Just happened to scan a book called ‘Web 2.0, new tools, new schools’ and came across a piece called ‘Learning from Games’ by David Warlick. Some thoughts:
“Video games, IM, social networks and SMS are far more responsive to youngsters’ input than anything from my childhood. These responsive information landscapes, where children play, are intensely instructional. The are learning engines”
“There is a sense in most video games that an answer to the question or solution to the problem is always there. It is simply a matter of finding or reasoning through the answer or solution. A classroom should work the same way, with a ubiquitous sense that the answer is always close by; that it merely means turning over the right stone, and finding that stone is a matter of logic and prior knowledge.”
Is it time for our view of learning to evolve?
The normal curve..
I still remember the day in class when I “got it”.
It was in maths, and it was the normal curve.
Our teacher, his exact desription escapes me now, but I can bet he was wearing those long socks rolled up the knees with khaki shorts, a trend amongst teachers in the days, drew a hump shaped curve on the board, and marked out 3 regions.
The biggest region in the middle he marked “normal”. “Normal” wasn’t a fact or a truth.. It wasn’t even real. The definition of normal was just what was 68% most likely to occur. Or as applied to life, what 68% of people believed in.
And just like that, my whole world changed.
To the highschool trouble maker, this was a revelation. All this time parents had urged you to “be normal” yet wanted you to excel in your studies, be ahead of the normal curve.
Impossible. The only way to be a high scorer, by definition was not to be normal.
This was it, the card up my sleeve which opened the door.
And from then on.. things couldn’t ever be normal again.