In today class we watched a series of videos regarding the role and potential for gaming in education. Many of these ideas were new to me and I am very interested to see how educational and problem solving games will evolve and be used in the future. Summaries and relfections on each talk are provided below.
Ted Talk: Jane McGonigal
McGonigal states that we need to play more games to solve world problems. Total world wide gaming hours per week should be in the billions. She states that game worlds brings out best version of self – we are more likely to try again after defeat and overcome obstacles. Real life obstacles make us overwhelmed, cynical, and more likely to give up. There is constant feedback in game world and opportunities for collaboration. Makes it often better than the real world, which is why people become so consumed with games. Virtuoso gamers (spent total of over 10,000 hours gaming) gain the following skills:
-social relationship (trust, bonding)
-hard working – blissful productivity (would rather work hard than hang out)
-epic achievements/knowledge (World of Warcraft wikipedia)
Why are people spending more time in virtual world than real world? Need to start making real world more like the game world. Games enable escape from real world environment. Create games that deal with “real world” problems.
James Paul Gee: Learning with Video Games
There is more going on in role playing, multi-player games than just gaming. In multi-player games different players have a unique skill set that can be integrated with the rest of the team. This is known as cross-functional teams in the corporate environment. Huge problem solving potential. Knowledge of unique game environment/world is articulated through wiki’s – academic references, high-level knowledge.
Problem with current education system is that “manuals” are provided, but there is no expereince, activities, or real world games to accompany the manual.
Nathaniel Spohn: Reinventing education with games
Spohn states that it will be the next generation who solve the current and future problems of the world. He believes it won’t be the current generation, as there has not been much movement forward by the current generation.
Tool of play is one of the best evolutionary strategies to adapt to new environments. What would happen if schools taught using only games? Tried out in a U.S. school with great success.
Theory of Planetary Boundaries: Nine natural systems with boundaries that cannot be exceeded. Spohn created a kids problem solving, board game regarding these boundaries and world problem solving. Games foster social skills, empathetic and action-based learning, collaboration, and moments of discovery.
Katie Salen: Learning with Games
Salen states that play and games are a huge part of childhood development. Enables exploration and failure without huge consequences. Games work in the same way that teachers work in terms of goals, knowledge transfer, and learning. How to bring games and teaching together? Game learning is often perceived as a waste of time and teachers or parents may not be aware of the knowledge being accumulated.
Look at games that can give students practice with a particular skill or problem solving ability. Games can inspire creativity and success, because students know that they can succeed and that the game is designed for them to succeed.
Constant feedback in game environment provides a different type of assessment from summative and formative assessments. By reaching the end of the game, the student has learned enough to reach the end point. How to develop assessment tools that can be used by kids? Games are a good starting point for this to happen.