Here is the section I wrote on Marc Prensky and Collaborative Learning last week. I plan to post some related material based on Gee’s work in few hours. These are all early drafts that I am sharing. ;)
Prensky (2001) saw the potential of video and computer games to provide a framework for collaborative learning. Whether in-game (as opponents or teammates), or in the activities surrounding the game (as fellow players and fans of the game), most good games offer players a degree of interaction with social groups (p. 106). Prensky considers this interaction between players more important than their interaction with the computer running the game (or with non-player characters in a game), and suggests that players tend to prefer playing with others, even going so far as to say that â€œlike the internet, computer games are bringing people into closer social interaction â€“ although not necessarily face to faceâ€ (p. 123).
â€œOne key lesson many of [the digital nativesâ€™] games are teaching them is the value of people working together and helping each otherâ€ (Prensky, 2004, p. 1). In their games, they are able to â€œcoordinate their activities online, and to run projects that may involve hundreds of peopleâ€ (Prensky, 2004b, p. 7). This is such a powerful effect that the US Army turns to games in order to help them â€œtake individuals and mold them into well functioning teamsâ€ (Prensky, 2001, p. 303). This is also one of the more motivating and engaging elements of modern games, particularly MMORPGs (Prensky, 2004, p. 4).
Prensky predicts that digital games of the future â€œwill be fully online, wireless, and massively multiplayerâ€ (p. 404) and that â€œcommunication and cooperation will become more important elementsâ€ (p. 405). With respect to learning, he projects that teachers and learners will be â€œhooked up to massive, persistent, multiplayer games where learning can be constantly happening, revisions input, students evaluated, and scores compared and tabulatedâ€ (p. 407).
Thanks for reading.