Looking at the ‘gamification‘ graphic, I could not help but chuckle. I haven’t thought about a lot of the examples given in the history of gaming section in many years. Considering that I was in elementary and high school throughout much of the history, I had the chance to see the gaming world explode over the years.

I can only imagine where gaming will take us in upcoming years. My children will have a much different experience than I did and their interaction with gaming is much more in-depth. While I would spend maybe an hour a week in elementary school playing games via disc drive, my children are using their iPod and iPad to jump online or purchase an app. They have much more accessibility being it is anytime, anyplace gaming. I was tethered to a computer!

When considering how I will use gaming in the creation of my gaming project, I have a handful of ideas. I work with kindergarten learners, thus gaming in itself needs a little introduction. However, there are games that draw them in and help them in reaching their learning goals. Each learner has an iPad in our classroom, thus accessing the technology is not an issue.

Simulations can be an excellent resource in kindergarten. Visualizing abstract concepts can be difficult at this age, thus anything I can do to bridge this gap is beneficial to my young learners. I am also considering the idea of a point-of-view activity, as being able to consider the thoughts and experiences of others is a critical part of learning at this age.



Gaming Can Make the World a Better Place

Jane McGonigal’s TED Talk was a wonderful exploration of the positive and ambitious feelings we have in gaming and why we do not have those same feelings when tackling life. We spend so much time tackling the problems in the virtual world, yet we do not spend that time solving real-world issues. I honestly had no clue why this issue exists, thus I listened to McGonigal’s talk with much interest.

After I understood her position, I wondered how this relates to education. It is actually quite simple. The enthusiasm that comes with accomplishing goals within a game is beneficial to us in education. We all want learners to enthusiastic to complete a task and take control of their learning. I see this enthusiasm in my young learners. They want to accomplish goals, solve problems, and put together the pieces to a puzzle. When education builds upon these wants, we see success. I will continue to utilize gaming as appropriate, whether it be digital or concrete, to help my learner enjoy meeting their educational goals.

This was one of the most interesting talks I have viewed so far. It really put gaming into a whole new light for me and I look forward to exploring this idea further.