Saturday, December 01, 2007

CUNY’s 6th Annual Technology Conference @ John Jay College

I was looking forward to attending a technology conference that included sessions on using Video Games in the Classroom, and online virtual reality site like Second Life.

I was so impressed with the non-profit group called the This organization is attempting to shift the current values needed to be adopted by participants in online video games. The founder’s goals seem to be noble. Tiltfactor has aligned their video games with values that the public education system struggles to instill in the youth of today. They have “tilted” single person shooter games into games that assault the public with messages of hope.

I can’t wait to attempt at using online games in the classroom. How many more students would be more engaged in the class? For example: If we read and article on our current immigration policy, then played the game ICED, only to ultimately take up and create an action plan in our school community informing others about social issues around immigration.

Games which have been the perceived cause of so many travesties in our youth could be used to create a cohort of learners that values diversity; works collaboratively, and embraces critical thinking. This is not easy, but non-profits are doing the work for us. The website are already out there waiting to be used by the educators who are willing to give up some control.

We need to catch up. We need to jump ahead of the curve. Colleges are waking up to these possibilities. CUNY colleges who were the predominant attendees seem open to the idea of this in the classroom. The positive attitude of amazing possibilities was thick in the air of the entire conference. It was hard not to walk away from the conference wanting to bring "" into the classroom.

But is this school? Well, if your definition is that school is supposed to create a better society then YES, the values these games tap into what drives social reform. If your definition of school’s purpose to create a viable workforce, then YES, this seems to be the way to go. The keynote speaker of the conference was the former three time governor of Michigan (now chief executive at a major manufacturing conglomerate) and he warned about how “not embracing the new we will slip into irrelevance.“

High schools are slipping into the realm of irrelevance, incorporating video games might be the answer.


Anonymous said...

Explain to me how Second Life is about making a better society again?

W Brown said...

Schools make society better. Second Life is just a tool. Like anyother... I think it will just bring more relevance to the classroom... I guess its sort of like being on a field trip anytime.