below temps that will damage it!

Links to everything discussed in video:

Laptop cooling pad: https://amzn.to/35ax6CI
Throttlestop:https://www.techpowerup.com/download/techpowerup-throttlestop/
HWINFO: https://www.hwinfo.com/

Video Game Addiction

I have been talking a lot about this topic recently so decided making a blog post and video was worthwhile. First, I want to point out that addiction to anything can be serious and if you found my post or video looking for help, please go to an addiction professional. I am a tech professional stating my thoughts on video game addiction.

We hear from the media that video games are addictive and causing a downfall in society. Is that true? Well it turns out we used to think the same thing about reading.

“Concerns about Lesesucht (reading addiction) had been at their highest in Europe during the 1700s with the rise of the entertainment novel. There were fears that society would go to wrack and ruin – women would neglect their housework, people would begin living in fantasy worlds, sexual excitement would be stimulated, everyone would become socially isolated, no one would get anything done. The noble pursuit of reading, for spiritual and scientific edification, was being debauched and degraded. Moral anxiety about new media repeats itself later with radio, then television, then video games and internet.” (Source – https://corpus.nz/curing-lesesucht-addiction-to-reading/)

In fact you can see this at the beginning of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast when the town thinks Bell is ‘crazy’ for reading!

So it seems as if there is a reason we are afraid of new media. I am not sure why but it does seem like there is.

But the question is still, are video games addictive? The answer is – no more than anything else (but this headline doesn’t make money). It turns out we can be addicted to anything. Food addiction, work addiction, exercise addiction, running addiction, internet addiction, texting addiction, sewing addiction, surfing addiction, etc. When you dig further in the research you find that there are mixed numbers but overall none of these are really more addicting than the other.

But did you hear that 87% of the population plays video games? So what. 100% of the population eats food and we are aren’t bashing food (at least the healthy kind) because of food addiction. What we are doing is encouraging healthy eating – the same thing we should be doing with games which is encouraging healthy game play. While addiction is serious there is no reason to be concerned about games being any more addicting than anything else just like books. My advice: teach healthy game play. See my video for more info:

eSports in Schools? Making a case for eSports in schools using research!

In this video I walk through research on learning, engagement, and retention as it pertains to gaming and eSports. This is part of a literature review I have done to help make a case for eSports at my university. It’s important for people to understand that eSports is more than just gaming – its a community that involves learning, teamwork, project management, and much more. For students, it can improve grades, increase motivation to come to school and participate, and give them a chance to get involved in their school and community.

Here is some of the research I highlight:

  1. Video games and learning (*This research focused on games for entertainment, not instructional games)
  • Strategic game play predicts higher problem solving skills and academic grades (Adachi & Willoughby, 2013)
  • Computer and video game play can lead to a higher GPA (Bowers & Berland, 2013)
  • Socialization that occurs within and around games can lead to social knowledge construction and scientific reasoning skills (Steinkuehler & Duncan, 2008)
  • There is compelling evidence indicating that action video game play engenders clear enhancements in an array of perceptual, attentional, and cognitive skills (Green, Bavelier, Daphne, 2016)
  • Playing action video games enhances several different aspects of visual processing (Green & Bavelier, 2007)
  • Large % of those interested in eSports major in STEM fields – double the national average (Reames, 2018)
  • Providing competitive eSports teams in schools satisfies the growing desire to train and educate students on the soft skills emphasized in STEM and Career Technical Education (CTE) education, as well as in programs such as English and Language Arts (Rothwell & Shaffer, 2019)
  1. Engagement and retention
  • eSports competition is a catalyst for the application of real world skills and problem solving ability (Baltezarević & Baltezarevic, 2019). This competition takes place outside of the classroom as an extracurricular activity similar to any other sport (Kane & Spradley, 2017).
  • Participation in extracurricular activities leads to school identities, behavioral engagement in the classroom, higher grades and test scores, higher educational achievements, more regularity in class attendance and higher self-confidence, leadership and teamwork abilities in students. (Im, Hughes, Cao, & Kwok, 2016; Tariq, 2018)
  • Participation in extracurricular activities decreases the use of drugs, alcohol and behavioral and disciplinary problems related to their use. (Legacy Healing, Delray and Tariq, 2018)
  • More than 80% of students in the High School eSports League were not involved in other extracurricular activities before eSports. (Schaffhauser, 2019)
  • Without a school esports club, passionate gamers often feel left out of mainstream school social life. Organized esports bring these kids into the fold. It can help them become accepted and respected members of their school community. Keeping them excluded can leave lasting damage. Being excluded is an invisible form of bullying (ViewSonic, 2019; Williams, Kipling & Nida, 2011)
  • Playing video games prior to learning can lead to higher levels of engagement, motivation and achievement (Kapp, Valtchanov, & Pastore, Under Review – Minor Revisions in ETRD)

How much does sound quality matter when recording a video or podcast?

Sound quality if very important when creating a video or podcast. Instead of telling you how important sound quality is, I decided to run an experiment showing you how different mics sound. The difference is telling, especially when you hear the difference between a nice mic and your standard mic on your laptop. When you hear the two one after another the difference is HUGE! Here is a link for the Blue Yeti Mic I use when recording my sound – https://amzn.to/2qPRlYm. Take a look for yourself in the following video:

How do I make my videos?

I have been asked this question so many times that I figured it was time for me to show you! So how do I make my tutorials? How do I add myself to a video when showing off a piece of software? Its easy and its complicated! I know that’s probably not the answer you are looking for. I think most people want me to say “I am using X software that does it all” but unfortunately it involves several pieces of software and hardware. In the following video I explain everything I am using:

UNCW eSports Tournament #1

We had our first eSports tournament at UNCW. This was an internal club event and was really a pilot for future events on campus. The event was awesome! We played Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. We ended up with around 70 participants, 120 people total there, and 173 views on our Twitch page.

That was way more than we expected. Then again, Smash is a very popular game and perfect for this kind of event, so that did play a part.

Other games will not be run in the same manner and we can’t expect the same turnout when using different games. For example, a league of legends tournament may have hardly anyone actually attend in person, rather, people would attend online. I like to tell people eSports is like no other sport and its closest comparison would be track and field. Anyway, here are a few videos from the event:

Actual event footage:

My reflections/lessons learned on the event:

How to create a podcast

See my latest video on how to create a podcast. This video is designed for the absolute beginner. I am in the process of creating some more advanced ones. In this video I cover the basic steps to create a podcast:

1. Find a topic!

2. Set a schedule

3. Hardware

4. Software

5. Publishing

6. Promoting your podcast

 

Instructional Design vs Learning Sciences

This has been a topic of interest since I first started my doctorate in 2006. Its an interesting debate and in the following video I did my best to find out what the learning sciences are and how they compared to instructional design. I wasn’t sure what I would find but I was surprised by what I did. Here are some of my key findings, see the video for all of them:

– There are only a few programs that call themselves learning sciences. Most consider themselves a blend.

– I can’t actually find a difference between the learning sciences and instructional design. I see authors try to distinguish them from one another but its mostly just a lot of word smithing.

– I can’t actually find any jobs in the learning sciences, at all, except for the few learning science programs looking for learning science faculty.

– The jobs learning science programs say their students are getting are instructional design jobs, which was quite unusual. You don’t create a program unless there is a specific demand for a job in that field that is not being met.

I challenge you to prove learning styles are real!

I’ve often referred to learning styles as one of the great unicorns in education. If you believe they are real, I challenge you to prove it! We currently have no evidence they exist and we have plenty of learning theories, with tons of evidence, showing how we learn. Those theories are contrary to learning styles. So if you don’t believe what I am telling you, what the research shows, please prove me wrong! I dare you! In fact, this site, worklearning.com will actually pay you $5,000 if you can prove they are real! So let me tell you how to do it if you are inclined to prove me wrong!

How to prove learning styles are real:

  • 1. Select a learning style test. There are 100s so you need to pick one. Each defines learning styles differently (just the start of the nonsense that is learning styles)
  • 2. Show validity and reliability evidence for the test (i describe in the video below how to do this)
  • 3. Give the test to participants and divide them into 2 groups (ie visual vs kinesthetic)
  • 4. Have at least 35 people in each group
  • 5. Develop content for each group. For one group, use only their learning style. For example, for the visual group develop only visual content. Then for the kinesthetic group use both visual and verbal content.
  • 6. Test participants on high (problem solving) and low (factual) content and compare results. You must prove that learning style made a difference. So you would need the visual group to perform best.

What do you think the results will be?

If you believe in learning styles and choose to ignore all research: You would believe that the Kinesthetic group should do terrible. They learn best with hands on activities. The visual group will do better because they are getting visual content.

If you believe is 1000s of research studies we currently have, all data, all evidence: The kinesthetic group will outperform the visual group on factual and problem solving knowledge. Why? Because we know that people learn better from visual and audio vs just visual. Learning style, learning preference, etc. has no bearing on this. You can say you are a visual learner, hands on learner, etc all you want but it doesn’t matter. You will perform well when you have well designed instruction regardless of what you think your learning style is.

And if you think the content was unfair since the kinesthetic group had visual + audio narration, just give both groups the same visual content and guess what, they will both perform the same. The visual group would NOT outperform the other group. Learning styles do NOT matter because they aren’t real. We have countless studies showing this phenomenon.

Here is a video that walks you through this: