Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Video Games Drive Me Nuts

Such a hard hitting title of my blog post must mean that I have something important to say. Sadly, I am feeling I don't. Reflecting on this past week's live blogging just seems to be not what my brain is thinking about. I just came from the Colorado Podcasting Summit where I learned everything I ever wanted to know about podcasting and more. However, I know that I want to look back on all of the efforts of my students as well as Maura and I and have a journal of our ups and downs. So, I keep on writing...

Period Two had some wonderful in class participants for our live blogging session on Play, Dan Maas and Sue Chandler as well as Cathy Nelson in the outer circle. I am not sure if have two guests in class threw off the discussion or if the kids were just stuck on the topic of "video games" but the discussion wasn't of the high caliber I have come to associate with this group. I don't think the conversation was horrible but I was just dissappointed. They were asked some really good questions from Sue and Dan but they didn't seem to "get" the questions. Also, I need to debreif with this class again about thinking about what you are going to say before saying it and not monopolzing the conversation.

I don't know what my problem is with the video game industry- this is turning into a stream-of-consciousness reflection. I understand all of Pink's arguments about what it does with creativity, collaboration, thinking skills, but I have to say, I would rather have my own children create their own games as I did when I was growing up. Why confine them to sitting in front of a television? And yes, I know some games are portable but they kids are still staring at a screen. Ironically that is what I am doing right now :( I don't think I am lacking in terms of any of the qualities that Pink says video games enable in us (I am opening myself up here for criticism); I just think there has to be a better way to incorporate Play into the Conceptual Age rather than using a video game.

On a side note, Play happened to be one of my favorite chapters/senses. I identify so much with Play existing in our lives. I learned more from my extra-curricular playing than I did at school. My coaches taught me team-work/ collaboration as well as probelm solving when situation became difficult. They also taught me to think for myself and enjoy what I was doing everyday because you never know when it can be taken away from you. I hopefully comminucate these ideas to my own students. I want them to love learning and see learning as a form of play especially with my wonderful sense of humor!

Period five did a great job really getting into school as a place of play. We had some excellent outer circle participants with Mike Porter chiming in from our district as well as Karl putting in his two cents every now and then. Eric Grant was solo with the outer circle and did a fantastic job keeping up with the kids pushing their thinking. This class also seemed to move on quickly from video games and focused more on other issues such as humor and joy. One thing I am proud of is that they posted another post continuing the conversation....

Overall not a bad day, but I think the kids are losing their steam. Heck, we don't spend 6 weeks on a novel let alone all the incredible thinking these kids have been exposed to and creating for themselves over the past 5 weeks. One more week to go! I can't believe how mcuh fun we have had playing! Next up- Meaning.

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