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The Literacy of Gaming: What Kids Learn From Playing

Making the most of gaming for your kids

Although videogames have great potential to be powerful vehicles for learning, there is no guarantee this will happen. Just as there is no guarantee that someone will understand the themes and symbols of “The Lord of the Flies” by simply reading it. As a result, kids need parents, teachers and their peers to engage their gaming in thoughtful ways. While there could be a long list of recommended practice, for simplicity sake I’ve reduced the list to three preliminary suggestions.

  1. Play games. Otherwise how can you have meaningful conversations about them? Not learning how to play games would be akin to talking about “The Lord of the Flies” without having learned to read.
  2. Connect games to books, movies, TV and the world around them. By thinking about games beyond their boundaries we can cultivate pattern recognition across media platforms and parlay the problem-solving of gaming into the real world.
  3. Have your students or kids collaborate with other peers to analyze and interpret games, as well share strategies. There has been a raft of research in recent years that extols the wisdom of the crowd and the logic of the swarm. Through collaboration and networking kids can learn to enhance their own perspectives, ideas and, perhaps, contribute to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

I am a very right-brained person and much of my success in life is in trying to add a “virtualness” to my world. I do this through mind mapping software and having a lot of art around me, even using art in my day to day activities on the job. What do you think about the literacy of gaming for children?

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous says:

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    {page:WordSection1;} –></style><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> </xml><![endif]–><div class=WordSection1><p class=MsoNormal>Playing games is so much fun. It’s a great way to be close to kids. It offers things we all need to learn like being a good sport, playing fair, congratulating winners. For those who hate to lose, they have the opportunity to hang in there when they’re doing poorly. Playing games can offer everyone a good time.</p><p class=MsoNormal></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-size:14.0pt;font-family:"Monotype Corsiva";color:#0070C0′>Jean</span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-family:"Monotype Corsiva";color:#0070C0′></span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-family:"Monotype Corsiva";color:#0070C0′>Jean Tracy, MSS</span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-family:"Monotype Corsiva";color:#0070C0′></span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’>Sign up for my <b><span style=’color:#0070C0′>Newsletter</span></b> at<span style=’color:#0070C0′> <a href="http://www.kidsdiscuss.com/">http://www.KidsDiscuss.com</a&gt; </span></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’>You’ll receive <b><span style=’color:#F34F15′>80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids</span></b></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#F34F15′></span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’>Join our <b><span style=’color:#2D6BB5′>Parenting Skills Blog</span></b><span style=’color:#2D6BB5′> </span>at</span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’><a href="http://on.fb.me/cDt1Tf">http://on.fb.me/cDt1Tf</a>&nbsp; <span style=’color:#2D6BB5′>&nbsp;</span></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’>and receive: <b><span style=’color:#FF3300′>33 Expert Ways to Motivate Your Kids</span></b><span style=’color:#FF3300′></span></span></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’></span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black’>Write on our </span><b><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#2D6BB5′>Facebook Wall</span></b><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#2D6BB5′> </span><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:black’>at</span></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#2D6BB5′><a href="http://on.fb.me/cuSvfe"><span style=’color:#2D6BB5′>http://on.fb.me/cuSvfe</span></a></span><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif"’> <b>&nbsp;</b><span style=’color:black’>and&nbsp;receive:</span></span></p><p class=MsoNormal style=’margin-bottom:10.0pt’><b><span style=’font-size:8.0pt;font-family:"Arial","sans-serif";color:#FF3300′>15 Loving&nbsp;Actions to Share with Your Family </span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><b><span style=’font-size:9.0pt;color:#0070C0′>Join my Toastmaster Club</span></b></p><p class=MsoNormal><span style=’font-size:9.0pt’><a href="http://northshore.freetoasthost.org/">http://northshore.freetoasthost.org/</a&gt; </span></p><p class=MsoNormal></p><p class=MsoNormal>Jean Tracy, MSS</p><p class=MsoNormal></p><p class=MsoNormal></p></div>

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