Posts Tagged ‘Video Games’

Developing 21st Century Skills Through Gaming

September 1st, 2010 by Carmen Dukes | No Comments | Filed in Inspirations

Video games tend to get a bad rap. They are often blamed for short-attention spans, obesity, and violent behavior, but some educators and practitioners are recognizing how they can be used to educate students. With programs like Scratch and initiatives like the Games for Learning Institute, games are being introduced into academic settings as valuable tools to teach skills like problem solving, critical thinking, risk taking, and invention.

The University of Florida has a new course this fall called, 21st Century Skills in Starcraft (scroll down to the bottom of the page to see course listing). The 8 week class won’t teach students how to master the game, but instead will use the experience of playing Starcraft to teach students a variety of skills critical to succeeding in real world situations.

From the course description:

“This course synthesizes the three threads of 21st Century skill development, gaming, and online education into an innovative and experiential approach that encourages students to identify, learn, and practice crucial skills and apply and relate them to real-world situations. It does not teach about Starcraft, but rather aims to utilize the game and the complex situations that arise within it to present and develop the important skills professionals will undoubtedly need in the 21st Century workplace.”

It is great to see a course like this and another advocate for the importance of video gaming in the 21st Century.

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Great New Designs

July 12th, 2010 by Carmen Dukes | No Comments | Filed in Curriculum, Inspirations

I am currently reading The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell. Early in the book, Schell talks about the importance of looking at music, architecture, film, science, art, and literature for design principles that one can drawn on to create “great new designs.” While the focus on his book is centered around game design, his message is clear for any design practitioner – design inspiration is everywhere. Our curriculum will be centered around the ever changing environment of New York City, but we will also encourage our students to bring in inspiration, ideas, and examples from any discipline or media. Maybe that will include looking at the laws of nature, like the Bauhaus School, or studying storytelling and pace in the plays of William Shakespeare, or maybe even examining artwork of their favorite artist or sculptor. I think kids will be excited to know that the possibilities for design are in everything they experience, and that they can look to their favorite hobbies and school subjects to find inspiration for their “great new designs.”

For more from Jesse Schell, watch his impressive “Design Outside the Box” Presentation below:

Xbox 360 GamesE3 2010Guitar Hero: Smash Hits

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