My first week of my PIDP 3240-Media Enhanced Learning has just finished and my first Reflective Journal has just been submitted. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Chapters 1-3 of “Teaching Naked” by Jose Antonio Bowen and I found it very easy to find a concept to reflect and write about. I chose to write about the use of the computer and video games becoming the most common teacher. Until my last PIDP course (3250), I had no idea that video games were even being used for educational learning. I find it fascinating how technology is changing and education is changing with it. I particularly like the fact that new technology is being considered for the delivery of content in education. The time has come for educators to be more familiar with these new forms of technology and to be delivering their content in a way that students prefer to spend their time.
When I first read that video games were being used for learning purposes I was shocked. How could this possibly be considered as learning? What sort of learning are we talking about here? My mind took me straight to violent video games being played for hours with the image of teenagers all sitting around totally engaged in their activity. They were totally immersed in the game and lost all track of time.
This is when I realized that these video games didn’t have to be violent, with the key points being “played for hours” and “totally engaged in their activity”. According to Bowen, “Games hold our attention because they offer a chance to gain competence, autonomy, and connectedness to others, plus they are fun” (2012, p.70). If these video games can be designed to be challenging and engaging for learning while still being fun and exciting, students will want to use them (Bowen, 2012). This sounds like a great idea for learning.
Today’s students are having more difficulties keeping engaged in everything that they do. They want everything done in a hurry, including their education. Students prefer to receive the facts only and they prefer using technology rather than human communication. In today’s digital generation, gamification is becoming popular to increase motivation and engagement, while possibly leading to flow and the intrinsic motivation to succeed.
I believe that technology is the way of the future and instructors will need to be educated on the use and the value of implementing these changes into their educational programs. Millennial students are connected to their electronic devices, so let’s adapt our courses to be delivered to those devices while using challenging video games for learning and for fun.