The ‘Game’ plan

The ‘Game’ plan (Via Mr. Ball.) Aaron Ball, who is preparing to design an educational video game, says that content is the most important consideration:

Content- This should be an educator’s number one concern. Does it have a curriculum fit? I am paid by my school board to teach the curriculum.

I always enjoy reading what Aaron shares on his blog, but in this case I don’t think I agree (though I do agree with his focus on the importance of motivation and reflection). I think many teachers do feel this way about content, and it is certainly a good thing for a game to also teach content, but I think it would be a tragedy (and is a tragedy) for this to be an educator’s main concern. I think the value of content diminishes with every passing day (as the amount of human knowledge continues to grow), and that the importance of 21st Century skills and literacies become ever more important – and this is where the medium of games can excel. I also believe that games will be the most motivating and be the best way to learn specific content when they are developing and requiring the use of these literacies and skills. In short, I think game play that emphasizes 21st Century Literacies and Skills should be the educator’s number one concern.

2 Responses to “The ‘Game’ plan”

  1. Aaron Ball Says:

    I think that is a great point about literacies and skills. I agree with you Mark and I should have use a word other than content. A word that speaks more of understanding and skills. I feel that teaching for knowledge is a short term goal which eventually fades away. Teaching for literacy and skills is always hard for teachers because it is harder to assess for but those are the things students will carry forward with them into Life. Thanks for the post.
    Aaron

  2. Mark Wagner Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Aaron. I’m glad I didn’t offend you. :)

    Any luck with finding that word? Because so many of my colleagues are now familiar with the NCREL document I linked to, I like using “21st Century Skills”, but some, including Clark Aldrich, have pointed out that these are not new skills (thought they may be more important), but that they might better be called “life skills” (if not for the stigma attached to that title) or “success skills.”

    -Mark