Day 8 (of 183) on video games with thanks to @willrich45

Day 8 (of 183) on video games

Tonight I jumped into a Twitter conversation when someone said they can’t find value in video games when it comes to learning. 
I can’t help but disagree. “Back in the day” Pac Man taught me that just because you fail once, it’s not the end of trying something different. And that ‘game over’ doesn’t always mean ‘over forever’. Other games like Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego helped reinforce a love of geography while Lemonade Stand taught me about economics and planning. 
Tetris taught me to look for patterns (an invaluable skill as a principal) and ET taught me that even the best of intentions can lead to disappointment. 
There are studies that are showing hat surgeons soldiers and others have benefitted from using video games – both because of some real-life applications (flying drones by remote, patience in manipulating micro-surgery tools) and due to the collaborative nature that many games ‘encourage’. You won’t get far into World of Warcraft without some allies!
As a teacher I loved using games like Fowl Words and Math Tic Tac Toe which are on my ‘reinforce homework’ page – sites that are connected to various learning outcomes but also enable differentiation better than any worksheet ever could!
I’ve even useda Wii to get a student population more active – I was surprised by how active their moms got when they stole the wifi to do some boxing with their morning coffees!
Currently I’m using a PS3 as a rocksmith station to learn guitar and as a bonus minecraft station – right now the iPad version is most popular – and if you’re wondering about the value of minecraft, well Will Richardson has THE book for that: 

Gamification (when done well) can be very powerful. My son can’t do traditional band programs yet (anxiety) but he can do some neat work on GarageBand. The differentiation I can do as a teacher with games is much more personal than anything I received as a student….and I think that’s my goal: to have the education program my kids are getting be more personalized and meaningful than mine was…and video games can help in so many areas beyond ‘recreation’. 

About technolandy

Principaling on the Pacific in Powell River BC Pushing 'technologization' in education: blending technology and curriculum seamlessly. Advocate for better understanding of Anxiety in Education (and use of self-regulation) Utilizing ePortfolios & Descriptive Feedback to personalize learning!
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2 Responses to Day 8 (of 183) on video games with thanks to @willrich45

  1. I use a lot of technology, as does everyone in my household – sometimes this is not perceived in the most favorable way.

    Video games are a special interest for my son, and loves playing xbox online with several of his friends from his former school. While some might dismiss the value of this, the online gaming and chatter provided him with the opportunity to stay connected to his peers, and the added bonus was he did not have to try and figure out the hidden curriculum through watching their actions in real life. What I have seen is his confidence grow in his friendships, and vice versa. He is well respected by his friends, and what is really beautiful is that these are now moving into face to face interactions and successes.

    While my son was always an avid reader, however in the last couple years this had dropped off. Capitalizing on his interests, we have discovered graphic novel series’ that feature these interests and he is reading again.

    Certainly we have limits on use, etc, but we also choose to look at how we can incorporate this interest into learning and life. some won’t agree with this direction, however it works for our family, so we will continue on 🙂

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