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Gaming in the Classroom

Elana Leoni Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

Would love to hear if anyone here uses video games to facilitate learning in the classroom.

I just read this blog post: "Reflections on EduGaming from Game On! Texas 2010" and it talked about a lot of exciting things:

:: "Impact Games, as games that use a challenge and reward system to motivate students. These games also teach that failure is not only an acceptable, but also a fun part of the learning process. "

::It also mention Games for Change (http://gamesforchange.org) - Is anyone going to their upcoming conference at the end of May in NY?

Would love to hear any experiences you have with gaming in the classroom.

Comments (5)

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High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

Hi Elana, Great question -

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Hi Elana,
Great question - it's also pretty topical, too, I think - I'm hearing lots of thoughts about games and how they should be used. I'll post some of the articles I've found at the bottom of this.

Anyway, I've always used games in my classrooms, and for a whole bunch of reasons and ways. Principally, I do it for two reasons. Firstly, I like the way that games create structured learning environments for students. Students are constantly challenged (and it's usually at an appropriate, graduated level of challenge) and should they fail, it's quick and easy to try again.

Secondly, I like some of the subversive sub-texts of some of the newer games: often, these games encourage a 'sand-box' approach to learning where there are a variety of different solutions to problems, each with their own consequences.

Let me give you an example: at the moment I'm teaching a bunch of Business Studies students, many of whom haven't ever studied business before. Recently, we ran 'Sim-City Week' where students had a week's worth of lessons to create their own cities while playing sim city. While they did it, of course they learnt about budgeting, expenses and a whole raft of other things. Not only that, but they enjoyed the week, too! Even better, I think SimCity is free now from the Maxis website.

Keith.

Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

Games as a vehicle to "fail forward"

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Hi Keith -

What a great concept! I never thought about games as a way to teach students to what Clay Shirkey refers to as "failing forward," but it's so true! How many times do you fail in a game and instantly rebound with an even greater urge to do better?

I also love your example with SIM city. When I was college, we did a similar simulation where we ran a cellular phone company and competed against other teams for market dominance. It was very interactive and taught us a it on how to manage employees, what business decisions to make based on cost, competition, and strategy.

Also, I just heard that our Senior Producer, Grace Rubenstein, will be attending the tail end of the Games for Change conference if anyone wants to meet up with her.

Quote:

Hi Elana,

Great question - it's also pretty topical, too, I think - I'm hearing lots of thoughts about games and how they should be used. I'll post some of the articles I've found at the bottom of this.

Anyway, I've always used games in my classrooms, and for a whole bunch of reasons and ways. Principally, I do it for two reasons. Firstly, I like the way that games create structured learning environments for students. Students are constantly challenged (and it's usually at an appropriate, graduated level of challenge) and should they fail, it's quick and easy to try again.

Secondly, I like some of the subversive sub-texts of some of the newer games: often, these games encourage a 'sand-box' approach to learning where there are a variety of different solutions to problems, each with their own consequences.

Let me give you an example: at the moment I'm teaching a bunch of Business Studies students, many of whom haven't ever studied business before. Recently, we ran 'Sim-City Week' where students had a week's worth of lessons to create their own cities while playing sim city. While they did it, of course they learnt about budgeting, expenses and a whole raft of other things. Not only that, but they enjoyed the week, too! Even better, I think SimCity is free now from the Maxis website.

Keith.

High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia

More Research on Games and Simulations in the Classroom

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Hi all,
Here is some more research on games and simulations in the classroom. It's a preview only, but still quite interesting:
http://books.google.com.au/books?id=6EMOFjbABbQC&lpg=PT5&ots=dyL1ur4N7R&...

Education and Outreach - Arts for Social Change Director

I love the use of games in both formal and informal learning

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We know that digital natives blur the lines between formal and informal learning experiences and games is an ideal way to capitalize on that. I've not run into a game that I couldn't align to standards as long as I wasn't tied to a single content area.

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