I think it’s a good point that the learning theories that align and will likely rise out of video game experiences run counter in an era of standardized testing. However, I think it also runs counter to currently accepted pedagogies, which are based in part on behaviorism (Skinner’s pecking pigeons) and information-scarce landscapes. In learning environments based on biology (brain-research) and information-abundant information landscapes, video games may likely prevail and become a dominant mode of formal learning.
Mark continues to describe the potential of a fairly “revolutionary” shift in what formal learning looks like.
I agree with this statement, especially in light of the 21st century skills in ISTE’s refreshed NETS and the work of The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce (see Readiness Crisis, by Susan McLester) and many others. However, I guess it’s the romantic in me, as someone who started teaching before the personal computer was invented, that asks, what becomes of school, of the classroom, of the teacher. Are video games too good?
But, I’m still reading. Mark starts to describe the paradyme shifts that must happen before MMORPGs might start to have an impact:
I think that there is substantial momentum behind this shift, right now. It could easily be brought to a halt, or accelerated, depending on what happens in Washington.
There are certainly many people, educators among them, who see video games and “sex and violence” as almost synonymous.
I agree that this seems an enormous barrier, especially in light of how this shift in power goes counter to our very definition of teacher, our years of experience, and the education that we received, and that many education students are still receiving. However, I suspect that this wall, when boldly scaled, may well be easier to pass by than we imagine, because learner directed education simply makes more sense, as it is the way that we all learn “after-school.”
I believe that if we were to see courageous and visionary leadership in the right places, this kind of change could happen and far more quickly than we might imagine. I believe that it is within our power to do it. We’ve seen nearly as much change in recent years that go against our intuition as educators and as parents. It could turn around.
My 2¢ Worth!
[Images ((Dans, Enrique. “Skype x 2.” Edans’ Photostream. 23 June 2006. 31 Mar 2008. http://flickr.com/photos/edans/173094665/.)) ((Lee, Candice. “World of Warcraft! 2006.” Elunne’s Photostream. 27 Sep 2007. 31 Mar 2008. http://flickr.com/photos/elunne/1445587583/.)) ((Lee, Candice. “World of Warcraft! 2005.” Elunne’s Photostream. 27 Sep 2007. 31 Mar 2008. http://flickr.com/photos/elunne/1445585607/.)) ]