What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy

by James Paul Gee

Click on a question below or scroll down.
What changes will you make to your current educational practice based on what you have read in Gee's book?
What are some ways that we could use the idea of "projective identities" (p.62) to help our students become more successful?

Twitter Chat Questions (8pm on Aug. 2, 2012)

  • What changes will you make to your current educational practice based on what you have read in Gee's book?

    • 2me "projective identities" speak to #PBL Letting students assume roles 2 discover outcomes is at the <3 of authentic learning.(via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
    • Right now I am taking part in 3d GameLab and I am definitely going to use game mechanics to help students work toward mastery(via @TrishCloud on Twitter Chat)
    • This is also one of the benefits of video games, when kids assume roles in games they are more invested in the outcomes.(via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
    • assigning roles can help kids break out of their comfort zone and surprise others by coming from a diffrnt perspective(via @mercolleen on Twitter Chat)
    • If our kids are invested in the outcome, the learning is more urgent and more authentic.(via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
      • when they are invested, engaged, and empowered they want to succeed...they want to beat the game.(via @TrishCloud on Twitter Chat)
    • 1 change we are doing is having educators and students make avatars to get to know each other and display them in the media center(via @premediawine on Twitter Chat)
    • I'm thinking getting them involved in PE Minecraft and using that as a springboard to the students developing an affinity space(via @TrishCloud on Twitter Chat)
    • I feel like we can do this by making learning abt REAL problems that they are motivated to solve. Probls w/real consequences.(via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
    • We just built a 3D lab Very interested in 3d games. Ideas very accepted!(via @premediawine on Twitter Chat)
    • Simply assigning kids roles "okay, now you're a scientist!" isn't going to cut it. The roles only have meaning if the work does.(via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
      • should you assign roles or let them select and build their role?(via @TrishCloud on Twitter Chat)
        • I think that it depends on the class, whether students choose their role or have an assigned role. (via @mistisikes on Twitter Chat)
        • I think roles need 2 grow out of work & there should be a mix of choice/assignments - leaning heavily towards choice.
          (via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
    • I think that I will incorporate more choices for students-- not just in class, but outside of class, too.(via @mistisikes on Twitter Chat)
      • More choices for staff, too! (via @premediawine on Twitter Chat)
    • idea that ties into advocacy: ask community for research topics... what info do they need? (via @mercolleen on Twitter Chat)
    • they can "hire" students to find, evaluate, and report (via @mercolleen on Twitter Chat)
    • Gee speaks of kids liking their PIs more than their true ones, makes me wonder how we can use these 2 bolster self esteem. (via @JenniferLagarde on Twitter Chat)
    • had an idea to do TEDtalk in elem level where kids identify a problem and work to find own solution (via @MatthewWinner on Twitter Chat)
    • I am working on developing a more participatory culture in my pathfinders. A tecaher suggested using Paper.li to have the students get involved in the selection of resources. I am also adding a "Suggest a Resource" page to each pathfinder to allow students to help grow our community of knowledge. @katyvance
    • I want to add a healthy sense of community building and competition to the reading program we're building at our school @katyvance
  • What are some ways that we could use the idea of "projective identities" (p.62) to help our students become more successful?

    • (post a response)
  • Gee mentions that it is harder to learn if students "are forced to operate in poorly designed spaces" (p.141). How do you create a rich learning environment for your students?

    • (post a response)
  • The social aspects are an important part of the learning process in many games. How can we use the social nature that we see in gaming to engage our students in real life?

    • (post a response)
  • How would you convince a superintendent of a locked down district that gaming has value in education.. in 90 seconds?

    • (post a response)

Additional Questions Submitted via LevelUpBC.blogspot.com

  • If we agree that good games are good for learning, how do we move from theory to practice?

    • I've always found the best way to move from theory to practice is with small steps. There's no sense going from no gaming to full integration of games. Start small and gain the experience that will help you make future integration more meaningful and effective. In the case of using actual games in the classroom, I think it's all about finding the right game for the lesson. There's no shortage of good games online, but (as with any technology) incorporating a game just for the sake of having a game doesn't make much sense. Better to be meaningful about it and find a game that really supports the learning in ways other materials could not. This makes the game an essential teaching tool. In the case of challenging current practice with a new approach, such as through gamification, I think it's best to consider where the move makes the most sense. In the library media center, I'm considering "gamifying" one academic quarter with a single class to start. This will allow me to compare with other grade level classes doing similar projects and will also help so that I don't bite off more than I can chew. Moving from theory to practice is tough. It requires a lot of faith, confidence, and willingness to fail. But it could be just what your instructional practice needs. (@MatthewWinner)
    • (post a response)
  • What would be a good way to organize games for education, live binder or wiki. Grade level or subject content?

    • (post a response)
  • The school day has begun and three classroom teachers are absent and the school librarian needs to cover 2 classes during her free periods -1st grade and 5th grade. What activity would you suggest in a 40 minute block that has the qualities of good learning similar to video games as discussed in the Gee book. i.e. creates identity, think like a scientist, produce, solve a problem. p.s. there are only 2 very slow computers available in the classroom.

    • (post a response)
  • What concepts from Gee's book will be easiest to transfer to the classroom?

    • (post a response)
  • What elements, if any, of Gee's philosophy do you disagree with?

    • (post a response)
  • What steps will you take in teaching and learning as a result of reading Gee's book?

    • (post a response)
  • Which quote would you like to discuss from Gee's book?

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  • Where do you see agreements between Gee and McGonigal?

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  • Where do you see conflict between Gee and McGonigal?

    • (post a response)
  • What opportunities do you see in your role as an educator to implement elements of gee's philosophy?

    • (post a response)
  • As an educator, I feel that any elements of Gee's philosophy are simply good pedagogy. What parallels do you see between good instruction in your educational realm and Gee's proposal?

    • (post a response)
  • What elements of Gee's proposal are most important to explain to educators who are unfamiliar with issues related to gaming and education?

    • (post a response)
  • Gee recommends that learning be "pleasantly frustrating". Have you fostered any "pleasantly frustrating" learning opportunities for your students? Describe.

    • (post a response)
  • What are some benefits that could result from using "projective identities" in an educational setting?

    • (post a response)
  • What steps can we take in our classrooms to transition our learners from "learning simply to understand" to "participating more fully by learning to produce meanings"?

    • (post a response)
  • What was the most important concept that you grasped from reading "What Video Games Have to Teach Us..."?

    • (post a response)
  • Of what affinity groups are you a member? Of what affinity groups would you consider your students members?

    • (post a response)
  • What experiences have you (could you) offer in order to encourage and facilitate active and critical learning and thinking by your students?

    • (post a response)
  • What would the educational implications be of tapping into the students' projective identities?

    • (post a response)