EDTC 614

EDTC 614 – Integrating Technology into the Curriculum

Reflection

The artifact selected from this course is a paper on gaming in education, with the source being a video by James Paul Lee.  It takes a look games, what their benefits are, and how these can applied to today’s classrooms. More importantly, it looks at how games, especially those which take place with other players online, are changing the way people interact and work together. As a child that grew up on the cusp of the gaming revolution, this is a topic that has had a strong impact on me. While I don’t play much anymore, there was a time when I made a lot of friends through online games such as Ultima Online.  Even more so, these games taught me a lot about working as a team, cooperation, and even negotiation.

Since taking on both IT and computer science classes I have encountered far more students who have had the way they learn shaped by digital gaming culture. Not only has it changed the way they tackle complex problems, but it has changed the way they work with others, the reward systems that can encourage them, and the means by which they prefer to socialize.  They like tasks with choices as opposed to a strict point A to point B scenario, and they’re far more likely to message someone than they are to make a phone call or even speak in person. That’s not to say they won’t, or that they have a sort of social anxiety, it’s just that a phone call requires their full attention while a typed message can be done along with something else. It’s this multi-tasking personality that I think is one of the biggest differences in the way today’s students relate to information.

In this video they talk about these issues, and its author, James Paul Lee, challenged me to look at my classroom from a different point of view. Instead of trying to direct students down a prescribed path towards learning objectives, it can be more powerful to create a learning environment which is conducive to reaching those same objectives, but via a student’s own means and creativity. Along the way students are given rewards for any progress they make, whether it be collaborative or not. By creating this sort situation where students are given a set of materials and a system of rewards, they can formulate their own methods for the stated goals

This idea really takes differentiation and constructivism and mixes them together in a way that allows each student to learn at their own pace in the way they best prefer. The primary challenge for any teacher would be getting the materials necessary to accommodate it, and having adequate classroom management skills to keep them motivated and moving forward.

Artifacts

The Importance of Gaming in Education 

Research

Gee, J. (2012, March 12). James Paul Gee on Learning With Video Games. Retrieved April 1, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/james-gee-video-games-learning-video

While this is only a short video, James Paul Gee packs a lot of information in it about how we as educators can learn from games. It talks about how students learn to form groups, strategy, and work together to reach an objective in a goal-driven world. Whereas the world of the classroom is more teacher-directed, the online world is community-directed. He believes that we should be working more towards the latter than the former.

Gee, J. P. (n.d.). GOOD VIDEO GAMES AND GOOD LEARNING (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Wisconsin-Madison, from http://www.academiccolab.org/resources/documents/Good_Learning.pdf

This is an article which contains in depth information related to the idea of gaming and education. It covers the social, intellectual and emotional benefits of incorporating ideas of gaming into the learning process. It also challenges many of the ideas teachers seem to have about how education could be handled.

Standards – NETS Standards and 21st Century Skills

NETS

– Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness.

– Develop technology rich learning environments that enable all students to pursue their individual curiosities and become active participants in setting their own educational goals, managing their own learning, and assessing their own progress.

21st Century Skills

              – Communication and Collaboration

– Information Literacy/Research and Information Fluency