Sunday, July 29, 2007

Playing To Learn: Serious Games In The Classroom

Exploring how games, play, and learning are inseparable


Via : Education Futures - Video Games in the Classroom


Brock Dubbels, guest blogger at Education Futures, brings nearly two decades of experience in education and instructional design, exploring new technologies for assessment, delivering content, creating engagement with learners, and investigating ways people approach learning.

His current work involves the use of video game technology and activities to develop reading comprehension and increase engagement to help students accelerate beyond benchmarks and minimum learning standards.


At Brock’s Website one may find quite a few entries that explore how video games can be used, how he has used them, and what outcomes he has observed.

In Brock Dubbels' classroom at Northeast Middle School, students intently studied their PlayStations, even pausing the game to take detailed notes.
"It's almost like reading a book," student Hilario Trejo explained. "You've got to take out the setting, the plot and like everything else, you've got to write it down. You've got to write it down from like the moment you start playing.
"Students do still read books in class and link the books to the games in surprising ways.

"He was talking about Sonic the Hedgehog and he said, 'It's much like "The Odyssey" Mr. Dubbels. Sonic has to get home just like Odysseus.' I was like, 'Tony, this is great!'" Dubbels said.

Televisions and video games are not in the budget for an eighth-grade English teacher, but Dubbels got some of the equipment on craigslist. Other equipment seemed to show up from other classrooms in the building.

There was some resistance to the idea at first, but Dubbels teaches a class at the University of Minnesota over the summer, on video games as tools for educators. He said it is a popular class.

Younger teachers have grown up with the games and want to find ways to use them to achieve state standards.