Video games are a great way to bring our learners into the media center! Good games spark interest and creativity. Where better for this to occur than in the most media-rich environment in our schools? Here are resources from the presentation:
Presentations to Review:
Here are the authors/books I’ve read recently that influence me (these links take you to Amazon and no, I don’t get a kickback):
What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy – by James Gee – this is foundational, academic work, but an easy read.
Don’t Bother Me Mom — I’m Learning by Marc Prensky – this is the book I’d give to parents, administrators, and fellow educators as a starting point.
Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World – by Jane McGonigal – explores taking the passion that gamers bring and applying it to solve real-world problems.
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future by Daniel Pink – this book really hits at the heart of what needs to change in our education system.
Tribes by Seth Godin – a very interesting (and short) read about how the connectedness of the ‘Net has allowed people with similar interested to form community. I’ve seen so much of this in the gaming community. Your students are part of these “Tribes.”
Everything Bad Is Good for You by Steven Johnson – a very interesting look at how media consumption has likely altered how we think and work. Maybe playing video games and watching LOST isn’t so bad after all.
Sites to Visit:
Sources to Explore:
Videos to Watch:
Jane McGonigal – Video Games Can Make A Better World Stuart Brown on Serious Play Tom Chatfield – 7 Ways Games Reward the Brain CNN Future Summit (especially watch the part by Nick Yee who’s done incredible research on the psychology of gaming) From The Kids: Those are the adults, but you also need to hear it from the kids! Here’s what they have to say: No Future Left Behind WoWinSchool – Perspectives from Year One of Our Project
Networks to Form:
Here are some places to connect with other educators using games and virtual worlds in the classroom. You are not going it alone, I assure you, and these folks have energy and passion:
EdGamer Podcast – weekly shows! RezEd.org – the hub for practitioners using virtual worlds in education. http://ipodgamesforlearning.pbworks.com/ – connect with other educators using games on the iPod Touch and iPad in the classroom. http://wowinschool.pbworks.com/ – connect with educators using World of Warcraft as an instructional tool. Peggy Sheehy, Suffern Middle School Craig Lawson, Cape Fear Middle School Dean Groom, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia Lisa Dawley, Boise State University Marianne Malmstromm – Elizabeth Morrow School, New Jersey Melanie McBride, Ryerson University Liz Danforth, Librarian …and there are many many others.
Games to Play and Build
Here are some of the games we discussed during question/answer discussions: Minecraft – an amazing, independently developed game out of Sweden. Imagine a virtual world made of individual building blocks (LEGOs) that multiple students can explore and create in together. Very cost effective for schools. Contact me and I can put you in touch with Joel Levin who can offer it at a discounted rate for educators! Lord of the Rings Online – free-to-play (basic) – online roleplay game set in Tolkien’s fantasy world. Dimension-U – The first “educational” game that I’ve seen that actually begins to bridge that gap between “educational” and “real” games. Have students build and develop their own games: Scratch and Squeak – visual programming environments – great for all ages. Gamestar Mechanic – awesome game design system that allows kids to build and share their own Flash-based games. Kodu – a simplified version of Microsoft’s XNA programming environment used to make XBox and Windows Mobile.
And, of course, I’m more than willing to network! Contact me: Via Email – lucas AT edurealms.com On Twitter – @PCSTech On Skype – lucas.gillispie