FFR: Learning by playing

/ 17 September 2010

If kids can learn in this way in middle school, what will they be ready for by the time they reach higher education? An excerpt (but the whole article is worth reading):

Here, perhaps, was a paradigm shift. As Doyle saw it, his role was moving from teaching toward facilitating, building upon learning being done outside school. He talked about all the wasted energy that goes into teaching things that students don’t need so much anymore, thanks to the tools now available to them. Why memorize the 50 states and their capitals? Why, in the age of Google and pocket computers, memorize anything? “Handwriting?” Doyle said. “That’s a 20th-century skill.” Realizing this sounded radical, he amended his thought, saying that students should learn to write, but that keyboarding was far more important. He took aim at spelling, calling it “outmoded.” Then he went back to podcasting, saying that after a student has written, revised, scripted and recorded a podcast, “it’s just as valid as writing an essay.”

I must have been wearing the shocked expression of an old-guard English major, because Doyle tried to put a finer point on it. “We feel like we’re preparing these kids to be producers of media — whether they become graphic designers, video designers, journalists, publishers, communicators, bloggers, whatever,” he said. “The goal is that they’re comfortable expressing themselves in any media, whether it’s video, audio, podcast, the written word, the spoken word or the animated feature.” He added: “Game design is the platform that we can hook them into because this is where they live. Video games are more important to them than film, than broadcast television, than journalism. This is their medium. Games are this generation’s rock and roll.”</blockquote>