Skip the Textbook, Play the Video Game

I recently read this article in the Chicago Tribune. It recognises the MacArthur Foundation’s investment in gaming research:

If that sounds like yet another New Age fad, destined for the scrapheap of once-trendy educational ideas alongside “new math,” “open classrooms” and “whole language,” consider this: The prominent Chicago-based MacArthur Foundation–the people who give out those $500,000 genius grants every year–is distributing $50 million to researchers to understand how digital technologies are changing the ways young people learn, play, socialize and exercise judgment.

“We realized that over 80 percent of American kids have game consoles at home, 90 percent of kids are online and 50 percent of them are producing things online, so we really need to understand what is going on here,” said Constance Yowell, director of the MacArthur Foundation’s digital research initiative. “This is what kids are doing, so we need to know both the positive benefits and the unintended consequences.”

It’s nothing new for most of us I imagine, but its interesting to see the media give a positive spin for a change, rather than the moral panic too often associated with children and video games.

(Thanks Craig for the link)

One thought on “Skip the Textbook, Play the Video Game

  1. I find it refreshing to read a positive perspective on the use of media in the classroom. Recently, I let go of my fears to incorporate media into my reading and writing curriculum. I found that aside from hooking my 7th and 8th graders to a digital form of literacy, my students became extremely confident in the knowledge they already had regarding media and being able to show that off in class.

    My students interviewed their parents on issues about race and discrimination then created a video of their interviews. The use of media provided moments of success for many of my struggling readers. In the end, all the students found ways to merge their reading and writing skills to media.

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