Why You Want Gamers in Your Classroom2

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Why You Want Games, Simulations, and Gamers in Your Classroom : 

Why You Want Games, Simulations, and Gamers in Your Classroom By Jeannie Justice

Overview : 

Overview The definition of games & simulations Who are gamers? The facts & their mindset Why do we need games and simulations in the classroom? Overall benefits

What is a Game? : 

What is a Game? According to Wikipedia, a game is a structured activity, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Games are distinct from work; however, many games are considered to be work. Key components of games are goals, rules, challenge, and interaction.

What is a Simulation? : 

What is a Simulation? According to Wikipedia, a simulation is the imitation of some real thing, state of affairs, or process. The act of simulating something generally entails representing certain key characteristics or behaviors of a selected physical or abstract system.

Who are Gamers? : 

Who are Gamers? For the “gamer generation:” GPS navigation has always been available. IBM has never made typewriters. They may have been given a Nintendo Game Boy to play with in their crib. Caller ID has always been available. E-filing taxes has always been an option.

Who are Gamers? : 

Who are Gamers? Is it the digital divide or are they pod people? Seriously, do they even know what “pod people” are?!?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-PT3vEjw5g&NR=1

Who are Gamers? The Facts : 

Who are Gamers? The Facts 92% of children ages 2-17 play video and/or computer games. 60% of all Americans (~145 million people) play interactive games on a regular basis. Approximately 80% of American families own a computer and 78% have video game equipment.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) 100% of college students polled on 27 campuses have played video games.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Parents are the driving force behind the video game industry. In 2004, 50% of parents polled said they were going to buy their child a video game for Christmas. 90% of all video games are purchases by individuals 18 years or older.

Who are gamers? Their Mindset : 

Who are gamers? Their Mindset Gamers believe there is always an answer; therefore, nothing is impossible There is always a problem(s) that has a solution(s) which leads to an end result – the object of the game. Gamers expect trial and error. Failure is a learning experience, not an end result. If you do not win, restart, and try again.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers see various routes to success. Usually there are several different routes available to reach your goal or solve your problem. Rarely, if ever, is there only one right way or only one right answer.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers do their own thing. Within the gamer generation, leaders are considered irrelevant and often evil; ignore them...do your own thing.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Games are seen as autonomous (i.e., self-governing). Gamers play well with others but accept responsibility and consequences for their actions. Gamers feel they have the right to choose their own path and are confident in exercising that right. In other words, you have the power to control your destiny… you can accomplish anything you want.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers want to dominate their culture. Gamers are risk-takers. They move fast and play hard. They are stars in their own adventure. They are responsible for their own success.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers embrace competition and collaboration. Competition is a motivating factor…but, competition doesn’t eclipse collaboration. In fact, collaboration is often an integral part of furthering a gamer’s success.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers see games as rule-based. These rules are equally applied to each player. These rules are well defined and not open to interpretation. Gamers, who are confronted with rules that are arbitrary and subjective, will often “shut down” and refuse to play.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers think roles are clear. In a game, characters are clearly defined (i.e., good guy or bad guy). The gamer chooses his/her role and accepts its powers and limitations. i.e., the good guy is in a white hat and the bad guy is in the black hat – always!

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers think that effort influences outcome. The amount of energy the player puts into the game invests the player with outcome. Also, the gamer is attached to the outcome. The player has an emotional attachment to the outcome of the game (i.e., happy when they win or sad if they lose). In other words, the content is relevant to them.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Gamers believe that games simulate real-life consequences. This is why medical colleges use video games to train surgeons… and the Air Force uses “virtual flight simulators” to train pilots… and many major corporations use “virtual models” to train their employees. In other words, games can mirror the complexities of life without the drastic consequences.

Who are gamers? (con’t) : 

Who are gamers? (con’t) Games vs. School (in gamers’ eyes) Compared to the classroom, games are empowering, motivating, individualized differentiated learning environments with set rules which value the efforts of the individual child. In games, the structure is apparent; the rules are clear and unambiguous; and your role in the game is well defined.

Games vs. School (con’t) : 

Games vs. School (con’t) Games are seen as challenging and motivating – a platform for solving relevant problems. School is often seen as boring and monotonous with lots of irrelevant “busy work.” In games, the goal is always attainable. In school…well, not so much.

Why Do We Need Games/Simulations in the Classroom? : 

Why Do We Need Games/Simulations in the Classroom? The immediate need (felt and anticipated) is to incorporate lessons that use technology while addressing various learning styles (meaningful learning), levels of motivation, and academic levels. Educational games and simulations are new technological vehicles for education because they provide a form of assessment, problem-based (meaningful) learning, a fail-safe environment, and a highly motivational learning environment. Many students consider themselves “gamers” and positively associate with games.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games : 

Overall Benefits of Adding Games By incorporating games and simulations into the classroom, educators create curriculum that students consider highly motivating, but also, at the same time, improves student content knowledge, builds student conceptual knowledge, and increases student problem-solving skills.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games : 

Overall Benefits of Adding Games Very often, in good games/simulations, students are actively taking new information and applying it to the task at hand. Therefore, they are active participants in applying their knowledge, allowing meaningful learning to take place.

Overall Benefits of Adding Games : 

Overall Benefits of Adding Games Games/simulations offer immediate feedback with positive and negative reinforcement. The positive reinforcement may be the player moving on to the next level. The negative reinforcement may be losing a life. Either way, the player learns without the consequence of failure. Actually, failure is often expected to learn the game.

Students at Play! : 

Students at Play! Conspiracy Code http://www.flvs.net/areas/flvscourses/ConspiracyCode/Pages/CourseOverview.aspx Dance Dance Revolution in Gym class http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rs0zw7TuwdI IRSC Biology blog (check this out for ideas & games for your class!) http://irscbiology.blogspot.com

A Word of Caution : 

A Word of Caution Remember game is a four-letter word! In education, games aren’t always easily accepted as teaching tools. The unfortunate attitude of many educators:

References: : 

References: Florida Department of Education. (2009). Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Retrieved 12 June 2009 at http://www.floridastandards.org/Standards/FLStandardSearch.aspx Simpson, E. S. (2005). Evolution in the classroom: What teachers need to know about the video game generation. TechTrends, v. 49, No. 5, pp. 17 – 22. Wikipedia. (2009). Games & Simulations. Retrieved 4 November 2009 at http://www.wikipedia.org

Just for fun! : 

Just for fun!

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Proverb : 

Gamer Proverb

Gamer Mentality : 

Gamer Mentality

Are There Any Questions? : 

Are There Any Questions? Jeannie Justice ljustice@irsc.edu (772) 462-7388 C 207B

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