It’s been almost a month since my last post. And I could throw out a lot of reasons why I’ve delayed getting back: 1) getting ready for fall semester; 2) creating a website; 3) watching 4 seasons of the Sopranos; 4) just damn tired. Really the biggest reason is a dark cloud that’s hug over me for the last month. My last post was done during the days after the death of my Godson. 12 years old. 12 years old. It has hit me hard.
My last interaction with him was a phone call with him where we spent time talking about gaming strategies for a RTS Star Wars game. We talked about managing resources, splitting units, and tactics for swarming the opposition. It was a wonderful conversation. An equalizer. It didn’t matter what our age or our relationship, we were able to talk about this common bond in detail. We were friends and I miss him.
Heck just getting a 12 year old to talk about resource management in order to produce a variety of units, military tactics and agriculture options is a good thing. And that is exactly what Steven Johnson talks about in his book, “Everything Bad is Good for You.” The cognitive forecasting and planning that is required for success is a good thing. Johnson calls it “telescoping.” It’s the ability and necessity to plan multiple moves ahead and plan for alternative routes. This is one of the many reasons, gaming is good.
Luke could forecast out a variety of possibilities while playing the CPU or others online. He learned strategies for success through experimentation, multi tasked and monitored various action points and anticipated all of them. The cognitive level of this play helped create a wonderful person full of love and excitement, who was always looking for ways to stay interested in school.
Both Prensky and Johnson talk about why current students are bored and turned off with traditional educational practices. And really give the previous paragraph, who could blame them. Our job, MY job is to help find ways to connect these students to the content and get and keep them interested.
My time with Luke told me a lot of lessons about faith, love, family, and education. Thanks Luke. There’s other places to talk about the grief, guilt, faith and love feelings lingering. But I hope that with these discussions and actions I can help shift the education prespective.