Gaming to re-engage boys in learning [Video]

In the following video, instructional designer Ali Carr-Chellman spells out three reasons boys are tuning out of school in droves, and lays out her bold plan to re-engage them: bringing their culture into the classroom, with new rules that let boys be boys, and video games that teach as well as entertain.

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9 Responses to Gaming to re-engage boys in learning [Video]

    • Totally agree.

      I'm 16 years old, and I have a BIG Idea for an educating (History) game.
      I'm learning game programming, and hopefully I'll be able to study that latter, on a superior level.

      Sorry for my bad English, I'm not a native speaker :)

  1. She mentioned WoW having a large budget, while educational games do not. Which is true, I do not argue against it. However, if you are actually seriously involved in WoW, you will find there is quite a bit of deep thinking involved. Theorycrafting is a prime example.

    • I don't think she said that to slight WoW, or to call it un-worthwhile or noneducational. What skills does WoW teach? Maybe some higher-level logic skills, but, a) it only happens in the deep nooks of sidequests, and b) WoW's skills, and the age levels it it is geared towards, aren't what Carr-Chellman is talking about.

      WoW may be a fine game, but putting it into elementary schools doesn't seem terribly productive.

    • That thinking is only some aspects of strategical, political and maybe some mathematics. All that thinking is also involved in many mainstream games. But that thinking doesn't helps when you need to spell or write full word "barbecue" :| And btw, I think that Theorycrafting is rare in wow.

  2. She mentioned WoW having a large budget, while educational games do not. Which is true, I do not argue against it. However, if you are actually seriously involved in WoW, you will find there is quite a bit of deep thinking involved. Theorycrafting is a prime example.

  3. I think this topic is very important, because information age have started years ago but school systems doesn't look at the problems. I think we need a book of some kinda adventures of modern age Tom Sawyer to be in books that should be read in school necessary. And the teachers should understand that almost all boys are Tom Sawyer in inside :)

  4. I think engaging 'boy culture' is another way of saying that current educational practices are failing children across the board. Modern pedagogy is stuck within gradually worsening stereotypes, one of the worse of which is the hybrid that 'schooling is for women, but only in the appropriate subjects.' I come from a math and science background and I've seen firsthand how my field is bleeding women, directly caused by the necessity of the obstinate female facade to create space to learn and succeed.

    If negative gaming culture among school-aged children is a symptom of a larger issue, then focusing specifically on 'boy culture' is only treating a symptom and none of the underlying issues causing it. There needs to be engagement across genders, since young people absorb our conflicting messages and then act upon them. Young girls end up retained, and young boys end up being shed from the system entirely. For both genders, there are crossed messages that some parts of schooling are safe for them, but not all of them and certainly none of what appeals to their interests. Even worse, the messages change over time.

    In this video, I do object to the implication that 'boys will be boys' is an argument for bringing education into the gaming sphere. Gaming is a new style of learning, one well-suited for the current and next generation, and should be utilized for its merits in introducing critical thinking and learning topics, not because boys will stubbornly refuse to be engaged if we don't cater to their created-by-disengagement behaviors.

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