Saturday, May 10, 2014

Game-On Lessons and my journey.

“Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they born in a different time" -Chinese proverb

      The perspective I have taken from this class is more about the willingness to try new things in the classroom for students’ success, and less about redefining classrooms with games as the next savior in learning theories. Perhaps that is the biggest misconception of gamifiying and the pursuit of simulation based games in the classroom. From the research of Katrin Becker to the insight provided by Jane McGonigal the belief, to me, is in the tool games can represent. I had a powerful moment of clarity towards the end of this class. During the beginning of class, I wanted to debate and argue that gaming could change education, and I still feel it can. However, my fight was for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to challenge decades of research and theory and jump start gaming as the next epistemology concept that redefines what education is and "should" be. Then towards the end of class, the "point" hit me square in the head. The “should be” was pure ignorance on my part. What "should be" in my classroom is different from yours. What "should be" in my lesson plan, is different from yours. I am not claiming the learning objectives should be different. I am, however saying the educators themselves "should be". Let me clarify by introducing myself; my name is Jason Marconi, and I have a passion for the culture of video games. From talking about subplots, lore, and hidden meanings, to playing for a two-hour session in one sitting, I enjoy video games tremendously. You should also know, I am the business program director and equally passionate about economics, management, and marketing. The marriage of my passion and profession started in the spring semester at Boise State taking Edtech 532, where I found the idea of using my fascination as a tool for student success. The way I use video games as a tool is suppose to be different from other tools educators have.  This is the evolution of our profession. Where we should be allowed and encouraged to be different. This is where using video games as a tool can truly shine and benefit our students.

I am the 21st Century Educator

I am the twenty- first century educator, NOT because I play video games, NOT because I embrace social media, and NOT because I can make a Google site with connected Google docs and forms. I am the twenty- first century educator BECAUSE I am willing to try ANYTHING under the natural sun, moon, stars, and cosmos to bring  light bulb moments to my students. I am the twenty- first century educator because in my free time I am building, scraping, reconstructing, destroying, fixing, and trying new lesson plans. The educational tools have changed compared to the tools used by educators before us. These were lessons written in dirt by stick, text books written on papyrus scraps. Then there was chalk and boards, projectors for slide shows, grade books, TV, VHS players, VHS tapes, dry erase boards, different color markers, magnifying glasses, telescopes, the internet, websites, and now games. Okay, there were probably some tools used in-between this mediocre list, but I'm on a one-train thought to Reflection Town, destination the point, so cut me a break :-) . Speaking of the point; what I am trying to say is the tools have changed. They have evolved. To me this class was less about games and more about redefining what our comfort zone is with the evolution of these tools, specifically games and gamification. It was about building confidence in a medium that perhaps we never explored fully prior to class. This class should be a requirement not only for the twenty-first century educator, but for the nineteenth and twentieth century educators who may feel that educational tools should have never changed. I have found one common theme, whether the tools for education change or not, you can bet all your Mario coins the students are changing.

The next chapter:

Look for game-on lesson plans in Kickstarter and on the web in the coming weeks! Check out the basic website done in Google sites linked below. I plan to raise capital to purchase the tools necessary to create a dynamic website and database that will be the starting point for my crowd sourced lesson plans idea. A tool that will aid in my pursuit of a Doctor of Education in Educational Technology (Ed.D.)  A big thank you to all my fellow classmates and +Chris Haskell  for their incredible help, suggestions and work throughout this semester! Until the next level, Game-On everyone!

Thank you.