AmplifiED: Games in Learning

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!

Be Sociable, Share!
This entry was posted in education, events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.