3D GL – Are Games Better Than Real Life?


As part of my October Super Camp experience, I am attempting to finish any unfinished Academy quests.  After viewing the following Ted Talk I drawn several thoughts about the implications upon education given the video presentation.  Mostly, viewing the clip brought back thoughts I had during my last grad course with Dr. Chris Haskell.

Are Games Better Than Real Life?

We are instructing students in our classroom for careers that don’t yet exist.  The creativity involved in developing this media can be harnessed and developed in our classrooms.  Games captivate their users with stunning graphics, virtual worlds with unlimited imagination, challenging scaffolded leveled experiences, and continuous feedback.  These factors are what keeps the users working toward the winning condition of a game.  With millions of users invested in games we need to ask ourselves as educators…. how do we get our audience to be just as captive in the classroom.  Today’s students have access to media all around them … how do we harness these skills, excitement, and enthusiasm to create a learning environment where students persevere, feel successful, actively engage, and want to level up in order to meet the winning condition on the classroom.   These concepts are what is behind the gamification movement in education.  Video game platforms allow users to interact with their entertainment.  With this in mind the days of standing in front of a class and lecturing are over.  The masses crave interaction with the content.  As I have attended various conferences during my years as an educator, I have seen the definition of instruction using technology dramatically change.   When someone indicated they were using technology in the classroom ten years ago it meant they were have students type an essay or make a powerpoint.  Those are still considered incorporating technology now however the breadth of tools has expanded exponentially.  Teachers are now using interactive projectors, whiteboard, and tablets.  The days of a teacher showing slide after slide of a PowerPoint while students passively listened are over.  Now students are getting out of their seats and manipulating content using a virtual pen to draw, drop, drag, and answer questions.  Many classrooms across the country are using less paper assessments and going towards digital tools like ASSISTments, Student Response Systems (Clickers), and exam software.  I have even see 3D interactive projectors that come with 3D glasses where you can navigate the cells within the human body.  This is becoming the new face of education.  Games are teaching our students about economics, war, navigation, driving, collaboration, strategy.  Imagine if these games could teach our students about landforms, algebra, number sense, and reading nonfiction text so that we as teachers could create a gaming environment to guide our students through learning the Common Core Standards.  Recently, I was exposed to teachers that were using Second Life as a learning platform for language immersion with native speakers in spaces that resemble the physical environment of Spain, France, and Germany.

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