In the gambit of ‘why would you’ discussions, those who suffer sufficient madness to suggest that game-worlds are in fact more useful in efforts to influence teachers to think about digital-pedagogues are familiar with the ease at which their ideas can be dismissed.
Adoption (and change) has lot to do with belief and less to do with understanding or being rational. We’re finding playing games with teachers helps build innovation competency.
One reason to build teacher education in ways other than what we’ve hacking away at now is also the at the core of what seers often say they are trying to achieve – all be it with blogs and wikis.
A good virtual world or game world isn’t locked into one educational theory, they have an emphasis on meaningful learning experiences consistent with constructivist approaches. Virtual worlds emphasise collaboration among peers and a community of learners, which can be aligned with broader situated learning theories.
Why use Warcraft to teach about classroom blogging?
Because teachers will be focused on experiential and self-directed learning … that with a bit of skill, can easily be aligned with blogging or another technology that you feel works in class.
Teachers need to experience more than a list of tools and how to use them. They need to see how predictions and theories made decades before Warcraft, still play out. For example, the skills and abilities that kids learn during their adolescence have a major impact on their levels of automaticity in later life. The fact theirs teachers cut their teach on word-processing and surfing the Internet is no reason set blogging as the innovation boundary in teacher expertise.
However, kids are building game expertise overtime, and from pre-school ages. Showing them how to align this game-competency with school-determined competencies isn’t a distraction or a diversion, but and essential experience if teachers (who are not gamers) are to create learning experiences that reflect the dominant way millions of kids are learning – which at the base level is by creating learning artifacts though immersion, not transmission or reception of information. Excluding this seems ridiculous and we’re hardly likely to see the predictions of ‘game based learning’ and more than we’ve seen mass adoption of anything else in the last decade.
I totally ‘get’ why running a powerpointed workshop in how to blog seems more reasonable than playing Warcraft.
However, it also seems clear that this is failing to make the vital emotional connection with teachers to make them see it as other than an alternative way to tap text onto paper.
And they say avatars will keep walking when they hit a wall.