Video Games for the Social Studies


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  • A nice study on how games are the new future of learning.
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  • While I obviously can't say to what degree, if any, gaming helped me, I know first hand that it is possible to be an intelligent gamer. I'm an 18-year-old video game fanatic, and I got a 35 on the ACT (for those unfamiliar, the highest possible score is 36), I'm in two AP classes, and I'm getting ready to attend Grinnell College. I'm a bigger gamer than anyone else I know, and if I can say all that, gaming must not be such a bad thing. I applaud you for this excellent presentation.
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  • Video Games for the Social Studies

    1. 1. Video Games, iKids, and Education in the 21st Century Glenn Wiebe ESSDACK [email_address] ©2007
    2. 2. <ul><li>Fifty minutes!? Are you kidding me? </li></ul>
    3. 3. Sticky ideas?
    4. 4. <ul><li>Kids are different than they used to be </li></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Research says games are good for kids </li></ul>
    6. 6. Pong 1976
    7. 7. Galaga 1986
    8. 8. Sim City 1996
    9. 9. Second Life 2006
    10. 10. <ul><li>Games have gotten more complex over time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why? </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Because the brain demands it
    12. 12. iKids and games Gaming myths Why games work Pitfalls Solutions Playing video games
    13. 13. <ul><li>Jake & other iKids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet is his world </li></ul></ul>
    14. 14. <ul><li>Erin & other iKids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Brain works differently </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. <ul><li>Jarod & other iKids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask them to count! </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. <ul><li>Chance & other iKids </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They’re multi-taskers </li></ul></ul>
    17. 17. <ul><li>Down? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teen pregnancy, violence, alcohol / drug / tobacco use </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. <ul><li>Up? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Community service / voting / virginity </li></ul></ul>
    19. 19. <ul><li>They live like this! </li></ul>
    20. 20. <ul><li>We are not the same as the iKids </li></ul>
    21. 21. <ul><li>But . . . we should use their tools! </li></ul>
    22. 22. Why do games work?
    23. 23. <ul><li>AP US History & Saving Private Ryan </li></ul>
    24. 24. <ul><li>“ Everything Bad is Good for You” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steven Johnson </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Got Game?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>John C. Beck, Mitchell Wade </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Don’t Bother Me, Mom - I’m Learning!” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marc Prensky </li></ul></ul>
    25. 25. <ul><li>Brains search for patterns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discrete data doesn’t make sense </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chunks data into “icons” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Education people know this </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lynn Erickson’s Concepts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jay McTighe’s Big Ideas </li></ul></ul>
    26. 26. <ul><li>Emotion & thinking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emotional chemicals increase cognitive activity </li></ul></ul>
    27. 27. <ul><li>Brains are social </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Want to work with others </li></ul></ul>
    28. 28. <ul><li>Games provide structured patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Games create emotional connections </li></ul><ul><li>Games encourage collaborative learning </li></ul>Simple?
    29. 29. Even simpler <ul><li>“ You don’t learn because you’re engaged. You’re engaged because you’re learning” Nick deKanter </li></ul><ul><li>Muzzy Lane Software </li></ul>
    30. 30. So . . . <ul><li>Games can be used to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>increase literacy skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>teach problem solving skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simulate authentic situations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>encourage collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engage students in content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>lead to sophisticated research </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. They learn . . . ? <ul><li>Players controls the action </li></ul><ul><li>Players become experts </li></ul><ul><li>Creativity and problem solving is required </li></ul><ul><li>Immediate feedback </li></ul>
    32. 32. <ul><li>There’s always an answer </li></ul><ul><li>“ Modding” is encouraged </li></ul><ul><li>Trial and error works best </li></ul><ul><li>It’s almost always better in groups </li></ul>
    33. 33. Pitfalls? <ul><li>Takes time </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are you willing to give up? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content integration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Forcing” standards alignment is wrong </li></ul></ul>
    34. 34. <ul><li>Takes money </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardware / software / computer upgrades </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology issues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not enough stations or “power” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appropriate games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apple vs. PC </li></ul></ul>
    35. 35. Suggestions <ul><li>Start with a clear curricular goal in mind </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instruction or assessment? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content or process? </li></ul></ul>
    36. 36. <ul><li>Collect information and resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Game sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FAQs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li><> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li><> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cheat codes / walkthroughs / hints and tip books </li></ul></ul>
    37. 37. <ul><li>Is there something else that’s better? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloom’s? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ease of saving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Age appropriate navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Student learning styles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group or single player </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time of play </li></ul></ul>
    38. 38. <ul><li>Be aware of content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s missing or inaccurate? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm possible activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Budgets / business plans / annual reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diaries / letters / fictional biographies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Timelines / flowcharts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t buy the games </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rent or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download free demos </li></ul></ul>
    39. 39. <ul><li>Communicate with parents </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Permission? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be excited </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Brag” to BOE / principals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have research handy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be willing to give up control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask kids for advice / help </li></ul></ul>
    40. 40. <ul><li>Some great examples </li></ul>
    41. 42. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    42. 44. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    43. 46. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    44. 48. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    45. 50. <ul><li> </li></ul>
    46. 51. Where to find games <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    47. 52. Quick start? <ul><li>Read about games </li></ul><ul><li>Play a favorite game </li></ul><ul><li>Start with online “mini” games </li></ul><ul><li>Ask your kids about their games </li></ul>
    48. 53. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>
    49. 54. <ul><li>Lots of resources at: </li></ul><ul><li><> </li></ul><ul><li>More game stuff at: </li></ul><ul><li><> </li></ul><ul><li>Download presentation at: </li></ul><ul><li><> </li></ul>
    50. 55. Resources <ul><li>Kirriemuir, John. (2005) Resources for researching games and learning. <> </li></ul><ul><li>McFarlane, Angela. (2005) Literature review in games and learning. < 08_01.htm> </li></ul><ul><li>Federation of American Scientists (2006) Harnessing the power of video games for learning. <> </li></ul>
    51. 56. <ul><li>Prensky, Marc. (2001) Digital Game-Based Learning. McGraw Hill. </li></ul><ul><li>Kane, Pat. (2004) The Play Ethic: A Manifesto for a Different Way of Living. MacMillian. </li></ul><ul><li>Koster, Ralph. (2005) The Theory of Fun. Paraglyph Press. </li></ul>
    52. 57. <ul><li>Beck, John. (2004) Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever . Harvard Business School Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Zull, James. (2002) The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning . Stylus Publishing. </li></ul>
    53. 58. <ul><li>Gee, James. (2003) What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning & Literacy . Palgrave / MacMillan. </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, Steven. (2004) Mind Wide Open:Your Brain and the Neuroscience of Everyday Life . Scribner. </li></ul>
    54. 59. <ul><li>Gee, James Paul. (2005) Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul. Common Ground. </li></ul><ul><li>Aldrich, Clark. (2004) Simulations and the Future of Learning. Pfeiffer. </li></ul>