James Gee on learning through video games

The takeaways from the video (bullet pointed for expediency):

  • “A video game is just an assessment.”: One major insight for educators is that video games don’t separate learning from assessment. It makes assessment fun and gives players constant feedback on their performance.
  • “Video games give you language on demand.”: Players refer to the manual only after they’ve already started playing the game and are engaged enough to want to get better at it. Likewise, a chemistry textbook is much more intelligible to students after they’ve already started figuring out the aims of “the game of chemistry.”
  • “Video games give you language just in time.”: Video games give players just the language they need to use in the next few steps—no more, no less—making it easy to learn and apply in context.
  • “Kids want to produce; they don’t just want to consume.”: Education should be about collaborative problem-solving and knowledge production, not just learning facts.
  • “Kids want to participate in communities.”: Social media enables people to organize “passion communities,” which hold their members to very high standards.
  • “Modern kids see all these media converging.”: Young people don’t make distinctions between different kinds of media. Something like Pokemon involves books, video games, card games, TV shows, movies, etc. Everything is cross-platforms, cross-modalities, cross-media. Contrary to popular notions, Gee argues that young people today are engaged with reading and writing more than ever.
  • Using digital tools in the classroom for “skill and drill” activities is risky: Stressing innovation and creativity makes it less risky.
  • We should re-professionalize the teaching: Teachers should be responsible for creating curricula and should be rewarded for innovation.
  • To make teaching a “sexy job,” we have to create cooler learning environments.
  • With the ability for young people to learn 24/7 online, schools for the first time in history are facing serious competition. Combined with the crisis in innovation, there is a real possibility for a paradigm shift in teaching/learning. Gee predicts that this will begin at the college level, where universities are very out of step with their undergrads, and trickle down to grade school.

[For Alan] I poked through your website! Why am I not surprised that you write well?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s