Learning Civic Engagement through Gaming – Kurt Squire Explains How
This video, from Edutopia, is so timely and significant! Kurt Squires gives me hope for the future of the United States, hope for young players/citizens, and hope for games’ role in civic engagement. Television trained generations to be passive, compliant, and isolated. Networked Gaming has trained a generation to be active, dissident, and collaborative. Yes, there is hope!
Kurt Squire is an assistant professor in Educational Communications and Technology at the University of Wisconsin and the director of the Games Learning Society (GLS).
Read more at Edutopia;
Game-Based Learning: a research driven trend in education
Katrina Schwartz writes about “Five Research-Driven Education Trends At Work in Classrooms” one of the five is game-based learning;
“Games have long been used to engage students. But as game-based learning becomes more prevalent in schools, researchers are interested in how game structure mirrors the learning process. In many games, students explore ideas and try out solutions. When they learn the skills required at one level, they move up. Failure to complete tasks is reframed as part of the path towards learning how to conquer a level.
Universities like Harvard, MIT and the University of Wisconsin’s Game and Learning Society are studying how game-playing helps student engagement and achievement, and well-known researchers in the field like James Paul Gee and University of Wisconsin professor Kurt Squire show are using their own studies to show that games help students learn.
Once the terrain of experimental classrooms, digital games are now becoming more common in classrooms. In a recent survey by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, half of 505 K-8 teachers said they use digital games with their students two or more days a week, and 18 percent use them daily. Educators are using commercial games like Minecraft, World of Warcraft and SimCity for education. The Institute of Play continues to study game-based learning and helps support two Quest to Learn schools, which are based around the idea of games and learning.”
To read the full article click here;
Learning STEM Skills by Designing Video Games
Here is a great video from Edutopia about Rhys, a 10 year old boy from Texas, who likes to;
“play baseball and play Gamestar Mechanic. I really like making games because you get to be really creative with it. Okay. So right now I’m logging into Gamestar Mechanic. It’s pretty much the only platform I make games on. You can have it be a story game. You can have it be a blasting game. You can have it be an easy game, a hard game. I mean, really, you can do almost anything.” In this video, Rhys shows some of the games that he has made and what he has learned.
Kurt Squire says that;
“One real key attribute of Gamestar Mechanic is that you have an authentic audience, right? So in most classrooms you’re building stuff for your teacher who may or may not have time to read your essay that you wrote just because it’s an essay. But Gamestar Mechanic has a vibrant community where people are making games for real people, real audiences that have real demands and expectations. So you have to think about “How is my audience gonna perceive this? How are they gonna perceive my message? What are they gonna take away from it?” And Gamestar Mechanic has that really built in and so that’s really key for learning. It’s something we’re not doing in our schools.”
To learn more follow this link to Edutopia;
- Gamestar Mechanic (avalonmn.wordpress.com)
- Are Kids Who Make Their Own Video Games Better Prepared For The Digital Future? (forbes.com)
Great article! I recognized most of the scholars on the list and I look forward to learning more about those I did not recognize.
Here they are in no particular order:
Kurt Squire, Sara de Frietas, James Paul Gee, Marc Prensky,Eric Zimmerman,Katie Salen,
Some of the best and brightest minds in engineering, education, sociology, and computer science have been analyzing how to build, improve, and understand games for several decades. Their research has helped to yield games that are more effective (not to mention fun) than ever and that reflect our changing relationship with technology. Our friends at Online Universities have compiled a list of greatest gaming scholars, maybe you can provide your suggestion to make it more complete. (this list isn’t in any specific sequence)
Kurt Squire is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Curriculum and Instruction and is the co-founder of the Games, Learning & Society Initiative, an on-campus group of faculty and students studying game-based learning. He has written over 75 scholarly publications on gaming in education, often addressing the sociocultural aspects of gaming and the impact of gaming practices…
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