Games Making a Dent in the Classroom

GAME ON: Mr. Will Richardson provides a thoughtful overview of past, present, and future uses of gaming in the classroom. The games-based learning movement is hardly new but Mr. Richardson smartly showcases a handful of respected educators and technologists -- Ms. Rebecca Rupo-Teffer from the Institute of Play, Mr. Eric Kopfler from MIT’s teacher education program, Ms. Sylvia Martinez of Generation YES, and Mr. Chris Dede of Harvard fame -- and works in some interesting insights. For instance, Mr. Kopfler attributes the rise of social gameplay amongst adults and proliferation of mobile technology as major reasons for removing the “‘misconception that games are something that boys play in their basements in the dark,’” and allowing an agenda for games in the classroom, even if the games don't always focus on serious learning. Ms. Martinez, who supports problem-solving in games over simple fact-checking is less diplomatic: “‘Calling a 10-question multiple-choice test ‘leveling up’ does not change the fact that it’s a multiple-choice test.’”  Whether or not games and simulations in the classroom will lead to better play in the game of life remains a mystery (literally, the research is scarce). But the opportunity to Min-Max 21st century skills in a fun, engaging activity should position teachers FTW and certainly inform students IRL. (MMORPG translations provided here) 

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