Video games and computer games have a lot to offer the literacy teacher. Through the use of many multiliteracies and tapping into children's culture and discourse, there is enormous potential for captivating the resistant reader and writer in our primary and secondary classes.
I'm in the last days of an M.Ed subject called Literacy and New Technologies and have chosen to do my final assignment on creating a literacy program using any popular video game that the students in the class are involved in. One student who I interviewed was somewhat of an expert on World of Warcraft. In addition to purchasing the game he paid the monthly fee to collaborate with countless others to go to higher levels. He played at a high level which was not recognised in my classroom. In regards to ICT he needed to dumb down when he entered my classroom. If however, his expertise was recognised and utilised within the classroom the potential for learning would be significant.
Here's a World of Warcraft site
that specialises in literacy.
One great idea is using Guitar Hero
. Somehow I ran across this Scottish site, Consularium
, which recounts the process and the enthusiasm generated within a class in their term of primary school when they were given all the necessary things to use Guitar Hero in the classroom
. The videos describe a lot but you still need to interpolate from what is said.
Another program of 'context learning' by Consularium
in Scotland, was the use of Myst
. A different site by MrWarner.com
gives more detail on different lessons based on this somewhat mystical game that doesn't have people hurting each other. When you do meet characters they tend to run away from you. MrWarner.com takes inspiration from Tim Ryland (blog
) who has created a following for his connection of literacy to ICT.
Another good reference point is Dr Paul Gee who has written a book, WHAT VIDEO GAMES HAVE TO TEACH US ABOUT LEARNING AND LITERACY
. I confess I haven't read this but would love to. He explains here
how computer gaming might be used in the classroom.
Here's another article
about video games, imagination and literacy.
What are your experiences with video games in the classroom. Successes? Disappointments? Doubts? I'd love to hear from you.