Games+Learning+Society

June 14, 2012 | Category: Cool Stuff

So this is my first blog post in a little less than a year. At some point I’ll go back and update on some of the stuff I’ve done in that year (there’s some neat stuff in there) but right now I want to focus on what I’m doing this week.

Right now, I’m in Madison, Wisconsin with my girlfriend for something called the Games+Learning+Society conference. Basically it’s a bunch of people coming together to discuss different methods of education using video games. So far I’ve heard a lot of really neat things, ranging from using game-based grading systems (like the course my professor Barry Fishman teaches at the University of Michigan) to what the difference is between learning in school and learning in games, and how we can leverage the latter.

One of the biggest take-away points I’ve gotten so far from this conference is something I tweeted a few minutes ago:

In school, if you fail, you don’t pass, have to take the course again, and have to spend more money on your tuition (or spend more time in the same grade in high school). In games, if you fail, maybe you lose a life, or have to start the level over, but there’s not as big a penalty as there is in school. I think this is the biggest reason why schools fail to educate very well: students are taking material in, mostly on a short-term (ie semester-long) basis to avoid that failing grade. Video games, on the other hand, encourage exploration and trial and error and don’t penalize as severely for failure (as always exceptions to this trend exist).

I’ve enjoyed my time here so far listening to these really cool people speak on these topics. Hopefully you’ll hear more about it soon 🙂

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