Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gee, We Should Be Playing More Games in School

What He Said 

The latest #levelupbc read was What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee. I have to admit, it was a slow read ...which I didn't finish. However, I did manage to get through a few chapters, and these quotes resonated with me:

p. 36: "The game encourages him to think of himself as an active problem solver, one who persists in trying to solve problems even after making mistakes, one who, in fact, does not see mistakes as errors but as opportunities for reflection and learning. It encourages him to be the sort of problem solver who, rather than ritualizing the solutions to the problems, leaves himself open to undoing former mastery and finding new ways to solve new problems in new situations."

p.61: "The learner must be enticed to try. ... The learner must be enticed to put in lots of effort. ... The learner needs to be sucked in."

p. 62: "For learners of all levels of skill there are intrinsic rewards from the beginning, customized to each learner's level, effort, and growing mastery and signaling the learner's ongoing achievements."

p. 68: "Indeed, for many learners it is these times, when they are operating at the edge of their regime of competence, when learning is most exciting and rewarding."

p.114: "Educators tend to polarize the debate by stressing one thing (telling or immersion) over the other and not discussing effective ways to integrate the two."

p. 122: "A good video game adapts to the level of the player, rewards different players differently (but rewards them all), and often stays at the edge of the player's regime of competence."

p. 134: "Players make choices that allow them to play the game according to their own favored styles or explore new ones. There are multiple routes to solve problems."

p. 136: "This is just-in-time and on-demand information, situated in the sorts of contexts in which it makes sense and can be used."

What We Said 

We discussed several topics during a Twitter chat on August 2. Here are some of my thoughts:
  • Assigning roles can help kids break out of their comfort zone and surprise others by coming from a different perspective.
  • Idea that ties into advocacy: ask community for research topics... what info do they need? They can "hire" students to find, evaluate, and report.
  • Getting kids to think about different perspectives is important ... both for basic empathy and for good research habits.
  • Strategy, curiosity, cooperation are more valuable skills than writing a citation.

And those of other #levelupbc members:

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