Take part in discussions at
Video Games: Harmful or Helpful?
The vast majority of respondents feel that the educational benefits
of video games far outweigh the concerns.
Games don’t make teaching easier, nor
add a spoonful of sugar. They are about
distributed and transactional leadership—not instruction. We have to design
for what is possible without killing either
the game or the learning. You can’t integrate games into the classroom. You have
to re-imagine how learning works.
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The fast pace and intensity of life is
enough to spin anyone out of control.
We all seek ways to ground ourselves.
We might take a bath, drink a cup of tea,
take a walk, or call a friend. Older children and teens appropriately gravitate
to gaming because it provides a way for
their brain to hyperfocus, and their body
follows suit so they can get grounded.
But when gaming cuts into other important aspects of life, it is an addiction.
Associate Professor, Arizona State University
Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Best of Both Worlds
In my after-school Wo W [World of War-craft] club, the students guide their own
learning through discussions and quests.
They use game wikis, You Tube tutorials,
and all the resources available to them
without prompting and became part of
a learning community. They drive their
learning experiences, determine their
own paths, resource their support and
extension, and build learning networks.
Learning Resources Centre Coordinator
Sonzacate, Sonsonate, El Salvador
Part of a Balanced Play Diet
A healthy “play diet” consists of far
more than digital play. Too much of
any type of play—even social, physical, or creative play—is not conducive
to a child’s physical, emotional, and
cognitive development. Appropriate
balance and limits should be set based
on a child’s developmental levels and
interests. But many of the newest
games involve other players, exercise, and the opportunity to innovate
through creative digital play.
President, Learning Works for Kids
Wakefield, Rhode Island, USA
Gamify to Learn Even More
Students can learn through gamification—the process of applying video-game rules, mechanics, and conventions
to real-world experiences. Successful
gamification applies game design principles to learning situations. Whereas
learning by playing video games presents
intrinsic rewards, gamification provides
extrinsic motivation. Quest2Learn, a
school in New York, gamified their entire
curriculum by incorporating boss levels,
quests, character avatars, and game-like
rewards into the classroom.
Community Manager, Spongelab
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Depends on How You Use It
FarmVille can be used to kill time
waiting for an activity to start, or it
can be used to teach standards-based
math, like multiplication.
Comment on ISTE’s Facebook page
Learning by Design
Good game design provides a structure
where gamers can safely develop their
skills in a challenging environment
before “leveling up.” Good game design
is similar to good learning design because it uses positive and negative feedback to direct a gamer toward a desired
goal. This learning strategy is exactly
what we want to see in our schools.
Leigh E. Zeitz, PhD
Associate Professor, University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA
Got My Wheels Turning
I get “caught up” with a lot of reading
while I’m on the stationary bike, and
last night I read your “Get Ready for
Online Assessments” article in Voices
Carry (March/April 2012). I think you
hit it right on the head, especially on
the students needing digital literacy
skills and digital learning experiences
to get ready for the assessments. Just
wanted to let you know—nice job!
Wayne Hartschuh, PhD
Executive Director, Delaware Center
for Educational Technology
Dover, Delaware, USA