Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Literacies - Chapter 5 - Video Games

In Chapter 5 of New Literacies, James Paul Gee discusses the implications for learning through playing video games. Although Gee talks about several important factors related to video games and how players interact with the virtual world, the part that stood out to me was the section that he writes about Learning and the implications that video games have on our teaching.

Gee uses the game Full Spectrum Warrior to compare learning how to play a video game with learning in the classroom. Through playing a video game, the player is immersed in the video game experience and that is when learning takes place. There is no drill and kill that occurs when playing video games. This contrasts with how many students are learning in school. Often times they learn and memorize facts in order to pass a test, but those facts are forgotten quickly after the test is taken. All the facts and information the learner is studying would make a lot more sense if the learner had had opportunities to see they applied to the world of action and experience.

Gee says that true knowledge is based on one's ability to build simulations (models) in one's head based on previous experiences. Deep thinking requires a framework (a perspective or resource used to further one's learning). In Full Spectrum Warrior, the players feel competent before they actually are. They are competent in a way that goes beyond answering test questions. They can act, value, feel, decide, and solve problems like a pro. This is how learning should happen in schools.

"Learning in school should be the same as playing a video game" (Gee, 2007).


kesha said...

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Christy said...

I agree with your comment about how learning should take place in schools; more like how students lean to play games. You say that, "They can act, value, feel, decide, and solve problems like a pro", it is obvious that if they are not able to do that in the classroom then we are teaching them the wrong way. I feel that there are so many obstacles to implementing new instructional strategies. For me the biggest are time and the extensiveness of the curriculum. If I allow for more project based learning, then I spend too much time on one topic, and then fall behind and do not cover everything that I am required to. On the other hand, I would rather have the students enjoy the learning process and learn more as a result.