Palgrave MacMillan recently released a revised and updated edition of James Paul Gee's essential work, "What Video Games have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy." As I've made way through the book looking for updates, I was struck by this statement in the revised conclusion:
"Having given now a great many talks about video games across the world, I know that many people who have read this book take it to be an argument for using games in schools or other educational settings. However that is not the argument I have tried to make in this book. I have first wanted to argue that good video games build into their very designs good learning principles and that we should use these principles, with or without games, in schools, workplaces, and other learning sites."For over five years, Gee's work and advocacy for video games and education has opened doors and opportunities in libraries, schools, and campuses around the country. Gee's quote above rightfully suggests that Gee's work is important for instruction librarians, teachers, and educators at all levels to consider for teaching strategies and instructional design. Games are important for how they teach players, not simply because they teach within an electronic or virtue experience.
Video game strategies including Gee's principles provide us, as educators, a guideline for how to plan, structure, and implement engaging classroom instruction.
I said it before, and will continue to, video games are good teachers and we can use their strategies to improve our own teaching. As Gee states, "we should use these principles, with or without games..."
image from Palgrave MacMillan