Articles Tagged with learning

file0111313-1Videogames in the Library? Wouldn’t installing a Wii or an xBox bring a lot of unruly teenagers into a refuge of quiet and intellect? It turns out that putting computer games in a library brings in a huge wave of new patrons and dramatically increases circulation – of books!

Two recent items support the thesis that games can benefit libraries and patrons. The most interesting aspect to me is that it may move libraries from being relatively static storehouses of knowledge to dynamic studios where knowledge is crafted, shaped, and extended.

The American Library Association is sponsoring a study to gauge the impact of games on learning and literacy. Why? The gamer blog 1Up has the money quote from Dan Barlow:


Virtual Reality and Education have a long and checkered history.

On-line worlds give students opportunities to experience things that would be too expensive, too dangerous, or too time consuming in the “real” world. It allows us to distill an experience into it’s essence while allowing learners to be active agents rather than passive recipients.

That said I would argue that the word “virtual” has little or no meaning for today’s students. It is an artifact from a time when the internet was not a pervasive presence. In todays on-line social spaces teens are making friends, sharing experiences, flirting, competing, earning status, and defining their identities. There is very little that is “virtual” about any of this for them – it is just one more aspect of reality.

introductionEd Note: Are video games and simulations essential learning tools for the 21st Century? Guest Blogger NT Etuk responds to my post about Ethics in the first of two posts on this topic.

By NT Etuk – CEO and Co-Founder, Tabula Digita.

Video games and simulations are among the most efficient learning tools ever built. Period. This is not a guess. It is not a hypothesis. If you don’t agree I’d like to share the perspective of someone who is working with schools to incorporate video games into classroom practice.

Students and Educators might as well live on different planets when it comes to social media, blogs, and other Web 2.0 technologies. The educators are making fear based decisions because the new technologies are unfamiliar to them. The students are too busy figuring out how it all works to bother paying attention to the restrictions the educators are putting in place. Fear and hope in sharp contrast.

AEP-Logo.gifThis disconnect was starkly drawn at the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) annual summit in DC last week. A meeting ran long and I arrived at the sessions a few minutes late. I intended to lurk in the doorway of a couple of different presentations to see where I wanted to spend the next hour. What I observed sent my head spinning.

access_control_keyboard_version_1.jpgIn one room a panel of distinguished educators was discussing the challenges of bringing in new technologies. Their discussion centered on what the lawyers would let them do and the endless committee structures they had set up to screen what was permissible with blogs and other social media. Short answer – not much.

The worlds of textbook publishers and education technology companies are colliding. The market is driving this convergence – schools have had technology around long enough that they have figured out how it can integrate in with existing practices. Yet the list of successful educational products that blend print and technology is few and far between.

I moved into the publishing world 4 years ago from ed tech. From my perspective on both sides of this fence the problem has more to do with the vendors clashing paradigms than with customer demand.

The paradigms are radically different along several key vectors and reconciling these will be the central challenge as Riverdeep and Houghton merge and as Pearson absorbs Harcourt (announced today).

Follow me to the flip for a more detailed look at this problem.

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