Public education in America operates on a manufacturing metaphor. Line up the parts, send ’em down the line, inspect them, then ship them out.
The assembly line idea couldn’t be more out of synch with the way a wired (and now wireless) teenager deals with information and with other people. They are social in fundamentally different ways than when we were in high school. Yes, there is still peer pressure and acne. But what’snew is what isn’t there: Barriers to communication and sharing of information. Technology has reduced and in some instances eliminated the distances and timeframes that defined the way we learned 20 years ago. This is a destabilizing thought for some people. So was rock n roll.
The teenagers walking into my classroom have iPods, cell phones (with movies on them) and twitching fingers from constant IMing and video games they play when they are not in class.
So I jumped at the chance to try Making History when it first came out. To their credit, the company behind the game was extremely honest about how to use the game and how not to use it. —David McDivitt —Do Gamers Score Better in School? (Serious Games Source)