ERIC Number: EJ874010
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Reference Count: 30
What Can K-12 School Leaders Learn from Video Games and Gaming?
Innovate: Journal of Online Education, v1 n6 Aug-Sep 2005
Schools have much to learn from video games and the gaming community. By providing compelling activities for motivating otherwise indifferent learners, video games can potentially help teachers improve the design of learning environments. However, there are considerable rhetorical and practical barriers between the schooling and gaming communities grounded in fundamentally different approaches to learning. Whereas schools are moving toward increasingly standardized learning experiences, games offer the prospect of user-defined worlds in which players try out (and get feedback on) their own assumptions, strategies, and identities. It is difficult, at first glance, to see how gaming can help teachers meet the demands of an increasingly standards-driven public schooling system. The adversarial relation between the two cultures heightens the contrast between the underlying theories of gaming and schooling. Many school leaders and teachers react negatively to video games and gaming culture, bashing video games as diversionary threats to the integrity of schooling or as destructive activities that corrupt moral capacity and create a sedentary, motivation-destroying lifestyle. Apart from embracing a few games such as "Oregon Trail" or "SimCity," schools have typically acted to eliminate or marginalize gaming. The strong content and the addictive play of games such as "Doom 3," "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" and "Everquest" have led non-players to overlook the learning principles incorporated into the game design. Thus games have come to typify the essentially subversive side of computing in schools. If leaders and teachers can come to recognize the learning principles of game design, the gaming and schooling communities together can begin to see how to learn from each other and build the next generation of learning environments. In this article, the author first considers leadership for gaming to outline the conditions necessary for the implementation of gaming in education and illustrate some practical ways in which such implementation might take place. He then considers gaming for leadership to argue that the best way for leaders to understand the potential for gaming may be to experience first-hand the power of participating in game-based learning environments.
Descriptors: Video Games, Elementary Secondary Education, Learning Strategies, Educational Games, Learning Theories, Design Preferences, Teaching Methods, Educational Practices, Game Theory, Instructional Leadership, Program Attitudes, Instructional Design, Performance Factors
Fischler School of Education and Human Services. Nova Southeastern University, 1750 NE 167th Street, North Miami Beach, FL 33162. Tel: 800-986-3223; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://innovateonline.info
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A