Originally posted on Micah Gronvold's bPortfolio:
I thought it was fascinating to hear from such a variety of expertise backgrounds during the module this week. I especially appreciated the perspective of James Paul Gee. A linguist by trade Gee did not even encounter video games up until a few years ago when started to help his son with a game that he was playing. This when his eyes were opened to the possibilities that games can provide to education and learning. In fact, he believes that the most successful games are the ones that challenge the player to learn and grow in proficiency as they play. Gee puts it so simply when he states that “All a video game is, is a set of problems that you must solve in order to win.” (Gee, 2011) With a sequence of problems and solutions that the player must accomplish in order to progress. The motivation in video games is so high that children will spend a significantly higher amount of time trying to solve problems on a video game than they would on a math problem in class. The challenge ahead of the modern educator is to learn how to adapt this high motivation that gaming provides to teaching students vital skills and knowledge that they need to be successful in life.
Though the idea of using games to teach students sounds like a good idea, I have a few concerns and questions that I am sure others probably share. First off, what kind of games and systems would be used in order to facilitate the learning of students through video gaming? Are these games created expressly for the use in the classroom, or are educators adapting the game that already exist on the market currently? Jane McGonigal commented that the Xbox live system was one of her favorite pieces of technology in video gaming, and discussed that the potential for learning collaborative skills and proper self-analysis were huge in this online system. With the potential for online stalking and “catfishing” (the use of fake online identities to lure people into false relationships and giving out personal private information), will the use of online systems be limited or protected when students are using the gaming system in the classroom? As video game learning becomes more widely used in the classroom will there be some type of oversight committee created at the district, state or federal level to investigate and approve the use of certain video games in the classroom? These are just a few of the things that came to mind when I was contemplating the module this week.
Gee, J. (2011, August 04). Games and education scholar james paul gee on video games, learning, and literacy. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNfPdaKYOPI