After watching Jane McGonigal’s Ted Talk from 2010 titled, Games can make the world better, I began to get a sense of the full potential of gaming. In McGonigal’s words, games can save the world.
The one thing that struck me was how many hours our students spend gaming. Between grade 5-12 we can expect a child to have spent 10000 hours playing video games. Of course they are becoming very literate in the virtual worlds these games resided in and in order to complete the tasks assigned in game play, they have to learn. Most of this learning is done on their own through trial and error and exploring the game environment on their own. They fail, then they try again. They keep trying until they succeed. In essence this describes mastery learning. What really impresses me is that kids do this on their own.
If you ask me how this applies to education I would have to honestly say that the gaming described in the video can serve as a model for teaching the 21st learner. Let students explore, give them a problem to solve and assist them through their journey. If I were to begin to design a game for learning, that is the formula I would follow.