Bill MacKenty

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a good idea, a great idea

Posted in Games in education on 26 - June 2009 at 06:17 PM (14 years ago). 232 views.

Learning games network has this really cool contest - from the horses mouth:

(I) My “Aha” Moment
What’s an “aha” moment, you ask? Have you ever played a game and unexpectedly made a connection with something you learned someplace else? Something that made you think, “Aha!” If you’ve experienced that spark of realization, that moment of epiphany between an idea from a game and something you learned - at school, at home, or anywhere else - tell us about it in your video.

What game were you playing? How did you connect it to something else you had learned? When and where were you when you made the connection — re-playing the game, studying for a test, reading a textbook, doing your homework, crossing the street? We want to know!

(II) My Dream Assignment
Imagine you’re a teacher or coach assigning homework or a class activity that requires students to play a game in a favorite class, in one they’re having trouble with, or in a subject area where they just want to do better. Do you have an idea for a great game for learning?

I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have connected in-game experiences with real-world stuff. And I see this happening with my students all the time.  The neat thing is, as kids get very excited about games, they also connect that excitement with classroom content. I have told this story many times, one of my 8th grade students (a low achieving student) had been playing Age of Empires and during social studies class excitedly starting talking about his experience in the game with his class (this from a kid who normally “laid low” in class).

Actually, this is how games work in education. The kids play the game, and then refelct on the experience to create tangible (measurable) learning outcomes).  I know many (many) gamers who said civilization got them through world history.

I can’t wait to see the results of this competition, and send major kudos to the folks at learning games network for this idea. If you haven’t joined this contest, please do - and pass the word!