Gaming: The Conglomerate of Leaning Theroies

Gaming: The Conglomerate of Learning Theories

The Internet has opened up a new realm of what is possible in education. This article reminded me of the work of Dr. Pendadura, who created the SAMR model to describe the effects and learning outcomes of technology integration. The S in the SAMR model stands for substitution. Meaning if you simply use technology to replace what you are already doing, it will not yield significant results. Scaffolding thought the process of Augmentation to Modification and Redefinition would produce an impact in learning.

Looking at the Kahn academy, I believe it is a valuable resource, but it is very much at the substitution level in the SAMR model. I am not trying to discredit Kahn Academy as a resource. I find that it is a substitution to the traditional monologue and practice of a traditional classroom. The benefit and difference is that it is rooted in Connectivism.

Peer learning is at the heart of constructivist philosophy. Learning is an interactive and interpersonal activity. Learners test theories and gain knowledge when they interact with others. Erik Mazur’s article reminds me of Kagan’s Cooperative learning which was a school goal at the time of my student teaching. During my student teaching, when I was intentional about including cooperative and group activities in my lessons, it maximized learning outcomes and influenced student attitudes about learning. Adding the elements of group and collaborative work create lifelong skills ( okay everyone lets play nice and focus on the goal). Peer instruction and cooperative learning are essential in the traditional and online classroom.

The author supports the idea that gaming and passion-based learning are the online, intensified atelier model of learning. This type of collaborative environment creates a social learning habitat where the student can learn and create at the same time.

I believe gaming could be supported by the following theoretical principles:
Behaviorism – joining an online gaming community is a choice. The change in external stimuli in an online community can have a radical impact on behaviors related to learning. Peer pressure is just one factor that can influence our behavior in online communities. According to Brown, “all contributions are subject to scrutiny, comment, and improvement by others. There is a social pressure to take feedback seriously. ” (p.23)

Cognitive – gaming supports cognitive theorist approach to learning as it lends to an increased awareness of goals and outcomes. There is strategic planning and a meta cognitive approach to improve success of intended goals.
Constructivism – gaming provides the perfect environment for the constructivist. Gaming provides immediate feedback with the ability to instantly apply knowledge. The social nature of online gaming supports the root belief learning is a social process.
Connectivism – as humans, we have an intrinsic desire to participate in a community or group. Online communities, gaming or other, promote this global connection surrounded by a concept or idea.

When attempting to justify gaming as a learning platform, it is necessary to consider the world our students operate in today. Beloit University 2018 Mindset is helpfu the world of a a student graduating in the year 2018.

Hello Dolly…cloning has always been a fact, not science fiction.
“Good feedback’ means getting 30 likes on your last Facebook post in a single afternoon.
Attending schools outside their neighborhoods, they gather with friends on Skype, not in their local park.
The rate of diagnosed diabetes has always been shooting up during their lifetime.
Since Toys R Us created a toy registry for kids, visits to Santa are just a formality.

Youth of today live in an on demand world and the Internet supports social networking on a global scale. Whether for entertainment or knowledge, students connect with networks striving to answer questions on a conceptual entertainment level in a social venue. We need to teach students how to seek healthy answers and entertainment.

In many ways the gaming philosophy in education supports the goals of Partnership for 21st Century Skills. There are parallels needed In games like World of Warcraft and the world of business. In World of Warcraft, to become a guild leader, one must start with a vision followed by recruitment. The next mission is teaching and applying chain of command, expectations, and guidelines to create a sustainable ecosystem. Gaming has the potential to scaffold levels of Blooms Taxonomy; how then can it be applied to education.
It is important for me to point out this article was addressed at the collegiate level. I feel we must proceed with caution when it comes to games simulations (and soon virtual reality) with young children. When I think about introducing my students to their first movie (The Polar Express). The drastic differences from the story to the digital story were profound. The emotions evoked, confusion between reality and fantasy, and interpretations based off multiple sensory experiences has guided our children’s exposure, and we believe it is healthy to monitor this exposure for the years to come (at least then years where our direct influence have a more noticeable impact).
Hello Dolly…cloning has always been a fact, not science fiction.

2 thoughts on “Gaming: The Conglomerate of Leaning Theroies

  1. Hi Craig,

    Nice work – especially your connections between relevant learning theories and gaming. Your comments on Khan Academy are particularly interesting to me also. As substitution, is Khan effective? Is there social engagement? Are there opportunities for students to display deeper levels of understanding? Do students in traditional classrooms traditionally display deeper levels of understanding in math?

    Have you noticed the gamification elements that Khan is employing? I’d be curious as to your thoughts regarding those elements and young students. Behaviorism?


  2. “If you simply use technology to replace what you are already doing, it will not yield significant results.”

    Wow! I had not heard of this particular person. You and I had some very similar views on Khan Academy. I don’t think it’s successful substitution. I doubt that many people are completely trying to substitute formalized education for becoming internet autodidacts, though. People certainly seem to treat it that way.

    Your comment about The Polar Express is intriguing…the movie certainly rests firmly in the middle of the uncanny valley. It creeped a lot of people out. As we move closer towards surpassing that (and we are incredibly close), do you think that young children are going to grow up confused about the differences between the real and the virtual?

    “Since Toys R Us created a toy registry for kids, visits to Santa are just a formality.”

    I think you mean wish lists on Amazon! Nobody shops in stores any more 🙂

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