My participation through the first two cycles has been devoted near exclusively to Hypothesis. This platform has allowed a certain amount of whimsy while still creating an engaging atmosphere to delve deeper into aspects of the reading. It is incredibly fluid, user friendly and has allowed a much more productive learning environment than linear discussion forums. The specificity within comments that are directly attached to paragraphs, sentences or phrases are much more beneficial than generalized statements and analysis often found in disconnect discussion threads that try to tackle a piece as a whole. Through my participation, I came to the interesting revelation that this course, at least thus far, is not so much centered on using games in education, rather modeling education after the positive attributes involved in games. The idea of modeling a classroom or learning experience based off the positive aspects of games was something I have not considered. Rather, games were more of a tool and a plug-and-play type of resource than an exemplar model for education.
Absent from my participation is the Twitter element. Despite reading tweets from classmates, I have chosen not to participate, as I have always had and continue to have a negative perception of Twitter. I have social qualms with the platform on a variety of levels which I will not go deeper into in this post, rather it is suffice to say that I do not enjoy the platform and choose to participate through other mediums to engage with course content and peers.
Beginning this course, I entered into the content with the preconceived notion that video games had the significant potential to be detrimental to a child’s development. I still subscribe to this view in part, but do recognize the benefit that some video games hold. As seen in the case studies presented in Reed Steven’s article in Cycle 2, these gaming environments can function as learning microcosms that can help learners and teachers identify learning styles and habits. I have not abandoned my first thoughts, but a light has at least come on behind this closed door, encouraging further exploration and the potential to step through the barred door of video games as a valuable resource.
The internal Canvas network has proved valuable on some procedural items pertaining to the course, but does not appear to be checked or utilized with much fidelity by the class a whole. Hypothesis as a network has been very useful so far. It has provided an opportunity to think differently about specific aspects of the text and also gain clarification on different theories and terminology associated with gaming.
A question that has arisen for me in several readings is how do you steer learning objectives in a game if each player’s experience is different? The answer I have come up with is, you don’t. Just as each person has different takeaways from a lesson, it is the same with a game. The answer does not seem to be in controlling the experience, but reflecting upon the experience and sharing learned lessons with the rest of the participatory group, or in the case of this class, sharing out with an affinity group. At this point, the learner can assimilate those lessons into their own lessons learned.
My curiosity around real world application and games in learning has been piqued. Up until this point the readings have dwelled more in the hypothetical realm as opposed to actual case studies conducted in a classroom setting. I am interested in the successes and difficulties encountered in a traditional school setting when implementing the learning theories seen thus far in the course. In order to pursue this interest, it will be a focus for future scholarly critiques.