I love this article. It displays the teachers ability to adapt and adopt new technologies and techniques in the classroom. It also shows the students in an interactive learning environment. One that we are all striving for.
I also enjoyed this article. It makes me question the model that English teachers follow as being antiquated; I agree we should "shift"/modify our paradigm so students can express themselves in any mode beyond written expression(i.e. essays). Perhaps, students would be even more engaged.
"Student Engagement" has become quite the buzz word lately. We are all trying to remediate the lower-leveled students and challenge the higher-level students, while simultaneously keeping all parties "engaged" in their learning. Kai's comments while constructing his video game are applicable to us educators trying to develop curriculum: we are trying to make it "good-hard."Articles like this one make me feel like an inadequate and ill-prepared teacher. During the past couple of years, I have really made an effort to include "hands-on, minds-on" learning in my lesson plans. During an Evolution unit, my students go on a "Fossil Find," which is a simulated archaeological dig (with accompanying narration) in which they arrange paper "bones" to develop a hypothesis as to which creature they have uncovered. The paper-version "Fossil Find" seems extremely lame compared to the description in the article where students use 'magic wands' to move rock layers in a simulated 3-D small-lab world.I have found online science learning games like at nobelprize.org, but I have never tried to make my own before. Is this what I should be trying to do? Anyone know where I can sign up for some intro to computer programming/video-game writing classes? I think we might be moving in that direction very soon.....
So much of what this article talks about ties in so perfectly with Tapscott's Grown Up Digital. Especially about kids being more digitally savvy than the adults and how school could be so much more relevant to kids and they could connect more if there were games. Tapscott talked about how games actually have neurological benefits for the brain and this article also made that point.What dated me was their reference to reader Rabbit.I had totally forgotten that until they mentioned it! Wow!
I agree with everything you have all stated. Technology is rapidly evolving. This article proves it. It is so important that technology is introduced into classrooms. CHildren are learning more quickly via technology.
I am lucky that I have a little advantage by having a smartboard and some techno interaction, but no where like this NYC school. Will it be possible to outfit schools with video gaming for learning in the next 30 years? Similar to what Christine said, I work my tail off to prepare authentic, interactive, hands-on experiences. In the latest ecology unit we will head outdoors and do real time graphing using Veneer Probes. Its not quite gaming but its interactive. Based on prior experience, the students like it. Students even enjoy a well dramatized game of "blanks" on a chalkboard to review for a quiz, if dome right. I am not old school, but old school can be fused with new school to capture the richness of academia. Are video games necessary for learning? Maybe for some now, but others who are stimulated differently, they just may be a treat. I do agree that certain video games help with cognitive abilities of visual and spatial, but it seems like that is what makes them justifiable. I do not know if there is any research that show video games help with social skills. Socializing is a key ingredient to life. There are studies that indicate socializing can reduce risks of cancer. I think I would trade cancer for 3D visualizations. I understand that the world is digital. I just don't think we should rely on it.
I also watched the video that went with the article. Al Doyle briefly mentioned how the school is not just playing and building video games, but looking at learning as "Systems Learning." I wish he would have expanded on his explanation of how everything is broken down into systems. He briefly says, "Fractions for instance are a system made up of components, numerators and denominators, and we look at how these components work together to build the system." To me, however, this is kind of a lame explanation. I know this video is only 5 minutes, and maybe the editor cut off the rest of what he said, but I don't care so much about making and playing games as I do about using them to evoke higher order thinking. I want to know more about "systems learning." Perhaps a follow-up article or video is in order?
I do agree with Nancy's comment. This article definately reminds me of what we read in Tapscott's "Grown Up Digital". I am torn on this idea from the online article around using games to teach children. Technology is awesome and should definately be incorportated into the classroom whenever possible, but doesn't it set a bad example for children. Does learning through games make students think that learning itself is a game; that it's not important? How about the entertainment factor. Sure the kids are engaged while watching/ playing their educational game, but not everything in their life will always be engaging. Sometimes they will have to go to a lecture or meeting that is not "entertaining" will the students be prepared to still participate even if the material is not interesting to them. I think that technology does have a home in education, but students should still be required to learn through different outlets, not just games.
WHAT IF TEACHERS GAVE UP the vestiges of their educational past, threw away the worksheets, burned the canon and reconfigured the foundation upon which a century of learning has been built? What if we blurred the lines between academic subjects and reimagined the typical American classroom so that, at least in theory, it came to resemble a typical American living room or a child’s bedroom or even a child’s pocket, circa 2010 — if, in other words, the slipstream of broadband and always-on technology that fuels our world became the source and organizing principle of our children’s learning? What if, instead of seeing school the way we’ve known it, we saw it for what our children dreamed it might be: a big, delicious video game? This is my favorite quote of the article. It makes me want to say... WHY NOT? My curiosity after reading this article: What percentage of your school's staff would resist this kind of change?
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