I’m liveblogging from the AmplifiED session on games. Keep refreshing this page for updates.
18:45 We’re doing the intros and identifying our interests in games. 11 people around the table: lots of consultants and writers and industry reps, all with a background in education, so this looks fun.
18:56 It’s noted that games are still regarded negatively. The way to get out of that is to profile more games that enable participation with technologies that kids normally are using.
19:02 It’s not just the game that teaches; its the collective activity which arises from people working together to test and discover solutions.
19:03 Stein Kuehler’s works are being cited as an example of how of literacies in subject areas. Tricking kids in to doing maths is motivating kids.
19:05 Marcus de Sautoy’s new games in maths are described as being pretty but the question/solution complexity was considered fairly bland. Generally people feel that Sim City is better in teaching maths than the standard ‘here’s a question; well done you’ve got the answer right!’.
19:09 The example of Everquest is given for problem solving, where number crunching forms part of the strategy development. Getting kids to design their own games is identified as a fabulous way of ensuring that students have an understanding of their subject area is key.
19:13 When we call something a game it’s considered ‘fun’. If it’s a ‘serious game’ it gets more credibility but to have the most credibility of all we should call it a simulation.
19:16 If we can get casual gamers that can teach then we have a solution.
19:20 In order to get out of the addictive phase of guild-oriented gaming, you have to avoid the requirement of time online in a guild. Hard, but necessary! John Seely-Brown’s research has shown that skills in role playing games are actually generating opportunities in the real world.
19:23 The desire to build a community of practice is implicit in game development. The scenario mapping opportunities within games are useful, but we shouldn’t assume that acts within games are consequence-free.
19:27 The sense is that 20% of the current school leaders will be retiring by 2012. Question raised is whether new leaders will just naturally include gamnes.
19:31 I pose the question: what’s needed to improve the reputation of games? The response is focuses on the differences in designing for gaming compared with designing for learning.
19:35 Question is raised – should we be teaching kids stuff, or should we be teaching kids how to think. The point is raised, if kids are given the opportunity to solve a problem in a game, will they be able to apply that in the real world (or in other contexts).
19:37 Incidental learning – in conversations around the game as well as the environment in which the game is based (eg: Age of Empires) – is something that is often not considered/valued.
19:45 We’ve wrapped the games session. Really enjoyable and had some fab conversation. Thanks all!