I am a big fan of using (appropriate) video games to engage learners in the classroom. I worked for a video game testing and support facility in Baltimore, MD when I was taking a detour from education. They were moving into the edutainment market and wanted someone with education experience that could speak geek. I learned more there about computers and how they worked (as well as the people that loved them), more than I ever thought possible.
What always surprised me was how smart most of these guys were (very few girls), how little education beyond high school - which embodied all the stereotypes I had come to know - and yet how social and smart and dedicated they were to their jobs. Mind you I know that they were the exception not the rule, but it gave me some insight that I will forever be grateful for.
Now on to my session comments......
David always has a great looking presentation and uses wikis for his Online Handouts.
We are investigating Second Life at State - so I am excited to see that David has an office there and is demoing how to use SL to deliver content. I wonder if this is the future of Course Management Systems?!
Can we teach with games? or learn with games?
I actually responded to this question in the chat. I believe there are definite teachable moments with comparing virtual or historic environments for the real world. Even comparing games that are not historically accurate are important. (I have vivid memories of playing Oregon Trail as a fourth grader during lunch in the computer lab - yes I was one of those).
How is the "video game generation" different?
We are competitive, risk taking and sociable as well as Self-confident! You get to be the Hero! My husband and I actually had this discussion the other day about board games (I had board game night as a kid). He loved play Othello and Stratego while I loved Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly. He prefers much more strategy and long term planning games than I did.
Can video games teach empathy?
I wonder about this. Can putting our students in virtual environments impact them enough to change their views about real life?
Is the line blurring from real life and online life? Do we want it to?