It's never to early to start gaming... He found my "earmuffins" this morning and sat down for practice. The interaction with the game is what he enjoys. Storytelling, prediction, logic, colors, shapes, numbers, words are all concepts learned through the limited experience gaming. Just think of the possiblities. Posted by Picasa

Prensky's new book...

Tonight I started reading "Don't Bother me Mom - I'm Learning" by Marc Prensky. And I'm already engaged and eager to continue. In it Prensky sets out the claim that kids are learning from video games and learning more than within traditional educational settings.

"frustrated by the wide gap between their exhilarating experiences playing games and their slow-paced lessons in school."

This is a key for improving how we design, plan, and teach to our students. Not all lessons need to be "games" but there are principles that we can learn from games and the interaction with them that can and should be applied to education.

Over the coming weeks, I'll continue to summarize some key points within Prensky's text and share my own thoughts on what he conclusions mean for how we should teach.

Prensky, M. (2006). Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning! Paragon House: St.Paul.

Life is 3D

Recently on a rainy afternoon, I was playing video games with my 3 year old son. On this day I had a surprising realization - 3D space is intuitive.

My son and I "played" Mario 64 prior to this date with me controlling the analog stick and Carter jumping. And because Carter had trouble running and jumping (and the size of the N64 controller provided a slight handicap) I thought we would go back in time. Back in time to the simpler game design created in 2D worlds. He and I tried to play Super Mario Bros. 1 & 3, classics with straightforward control schemes. At least they were straightforward to me since I grew up in the era of 2D gaming during the 3rd and 4th generations.

Run left. Push left. Run right. Push right. Simple, yes. Basic, yes. Intuitive, no. Carter was challenged to understand why that's all he could do. Navigating in a 3D space is a reflection of life. Carter moves the analog stick and Mario runs in the same directions Carter does. The artificial barriers created by technology no longer exist.

Life is 3D, gaming is 3D. Regardless of what world we play in, we play in 3D. And that opens up doors for us as educators...

Coming Back Hard Again

Like The Fat Boys, 1988, I'm coming back. I tossed around the idea of starting my blog back up at the 1 year anniversary, but that came and went and I was in the hospital with Carter (that will be another post). Then this week, I gave a speech to the English Honors Society here on campus, Simga Tau Delta. I was there guest speaker and had a free hand to talk.

My speech was on different forms of literary expression, one of which was video games. I had a overwhelming positive reaction from both the faculty and students present. I decided to continue to peruse this avenue of study needed an outlet to express and organize my thoughts. Thus, my blog was reborn.

I'll still have some posts about my family and life, but the focus of the blog will be video games as research expressions and educational tools.

Stick around, join in and let's see where this takes us...