Little things I am learning:
- what a banner is
- this class is easier because of all I learned in the first MOOC
- about the Google apps like groups, docs, and such
- I need to continue to get better in MinecraftEdu.
- I am less frustrated with the game now, and have actually felt good after playing instead of totally inept
- a better way to read the online text
- I am a danger unto myself by going off on thinking tangents and “over researching” topics, consuming unnecessary time
- I am still on the fence about gamification (keep reading!)
Bigger things I am learning:
Love the game development insight posted by Mrs. Pickrell. While watching the short clip she recommended, Extra Credits: Gamification (2012) I took notes. Gamification was defined as: ways to improve education using game design techniques. The author of the video said the big idea is to use games to make learning more engaging, and elaborated on it a great deal. The video stated that the world is facing a crisis of engagement. It also stated that with the variety of recreational activities we have today, we are accustomed to a lot of engagement per second from media devices. The message also professed that we must “gamify our lives” to be successful, and that “all work is play, and all play will enrich our lives.” What is it about this statement that makes this old lady cringe? Don’t know why I am such a skeptic about the work/play statement. I believe there is a LOT of difference between work and play. Yes, work can and should be fun and rewarding. However, I know too many jobs that MUST BE DONE in order for human’s basic needs to be met, and they are far from being gamified. How does one “gamify” routinely caring for livestock, milking cows and shoveling out stalls, in the baking heat or blinding cold? How about replacing a leaking roof in the wind and the rain? One could make a game of it, I guess, but it is hard to equate most of what I call work (hard labor) with an engaging game.
In the same video, another comment caught my ear “thirty years of making video games”. Thinking back…yep, my 35 year old son had his first Nintendo about thirty years ago. Although I have never been able to play the games (not coordinated enough nor interested), all of my children were raised with video games in the house. Limits were set and none became addicts. They did benefit in many ways from knowing how to play video games. We were never a television watching family (never have wanted cable TV), but there was a TV for video games, and, in the mid 1990’s, after many years without, we finally added a VHS player to the tube for an occasional family film night. Which brings me to a point made in her blog: balance.
This segues into Mrs. Pickrell’s noble words: “the modern student is used to a particular quality within their game”. In addition to balance: model and expect quality. I am privileged to work with such an amazing team. We continue to concentrate on the process involved in the learning, as well as a quality product. As with all endeavors, the formative process, over time, will reveal strengths and weaknesses of the plan, what to do better next time, what to change, what to omit. For now, we are all doing the best we can, and getting excited is a bonus! Someone recently said, “I don’t stay connected 24/7” and we all need to remember that for the balance of which Mrs. Pickrell speaks.