Games – Learning Reflection #2

GamerGate – Wow

Educators as Designers – My niche

How did your participation in course activities this month contribute to your understanding of games (generally) and the relationship between games and learning?

GamerGate: I had heard briefly of it before as I listen to TedTalks as well as occasionally it will come across my google trends. But I did not know the depth of this  issue. How violently people will defend their views. Then again when you look into almost any field there are those at both extremes. I think the only way to find balance is to keep moving forward in a positive and considerate way. Change is going to happen even if we are not ready for it.

Educators as Designers: Now here is a module that relates directly to my world of teaching those who will go on to teach our future leaders/caretakers. I was very excited to see so many of the theorist that I talk about weekly. My favorite is Maslow but he was not talked about. Vygotski was a key player. Interesting that only years after his death did his theories finally start to gain footing. His focus on scaffolding aligns with what gamer’s experience. That gradual increase in both knowledge and ability with help from others who have a greater mastery of the specific task. Also the idea of social learning where peers are both supporting and competing in a positive manner. *I am very glad that I was about to guide the discussion for two of the research papers because I felt that I had greater knowledge this model and could ask better questions of my peers.*

What preconceptions about games, play, and learning have you changed because of your course activities so far?

Though it was a shock to think that some people in the gaming world, which if full of changes, would be so bias regarding specific changes (women), this new understanding will help me to better prepare my student for what they may face in the classroom. Though my student only teach up to grade 3 they still may come across students or parents that have very set views regarding women/female roles in gaming.

The education module gave me some new resources to share with my students in an executive summary. I will also be looking into some of the other resources that were listed at the end to see what other summaries I can add or links to different websites.

How have you relied upon networks – with peers, via social media – to advance your learning in our course?

I regularly share information with both my faculty and my students regarding the classes that I am taking. Having their thoughts regarding the information provide is helpful because I enjoy trying to see things from other peoples perspectives. Example: One of my faculty can use a cell phone and basic internet. When I talk with her about using online games she brings up great points regarding how it would be challenging for some students who do not use technology in that way. If we do incorporate it we need to scaffold the assignment. Thanks to her views regarding tech I have made changes to my online classroom so that students are completing simple tasks first as assignment instead of making them learn to use the tech on the side and then have an assignment due.

Ask yourself a question about games, play, and learning – and provide a meaningful answer.

We know that children are born with little bias. This is learned as they grow. How can we as teachers of young children share the idea that women need to be portrayed as strong without having to be ‘sexy’. That women can design women heroes games that rival/equal/exceed those design by men.

What are your ongoing curiosities about games and learning, and how might you pursue these interests?

I am going to continue to see out more papers that relate games to the major theorist in the field of early education. Providing research and links to what my students already know, basic theory, while connecting it to games will help to broaden their ability to be a successful teacher.


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