Friday 5: Video Games in Education

Hi All –


Today’s list is
inspired by an event
that took place last night sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation . The foundation recently announced a fifty
million dollar initiative to investigate digital media and learning,
and this panel discussion is the first of several regional events
planned.  The following links are related to the panelists and the
ensuing conversations that took place after their initial comments.

While many may be
dismissive of the value of video games in education, I would
recommend that educators keep an open mind to the possibilities.
Engaging simulations, not the drill and kill types of games,  can
potential immerse children in new experiences and problem solving
situations. In his remarks to the assembled group, Jonathan Fanton,
President of the MacArthur Foundation, cited statistics from the
Pew Internet and American Life Project  that
indicate that our kids already deeply engaged in digital media and
communication. It is clear, to me at least, that education must roll with
and adapt to these changes.

I found last night’s
discussions to be inspiring, yet I still have a few questions.  For
instance, David Williamson Shaffer of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison noted that computers are very important because
they have caused the transformation of information. I agree, but I
wonder how many other educators would share this view. I think many
people believe that face-to-face interactions with their students
cannot be replaced with technology, and others simply have not
stumbled upon the potential power of computers in a personally
meaningful way.

Secondly, it was clear
to me that the panel participants are forward thinking people who are
not challenged by change. I wonder how they expect schools to adapt
to new models of learning when traditionally, most schools change
very slowly. Does technology change too rapidly for schools to keep
up? And if so, why is innovation not embraced more in schools? And,
how does school change affect students? Those are just a few of the
questions that come to my mind.

Anyway, I hope you are
as interested in this topic as I am, and that you’ll take some
time to explore the following links. Hopefully, I will blog more about my thoughts on this topic…

Lucy Gray

David Williamson
Shaffer, The University of Wisconsin-Madison
Epistemic Games

Sasha Barab
Indiana University
Quest Atlantis

mentioned by Sasha:

Nichole Pinkard,
Center for Urban School Improvement, University of Chicago

 Spotlight Blog on Digital Media and Learning | Ecology-of-Games

Games for Change

The Video Game Revolution: “Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked” by Henry Jenkins | PBS

specific site wasn’t mentioned by the panel, but the author of
this piece, Henry Jenkins,  and his work at MIT with media literacy
was cited. He also has a blog:

Second Life


Leave a comment

Filed under Ed Tech Resources, Friday 5, Innovation, students, Video

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s