Videogames? Really? • Why not? • Teachers have used games to reach their students since the dawn of the classroom. • Games have the potential to facilitate learning not only in children, but also adults. • So how are video games different?
Video Games • Engage the player through a multi-sensory approach • Allow the player to interact with abstract concepts or dangerous environments • Allow students to take the role of professionals, government officials, historic figures, members of other cultures, etc. • Can facilitate authentic learning if implemented effectively by teachers
But Gaming Leads to Violence and A.D.D. and ... Teacher stigmas associated with video games Decrease Attention Spans Increase Violent Behavior A Waste of Time Gender Bias Decreased Student Achievement
Harnessing this Power for Good Veteran educators for one reason or another have developed a distaste for video gaming. A rising number of new teachers, that have grown up as gamers, governmental agencies, and corporate training labs are starting to embrace gaming as a means to train the future leaders of mankind. (Jenkins, 2003)
It may be more important to ask if your surgeon is a frequent gamer instead of what college they attended.
Serious vs. Educational • Serious Games • Develop connections • Raise Awareness • Immersive in Nature • Students see it as a a fun • way to learn about the world • Usually developed by • organizations, businesses, • colleges, or other non-profits • Educational Games • Develop specific skills • Repetitive in Nature • Student’s often see it as a • means to escape instruction • Leap Frog, Vtech, etc. • develop for the public sector
Videogames as Training • America’s Army • Cold Stone Creamery • Hilton Hotels • O.L.I.V.E.
Cold Stone Creamery “One recent example of the popularity of corporate-sponsored training video games is a custom online game created by Atlanta's Persuasive Games for national ice cream franchise Cold Stone Creamery. The game teaches portion control and customer service. In the first week it appeared on Cold Stone's corporate intranet site in October, 8,000 employees downloaded the game.” (Business Week)
Games that Develop Social Understanding • Katrina • Heifer Village • PeaceMaker
Teaching in the 21st Century • The educational factory of old is ill equipped to produce students who can compete in a global economy. • “Digital Immigrants” • “Digital Natives” (Prensky, 2001) • Different methods of processing information
Are you ready to engage your students?Would you like learners to care about their education? We can revolutionize the Educational System… or at least revolutionize our classrooms. Now how can we go about Classroom 2.0?
Serious Games for History • Revolution • Discover Babylon • Democracy • Civilizations • Expedition
Thoughts on Video Game Integration • What kinds of things are players doing in the game? More importantly what justifies those actions? • How do you know if you have made good or bad choices in the game? • How does this game build upon what I want my kids to achieve in the classroom? • Ask your students the questions that they should be asking themselves as they play the game. • Use your digitally native kids as a resource.
Serious Games for Science • Global Warming Interactive • SodaConstructor (sodaplay.com) • Immune Attack • Crazy Machines
Thoughts on Integration • When using simulation games ask: • What kinds of things do you have to know to play the game? • When you play video games with children be specific about what they are supposed to learn. • Help children see how the ideas in the game do and do not apply in the real world.
Serious Games for Math • Evolver • Math Blaster • Brain Age • Zoombinis
Thoughts on Integration • When you look at a game ask: • Can my students play it? • Does it fit into what I am trying to teach? • Is it appropriate for my classroom/students? • What are players learning to do? • Are there other situations where those skills might be useful? • Find occasions in the game, (or make occasions) that help build background knowledge • Find games that build in teachable moments • Expecting the game to teach for you will lead to disappointment • Use the game as a springboard for your lesson and to connect to student understanding
Serious Games for ELA • Speare : • Game based upon the works of Shakespeare • Chronos: • Spelling game
Thoughts on Integration • Open-ended games give players more exploratory opportunities than very scripted games • Young people develop by exploring possible selves (Shaffer, 2006) • Innovation cannot be scripted, nor can learning to think like an innovator
Final Thoughts • There are plenty of bad games out there, just as there are plenty of bad books. • But there are plenty of good games too • The game is what the player makes of it • Help your kids to make connections • Use gaming to create authentic learning • Play video games with your children • This will give you a chance to shape their attitudes and habits
Summary • Make sure the game is age and grade appropriate • Check the skills covered • Build the lesson then incorporate the game • Find games that allow the player to experience different roles • Balance the time frame of your lesson • Make sure that the kids understand that the game is a learning experience