Great article entitled: Public Pedagogy through Video Games by James Paul Gee and Elizabeth Hayes.
I think about computer and games learning in basically two ways. Informal learning and formal learning. These aren’t exclusive viewpoints, nor are they necessarily contradictory.
Formal learning using video games happens in a classroom with highly structured lesson design, and clear assessment of learning objectives. As a teacher, I know from my personal experience that formal learning and games is a perfect match. I’ve always been focused on proving that video games are effective instructional tools. if you are interested in a quick guide for games in education, click here (you can also click here to see everything I’ve written about games in education).
Informal learning refers to the inherent, automatic, and natural learning that happens when people play video games. It is this area that scholars like Gee and Schaeffer write so eloquently about. My summary of their thinking is that games are inherently educational and computer games are excellent and complex learning systems. Just playing a complex computer game is educational.
I happen to agree with the informal learning ideas, but I spend more time thinking about formal uses.
In comes the above article, which is really good for understanding why computer games are inherently educational. The article discusses design, resources, and what the authors call call “affinity spaces”.
How can schools thoughtfully and effectively integrate games into meaningful learning?
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