Monday, September 27, 2010

School as a video game?!

Have you ever wondered how you could incorporate video games into your classroom? The debate as to their effectiveness and curricular rigor may forever be ended by the video below.

Are Violent Video Games Adequately Preparing Children For The Apocalypse?

I love that video! It is a wonderful parody, poking fun at both children who play too much and adults who fear them.

How do you use them in your class? I have had limited success and I feel like I have so much to learn. I have had some success with "26 learning games for change" from Mission to Learn. These games are just great games for the classroom. Their goals are global education and social action. Some will not grab the students right away or at all, others require the player to learn the mechanics of the game to be able to get the larger point of the game.

Watch the video below from the New York Times about the program Quest to Learn, where students learn from playing and making video games. I was so intrigued by this school that I looked on the website to become a teacher there and will be contacting them to find out what I can learn from them to incorporate into my classroom.

Will Richardson has written a post on video games in school and is worth reading for his thoughts. The New York Times has written an informative article (with many links) about video games as/in school. They have two links to who they call "the guru of games in education", James Paul Gee. In them, he answers FAQ's (FAQ1, FAQ2) about games in the classroom. The New York Times article mentions the innovative program, the institute of play. The institute of play is out of Minnesota and has the following mission statement:

"We promote GAMING LITERACY: the play, analysis, and creation of games, as a foundation for learning, innovation, and change in the 21st century. Through a variety of programs centered on game design, the Institute engages audiences of all ages, exploring new ways to think, act, and speak through gaming in a social world."

In conclusion to this rather long post, this is all very exciting and interesting! Just what am I supposed to do with all of it? Here's what I figured out. I am going to look at some of the games these folks are playing in school and try to learn them (or get my kids to!). I will also contact some of the people from these programs to see where I should start. Here is my list of games I got from James Paul Gee's FAQ.

  • flower- playstation

  • flow- free

  • alice- 3d animation download

  • storytelling alice- 3d animation download

  • gamestar mechanic- designing games, free

  • scratch- designing games- download

  • kodu- designing games- download

  • little big planet- PS3

  • David Williamson Shaffer’s How Computer Games Help Children Learn (book)

  • world of warcraft- free trial

  • filament games- many free games, ecology, government, landforms, etc.

  • i-civics- U.S. govt.

  • sims- simulation download

  • portal- $20 U.S.

  • braid- pay download

  • second life- free basic download

  • guitar hero

  • resilient planet- download

  • quest atlantis- 1 hour free, $6.99 download

  • dimension m- paid download

  • age of mythology- paid download

  • harvest moon

  • drop 7- itunes app

  • peace maker- $20 download

  • world of goo- $6.99 download

  • chibi-robo- Nintendo download

  • I know just the student I am going to put onto this! I'll let you know how it goes.

    1 comment:

    1. Here is a website based on recent neuroscience discoveries that is using video games to increase children's language skills.