Yesterday, a group of brave teachers came to a games based learning colloquium. The day looked at how games operate, and perhaps how the current gravitational Blooms taxonomy is absent in mmo and casual games, and that in turn, many of the attributes we find so engaging in games, are fundamentally missing or disproportionally represented using the encumbent, Blooms theory. Time and again, we found games could provide vital elements that we often want to promote – ethics, social responsibility, communication, critical thinking, where it was much harder to blend them into the Blooms triangle.
We didnt find Blooms to be a throw-out, that at the same time, we found it did not promote innovation, risk and unexpected outcomes, but more supported the gatekeeping on intended learning outcomes.
Games explored: World of Warcraft, Moshi Monsters, OGame, FieldRunners, Quest Atlantis, Second Life, Open Sim, Jokaydia Grid – and the awesome Adrian Bruce.
A big thanks to all who came and shared some great ideas and provided inspiring and moderating discussion all day. A special mention to my good friend Angela Cooke for helping newbies survive their first few minutes in Azeroth, and to the always amazing Peggy Sheehy.
The conclusion was that games have a real place in learning, from the board game, to iwb, to casual, to console and mmo. However, they need to be in a culture that accepts games dont ahere to convention and are will only work where people are willing to adopt wider values in their philosophy – and construct meaninful work around them, not because of them.
Great day, hope to do it again!