I know there are tons of ideas out there about how games can be used in the classroom. This podcast I can across caught my eye because of its name: The Best Games and Learning Conference IN THE WORLD. That’s big stuff. The podcast is basically a primer for what these 3 guys will be presenting at their GLS conference in Wisconsin. Basically, its a place where game designers and educators come together to talk about the new developments in game design efforts (and their educational applications). Two contributors are a grad student and a doctoral student from University of Wisconsin Madison, and the other is an educator from Normal, Illinois.
So these three gentlemen go about describing games they will be discussing in the upcoming conference. One of the most innovative sounding efforts was something called Class Craft. I am not a fan of “Crafts.” I was, however, thrown by the design of the game, in that it looked a lot like the RPG games that are sweeping the gaming world. I never would have thought that format would have made it to the classroom. But its educational!
They also talked about the word “gamefication.” They used this word to describe environments, and one of those environments was the classroom. I think what they are trying to get at is, how would one use commercial games and the way they teach the gamer to excel at the game in a classroom setting? We all know games, no matter what kind, grab our attention, and make us focus. The question is, in this game-obsessed era for youth, how do we cross the lines, and bring two worlds together that seem impossible to combine?
At the end, most of the time was dedicated to the upcoming conference, talking about keynote speakers, different expos and events, as well as workshops. Everything was accessible from their website, including registration.
I am not totally sure I would use podcasts in my classroom. The application I found here was kind of cool because it was a sixth grade teacher who hosted these other two guys, and that sixth grade teacher could then ask his students to go watch what happened on his podcast. I think the students would like that. It might be a good idea for weekly/monthly updates (more of a general application). I can see it being great as I get into my years teaching and start sharing some of the things that work for me so other teachers can either compare or try it out, or whatever. Depending on the grade, it might be fun to have kids create their own for their parents for a special holiday or what not. There are plenty of applications!