Virtual Worlds = Real Learning

Does real learning happen in virtual worlds? 190593_light_bulb_2

Cable in the Classroom Magazine published an article I wrote on this topic in their March issue.

The premise is:

“There have always been scientific concepts our children should experience that are too dangerous, too expensive, or too time-consuming for school. For these activities – some of the most thought provoking in science – we have had to settle for lectures and reading.

Virtual worlds change this equation. In a virtual world, students can use million dollar apparatus, experiment with lethal substances, and compress years of activity into a few weeks….”

The article goes on to describe how the Texas Workforce Commission is using Whyville as an outreach vehicle for biotechnology. It also addresses why virtual worlds are particularly attractive to tweens because of where they are developmentally.

If you have thoughts on what I wrote leave a comment here and I’ll respond.

Download the complete article (PDF) by clicking on the image to the right.Cic0308Virtualworlds

All the links referenced in the article are below the fold – continue reading to see them.

Links that were in the article.

“Don’t Bother Me Mom–I’m Learning!” (Marc Prensky)

Educational Games Research Blog

“Everything Bad is Good for You” (Steven Johnson)

Games + Learning + Society Conference

Habbo Hotel

“How Computer Games Help Children Learn” (David Williamson Shaffer)

Quest Atlantis

River City

Remission (HopeLab)

Soda Constructor

Teen Second Life

“What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Second Edition: Revised and Updated Edition” (James Paul Gee)


Yasmin B. Kafai: Research on Classroom Use of Whyville