Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Serious Gaming

You know, games could really teach anything. I'm sure I learned first about capitalism and our economic system from Monopoly. Most games involve strategies, planning, sometimes teamwork, coordination, etc. IBM has created a game called Innov8, "an interactive, 3-D educational game designed to bridge the gap in understanding between IT teams and business leaders in an organization." Now there's a worthy cause. In the field of adult education, and education in general, as elsewhere, we are constantly experiencing the tension between IT and educational goals. That tension is built in to the conflict between the need for information and access, and the need for security. Hmm, just like life!

There have been some interesting forays into simulations and gaming for adult education. I saw one from I think Ireland demonstrated several years ago at the TESOL software developers fair that allowed students to be a waiter interacting with customers. It had what was for that time sophisticated voice recognition and branched responses. The problem is the expense of developing these simulations. But maybe with Second Life and other MUVEs we are moving into an era of many more simulations and games.


tinkerbellchime said...

You mentioned that in education "we are constantly experiencing the tension between IT and educational goals." This is true, and it has led me to sign up for two online networking classes. I don't really want to install computers and run networks, but I felt I needed to understand the other side of things.

I'm just finishing the second class, which is on wireless networking. I haven't come to a solid conclusion as to whether school district IT departments are too cautious or not, but I am tending to think that they can open things up more. I now have a better understanding of why classroom computers are slow while the admin's computers are fast. (Nothing against you, Miriam!)

If more teachers and administrators, esp. females, took these classes, I think that education would benefit. Nothing like throwing in a few industry terms to let the 'computer' person know that he or she can't just say something is impossible and expect you to believe it. This would require more than some educators are willing to do, but I feel that there needs to be a few teacher advocates who can talk the talk and understand what is being said when the auto answer is "no, can't do it, impossible, security issues."

Marian Thacher said...

Thanks, for your comment, Christina. I admire you for taking those networking classes, and I think that's a really good idea! There's nothing like being able to talk the talk when you hit that brick wall! Maybe you could put together a short conference presentation that would give teachers just a few basic concepts about networking.

eyts said...

I agree in saying that `games` can teach us to strategize and to plan. But when it is done with improper time and effort, it can cause a lot of tensions and even conflicts to one’s job and other businesses. When tensions come, you will be dealing with conflicts, which can cause a lot of things. We should at least know how to control then….