Monday, February 23, 2009

It's Virtually Education

Thinking about video games. Well, not just 'video games', but MMOGs -- Massively Multiplayer Online Games.

Ed Week has got an interesting piece on gaming that ran a few days ago.

While the piece stresses the way in which players can handle multiple situations at once, (and of course what that implies about the human thinking apparatus), I find it even more interesting to think about what extreme gaming has done to the visual and experiential expectations of students.

Why are we trying to convince students that VRoma is a virtual environment when they've already toured all over the virtual environments of Azeroth?

Go ahead, click that last link and watch the trailer. Then you'll get an idea of what our kids 'expect' when we talk about 'virtual environments'.

I, for one, think this is a good thing. The kids are ahead of us. That puts us into the position of either catching up or becoming technologically irrelevant. I see this as a great challenge and a great opportunity. Why not engage in co-ops with game makers to create authentic virtual learning environments? Why not teach the Civil War by actually taking part in a virtual reconstruction of it? Why not teach the Theory of Relativity by living as virtual characters in Einstein's world? Why not learn US Government by living and working within a virtual US Congress?

I see a real future in merging ed tech with what's already going on in culture tech.

1 comment:

  1. Have you looked into Second Life? I haven't done much of anything, not enough time. However, it could the educational aspect of what you are talking about.


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