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Talking Minecraft with Teachers Teaching Teachers

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Talking Minecraft with Teachers Teaching Teachers

August 23, 2011

Last May, as the school year was winding up, I took part in a great podcast over at Teachers Teaching Teachers to talk about using video games in the classroom. Lucky for you interweb peeps, you can listen to the podcast here.

The show centered around the release of the 2011 Horizon Report (pdf), which predicts Games Based Learning to be widely adopted in just a couple of years.

For my part, I discussed my use of educational games like Wolf Quest to support lessons in science for Primary Grade learners. I also talk about using off the shelf video games like any of the Pokemon games and more specifically Minecraft as a springboard for literacy activities with Junior students.

Hopefully, one of the main points that people can take away from the discussion is teachers need to play games if they want to use them in the classroom. And by bringing them into the classroom, remember you are removing the situated learning that James Paul Gee and others have clearly demonstrated lie at the heart of gaming’s literacy value. In my mind, situating games in the structure of school removes the authenticity of much of the learning video games provide (and why so many people love them), but it is a start and much better than skill n drill tests and worksheets.

I look forward to more Minecraft student creations and disasters, in the coming school year.

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