Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good video games, good learning, good idea

Using video games to create a new paradigm for learning sounds like a great use of technology with teaching...

Why not let students take advantage of their imaginations and their investments into their "own little worlds"? As mentioned in Bronson and Merriman's Nurture Shock, students can harness the power of their imaginations to accomplish tasks that under the circumstances of "reality" wouldn't normally be accomplished.

Gee's outlining of the various skills involved in playing video games (in relation to pedagogy) was extremely clear and enlightening...probably because I'm not really a gamer, and so this information was relatively new to me. However, I could relate to the idea of using a metacognitive approach to identify my thinking processes and the skills that I develop/employ when participating in an activity that I truly enjoy--and then apply these processes and skills to school-related activities (or other learning activities).

In other words...Gee's article got me thinking about how my hobbies are related to pedagogy, and my process of learning.

Furthermore, what should we as teachers DO with this information while making lesson plans? When teachers have asked us about our hobbies, why did they do this?


  1. Shelley - This will be my fourth blog on the subject, and perhaps my opinion is turning ever so slightly. I started out calling gaming a colossal waste of time. Just think of what 10,000 hours could do to improve the world we live in. But to spend it playing games?

    But I digress..I did find Mr. Gee's premise interesting, and at this point will concede that if we can't "redirect' our student's time away from video games, perhaps we can "better direct" their efforts in an educationally productive effort.

    Just don't tell them it's educational; they'll never touch it, like Broccoli...

  2. re: "When teachers asked us about our hobbies, why did they do this?"

    I've been wondering about that! I've been thinking of using exit tickets with a new class, with a question on each to get to know the students better, and perhaps inspire some classroom ideas. I realized I passed up a good opportunity to engage with my Scarlett student. While I was getting setup with my video, he was playing with a picture of his favorite superhero. I think he wanted to talk about it, and I was too preoccupied to notice. And I remembered he had mentioned his superhero in the survey his teacher had given him.

    I think if I ask them what their hobby is, I need to be committed to at least acknowledging it, so that the student trusts that I cared about the answer.

  3. I like the way you relate to using video games in the classroom to incorporating student hobbies into the classroom in general. I also am not much of a gamer, so I completely understand what you mean when you say that information was new to you. I hope that I will be able to find other things that I can use in the classroom that pertain to the hobbies of my students. i want them to be engaged and to know that I am listening to them when they tell me what they like. More over, i think it's an effective way to get students to learn without them thinking of it as work.

  4. You always have such insightful comments that make me reconsider many of my stuck-in-the-rut tendencies. I started thinking about how teachers used to ask about our hobbies, and I quickly assumed they just wanted to pretend to get to know us. Or judge our extracurricular. Paranoid much?

    Maybe they asked because they wanted to relate their lessons to our hobbies. How can Bobby's interest in soccer influence our reading? Are my students more open to group work, because they have a good foundation in team games? Are my students more interested in futuristic novels, based on their involvement in robotics club?

    Hmm, maybe my teachers weren't being so intrusive after all, just trying to make class more enjoyable...