Friday, July 07, 2006

Video Games as Constructionist Learning Environments

My background is tied to video game culture more than one would think. In one of my previous lives I worked at a video game testing company (teaching people to play video games is a bit weird - yet quite anecdotal). Now at The Friday Institute, one of the research strands is gaming in education, and Len Annetta's Hi-Fives project is using gaming in science, and more specifically is now having teachers create games using the half-life engine - so I'm really excited about this session.

Then I get even more surprised to find out that the presenter was at the Blogger Meetup last night. His blog is http://edtechlife.com/ - small world huh :)

Ok wow - this is the 3rd reference to Logo in two days - I think I see a resurgence. I think I need to boot my Apple IIc back up :)

Some interesting book titles:
"Don't bother me Mom..I'm Learning"
"What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy"
"Why Video Games are Good For Your Soul"
"Learning by Doing"

Websites for pre-service teachers: www.simSchool.org I work with faculty a pre-service teachers a good deal, and yes we need to do more than throw them into the lions den of student teaching as Mark says, but we are making progress at doing more than that and this does seem like an interesting rile playing tool.

He also mentions Kurt Squire a good bit who was using Civ III to help teach History. I was fortunate enough to meet Sid Meier at Firaxsis in Maryland and see some children play this game - the potential for this tool is incredible.

"Playing games does not appeal to everyone, and no one game appeals to all gamers" It is important to understand that this is not a one size fits all proposition. It isn't going to fix all your problems, but it will add a lot to your instruction.

Resources:
www.funbrain.com
www.making-history.com
www.dimenxian.com
gamesforchange.org

Creating games with students:
www.globalkids.org
garagegames.com

Video games have been with us since the creation of the personal computer, many have recognized their potential, but I think it is interesting to see how they have evolved and am curious as to what they will be next.

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1 comment:

Scott Arthur Edwards said...
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