Thursday, June 16, 2011

Presenting at GLS 2011
Presenting our work with Geographic Live Online games at the Games + Learning + Society confrence in Madison, WI. Great location and very vibrant crowd here and many stimulating presentations to digest. Unfortunately I could not attend the first day due to another meeting but coming here the second day was still great to hear Eric Klopfer's breakfast keynote look at games through the lens of ecology. My own presentation can be found here. Katie Salen's lunch keynote began by the idea of game-like learning (as opposed to game-based), not necessarily using games as such for the learning experience, but pull ideas from good game design. E.g. drop students into a challenging situation where they will have to learn incrementally, collaborate through succcess and failure towards a goal. While her work with Quest to Learn has successfully done this, in a way moving many components from the K-6 to the 7-8 level and possibly 9-12, I think moving the same idea to the College level will meet a tough challenge in overcoming the individualistic structure of faculty-course ties and virtual absence of a team taught curriculum. Looking forward to see and learn from the many other sessions ahead. Jeremiah McCall, as always engaging to listen to, concluded with the thesis that the written or spoken word is not the only source for facts and learning. We know that discussions, documentary movies, and personal experiences are important sources of learning, and why not games? His teaching where students are allowed to critically examine historical videogames provides a prime example of how to instill critical thinking. Check out his website.

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