Summit on Educational Games: Wrap Up pt.2

I started talking about this report last week, and now that my comp exam is over and my brain is back, I'll finish up with a few other thoughts on the findings and recommendations the report had.

The report suggests that the game industry modify commerical games to target specific learning goals. Some individual teachers are doing this already. They are modding existing computer games (Never Winter Nights for PC is one example) to create lessons out of them. Many existing PC games come with a toolset or some game/level design functions. These could be used to create lessons through games. The challenge with this model is the time involved. Teachers that like games would spend the time to create, but others who like the idea but don't know how need something that is more 'plug and play.' The internet and online learning communities could help distribute what others are already creating. There needs to be enough of a business incentive for game companies to modify existing games, and state and regional educational systems could provide that incentive.

The report suggests the game industry look for new markets like after school programs. There is a discussion going on this week (see my post on Bibliographic Gaming for more) about pathways to games and one of the speakers is from a large after school program. If our students are playing games at home and in after school programs, and learning as they enjoy the game, how can a traditional classroom keep their interest. Marc Prensky talks more about this in his book "Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning." We as educators, need to be aware of these influences and passions and work to apply them within our classrooms.

The report also contains recommendations for schools and instrutional uses, but that's for later.


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