The incredible versatility of games and their ever-increasing ability to provide rich, realistic simulations of any environment, interaction, or situation could make them even more valuable than traditional reading, particularly if it is shown that games can be used to activate the brain in new ways. There could even be a hybrid approach where the benefits of both mediums are exploited to the advantage of learners.
The fear of the unknown is inhibiting some educators from fully embracing video games as the powerful, failure-based learning experiences that they are. One way of overcoming these fears, and thus helping students to learn from their failures, is to develop an understanding for how to actually use games in the classroom, and how to take advantage of the failure process that they rely on.
We live in a time of transition as the Industrial Age slowly gives way to the Information Age. The Common Core Standards are a sign of the struggle to make sense of this dramatically changing world.
Dr. Justin Marquis's insight:
Digital video games, when specifically focused on learning, have the potential to provide students playful simulations of the real world that can teach anything- including the valuable skills and information that are the focus of the Common Core Standards.
5 Easy Steps to #Gamifying #HighereEd - Choose one or two of these simple steps at first and allow them to bring out your innate creativity. You will find that your teaching gets a refreshing update that makes it more enjoyable for you and more effective for your students. If you like it, stick with it, add some additional elements, or even gamify all of your classes.
Why Games Will Be More Successful in Education than Radio, TV, or MOOCs - In stark contrast to all of the other educational innovations mentioned, games have been a natural part of learning since the dawn of time and, as such, provide a far greater potential for sustained impact on education than other technological advancements. Here is a critical examination of all of these advances and an explanation of why games are the best positioned to have the greatest sustained effect on education.
How Games Help Students Embrace Failure - Games depend on failure to teach. They push players to the edge of their ability and knowledge; then change or adapt when a level is reached to push players further. These disappointments teach students to persevere and foster creativity and adaptability – invaluable skills in our hyper-connected, fast-paced, global economy. Here is a look at some of the ways failure helps students and how games support this valuable learning opportunity.
There is a tendency in life to see things in absolutes. Sensationalist media thrives on the love/hate, friend/enemy, smash hit/trash it dichotomy. The proposition of including games in the classroom at any level is no different. There are those who love the concept and are all in for redesigning entire classes, curriculums, and even whole schools that are focused on game-based learning (GBL), such as Quest to Learn and the Playmaker School. There are also those who think that games and gamification have little value in education. In reality, however, those who are really using games for learning such as Susan Bohler (stay tuned for our upcoming Google+ hangout where we’ll discuss this very issue) know that, like any innovation, games must be deployed in a measured and systematic way that maximizes their benefits while minimizing the negative consequences. That said here is a look at the possible ways in which games detract from students’ educational experiences, and a consideration of the value added through gamification.
The common understanding is that if students work hard in school they earn "A’s." For many however, there is a much straighter route to that "A." Some of the most creative learners are able to figure out what the course expectations are and do the minimum to meet them, and get the grade they want. The Center for American Progress finds that this is a model for the smartest students who may not be challenged by traditional high school curriculums http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/education/report/2012/07/10/11913/do-schools-challenge-our-students/]. But is there a better way to engage and challenge students in our schools? While much of the attention in education reform discussions is devoted to gamification or game-based learning, is it possible that there is one element that might be the lynch pin to major educational change? What if we just scrap the entire concept of grades and replace them with one gaming element – badges?
The Quest for the Holy Grail of Serious Games » that there are no games that actually could accomplish what the ideal of GBL would be – true engagement and rich learning in one package. Until that combination exists, gamification will not become a full-time reality in education. That said, here is a breakdown of the elements needed to create the Holy Grail of Serious Games.
PlayMaker School: Making a Play for Educational World Domination » The intentional plan to advance the model and help spread it to other schools is the key feature that makes the PlayMaker School truly unique. The folks at GameDesk are not satisfied with making education better and more enjoyable for a few local students. They want to spread the word, resources, and expertise so that anyone interested in game-based education can help their own students learn through play.
What Educators Can Do to Promote GBL » There needs to be more attention paid to designing games that specifically align to the Common Core and that attempts must be made to empirically demonstrate the ways in which game play helps students develop useful, real world skills. This relationship is not, however a one-way street. Here are several things that educators at all levels can do to help make game-based learning a reality in their classrooms and to help spread the word.
Gamification vs. Education-Irreconcilable Differences? » Once the gaming industry demonstrates that it is serious about supporting learning, education can embrace gamification and eventually open up to the possibilities of the less structured, more open, fun, and engaging model of learning that is the real power of GBL.
I will be at the Serious Play conference in Redmond , WA this week Tweeting live and micro-blogging about the sessions. Check back on Education Unbound for daily updates or follow along live on Twitter @drjwmarquis.
The average American child plays games for 18 hours each week. At that pace, the average student will reach 10,000-hours after only 10-11 years of play. Children are starting to play at increasingly younger ages – sometimes as young as 2-3, so, in theory, many could reach the expert level well before graduating high school. Given Gladwell’s hypothesis and the prevalence of video game play among children it is very important to understand just what they are becoming experts at, and what the long term benefits of becoming a video game expert are?
To truly understand the argument for gamification it is essential to understand both the costs and benefits of using video games in education. Here is a look at the possible ways in which games detract from students’ educational experiences weighed against the value that can be added through gamification.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a day at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York.
Dr. Justin Marquis's insight:
Here is some of the most important information I learned at the Museum of Play, my reflections on what each piece means, and why I think it all adds up to the fact that we are doing our children a disservice by not basing our educational systems on play.
Education Unbound Presents Randy Kulman and James Daley from Learning Works for Kids - What do you get when you combine 25 years of experience as a clinical child psychologist with a passion for video games and learning? Learning Works for Kids – a unique company in the GBL world that seeks to help parents find the best games to teach their children the specific skills that they need to be successful in the fast-paced, hyper-connected, 21st Century.
Using Game Design to Further Your Education and Career - Desktop game design software and gaming engines are increasingly prevalent.Designing and developing games represents one way in which students can explore rich educational content, develop research and technology skills, demonstrate their understanding of subject material, and get a jump on a post-graduation career. Here is how you, as a student, can take advantage of this medium to wow your professors and jumpstart your job search.
Finding a Balance Between Gamification and Education - Gamification and traditional education have the same objectives – to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to become productive, contributing members of society. Unfortunately, both camps too often think that there is a diametrical opposition between the approaches.
Knowledge Guru Sharon Boller On Games, Learning, and MOOCS - Sharon Boller, founder and president of Bottom-Line Performance, to discuss her use of games in learning. We also discussed her recent experience taking a MOOC, the impact of badges on learning, and the future of education. Here are the highlights and the video of the interview.
One interesting point, given in refutation of the idea that games work because they capture attention is that games, by definition are voluntary. People play because they want to and are interested. Education, according to the author, is not a voluntary endeavor. My counter argument to this point then is, "Why can’t learning be something that people want to do?" I look forward to the completion of the series.
Quick Guide to Gamification » A recent infographic from Edudemic, The Gamification of Education, attempts to encapsulate the entire movement in 100 seconds. This document is packed with information about the theory, history, and process of incorporating games in education. Here is an attempt to unpack and elaborate on some of the broad content it provides.
What Does 10,000 Hours of Game Play Teach? » We have a cultural phenomenon underway in which the average American child is playing games for 18 hours per week. At that pace, these gamers will reach the 10,000 hour plateau after only 10-11 years of play. That is an amazing statistic to consider, but what exactly are they becoming experts at, and what is the benefit?
Gamifying the Maker Movement for Education » Thinking about the hackerspace aspect of the Maker Movement inspires an entirely new way of thinking about how this grassroots idea could be an excellent fit for a game-based education model.