The experience of learning

My friend and colleague Kat Bailey at APSU has some great observations on Lessons from the Game Culture for Education. For instance:

[E]xperience is the heart of learning, it is the best teacher. Flat knowledge in books or lectures are leap points for learning, but activity is the key to success in the learning cycle.

This shows something of why Second Life can be an important factor in teaching a variety of subjects, but it obviously goes much more broadly than that. It’s not so much that Kat gets at a reason to use games and game environments in teaching, but rather that she gets at the very nature of learning.

Here’s another one:

Too often, we define learning by objectives, assessments and due dates. The experience of learning can be described but not explained by statistics.

Amen, sister! Preach on! My take: this is not anti-assessment. Just a recognition that the really important stuff goes beyond assessment.

There’s an old story about a drunk searching for something around the base of a street light. A passerby says, “What are you looking for?”

The drunk says, “I lost my watch.”

So the passerby helps look for a bit, and then says, “Are you sure you lost it around here?”

“No, I lost it over there in that alley.”

“Then why are you looking for it over here under the streetlight?”

“This is where the light is. It’s dark over there.”

If we focus only on the stuff that is relatively easy to measure, we are going to miss the important stuff.

Share this, please!
Share

New article about games in education

We know that Second Life isn’t a game. Got that. Wish I could get more people to understand the difference. Nevertheless, the fact that SL uses game software for non-game purposes, and that we can take advantage of the game skills students bring, makes this article of interest for SL folks.

Beyond Blowing Up Enemies: The Future of Games for Learning follows the two-day Games for Change festival at New York University. Among the observations:

No doubt assessment will be key to this mission. And games could transform assessment. Scratch that: games could be assessment. One powerful form of it, at least. Instead of slaying pixel-painted dragons, for instance, I discovered that you could navigate a mid-air obstacle course using the laws of physics in a quest of save the world (that’s a game in the works at Vanderbilt University) or try out different ways to save the real-life lake that is dying in your real-life town (a game being developed in Madison, Wisconsin, starring local Lake Mendota).

Share this, please!
Share