Sunday, August 5, 2012

Refection Chapter 9

Chapter 9

It is amazing to think of how much technology has not only changed entertainment but education.  Now when I want to watch a movie I stream on on Amazon or using my XBOX360 to watch Netflix.  If I have a question or want to figure out how to fix something I search on it using the internet. Amazing.  Likewise almost any wireless device we find at Best Buy is indeed a tool for education.

Virtual worlds and learning are huge.  I have tried some basic classes using Second Life and I found it a very strange experience.  I guess that is because I think of World of Warcraft or another game like that....I just can’t seem to get out of game mode.  It is amazing to think how these virtual worlds can be used to represent real world environments, enabling people to experience and world they could not otherwise visit (like   trip into the past).  And these virtual worlds are way more interactive than just watching a video or reading a book.

My kids just recently became interested in a virtual world.  Bearville
They each have numerous Build A Bears and decided they wanted to register them.  They began by making avatars and importing their bears (who they carry with them).  They then met other kids,  took part in quests, played mini games and took part in activities to earn credits which can be used for virtual rewards.  These rewards include clothes and accessories  for their avatar and bears and furniture for their virtual house.  They can also buy vehicles and additions to their house.  It is cool to see them interact with others and explore in their virtual environment.  They often play together and share resources with each other. So I guess my kids are part of the MMOG world now.  

Lastly I find that gaming is so common now that every student either games or know someone who does.  There is no doubt that a lot can be learned from games and gaming. The work of James Gee reflects a lot about this. My children's get 1 hour of “screen time” a night.  I would rather have them use in playing games where they think, react and problem solve then passively watch a tv program.  While I would never want to replace all forms of learning with virtual simulations and games.  A great many things can be learned from games and they do help people learn the basics in a safe and “at your own speed” way.

Watch Extended Interview: Dr. James Gee on PBS. See more from Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century.

1 comment:

  1. The Virtual World Technology is maturing... but it has HUGE potential. One advantage of an Online Format is it is very difficult to hide or to dominate the conversation.

    The advantage is what students create can remain.. so the world could be enhanced grade by grade, generation by generation.