Sunday, January 27, 2013

Are you "purty smart" or "just plain dumb"?

It worked out almost too perfectly, yet one could tell that situation wasn't orchestrated and was completely spontaneous. As a class we were required to bring in a game. Everyone brought in something, even though it seemed most people just whipped out their phones and went to town on some app (I did). In the midst of all of this we are discussing through our readings certain topics of utilizing games for learning and peer based learning and so on. One of the examples of this was the "peg game". I'm not sure of the actual name of the game, I just know it as the neat little time waster sitting at your table when ever you eat at a Cracker Barrel which I call the peg game. It's in the shape of the triangle, has a set number of holes, and a set number of pegs (golf tee's) which is one less than the number of holes; and the object is to remove all of the pegs by jumping the pegs over each other -like checkers. Ultimately you want one peg left.

Now on to how it worked out perfectly. We all took our turns with the game, I think I whittled it down to 2 pegs left, and others attempted with equal or lesser success, but nobody succeeded in taking it down to 1 peg. Then one of the other students, one of my peers says something along the lines of "there's an easy way to do this, just do this and this and etc.". He successfully beat the challenge. We all continued to pass around the game. We all were victorious. A perfect example of peer learning. A challenge arose and with the help of a game and the advice of a peer, we were able to overcome the obstacle.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Education: Sci-Fi to Fact?

Daybook Entry: 16 Jan 2013

"Super Nerdy. Not the video but my thoughts toward it. I just place myself thinking how the future of learning will be with this system and  I imagine this 
sci-fi setting, one similar to that of the Vulcan school in the new Star Trek. The process is all of these kids get placed into these little individual concave bowls where they are surrounded by computer systems and utilize this to learn. Sci-fi is just imagination of what the future will be." 

When Gee was talking about integrating video games and the philosophy of learning together I envisioned this futuristic setting with a place swarming with computers, where you are more individually paced and setup to learn. I realize that Gee's video was more about the process by which we learn and how it should mirror that of video games, in a way which  allows the players, or in this case students, to play(learn) new things based on levels, interaction, and overcoming failure. 

I agree with this approach, I find it very futuristic, and by futuristic I mean the next logical step in education. We have a system (video games) which entice players in a way a textbook, a teacher, or a classroom can't. "No deep learning takes place unless learners make an extended commitment to self." (add citation). I feel a lot of students just don't find themselves committed to a lot of things in school for multitudes of reasons from disinterest to lack of a challenge to just uncertainty. 

My only concern with Gee's approach is the lack of concern for failure. "In fact, in a game, failure is a good thing" (ADD CITATION). I struggle with this because while yes I agree that learning from your mistakes is vital and happens to everyone, a habit of failing isn't a philosophy that should be preached. I find constructive criticism to be a better approach. Failure isn't good, but here is what you can do to improve.