Social Media and Education

Rescuing the Fair Maiden

Posted on: May 10, 2010

As an older digital citizen, I find it interesting how kids stick with a video game. They will sit for hours with their DS, their xBox, their Playstation, ect. starting various levels of play over and over again until they have mastered the technique. In school, teachers try to get our students to master a times table or a list of helping verbs. They are lucky if only half of the class needs remediation.

The people who make video games are on to something. They provide just enough interest and challenge to keep kids reaching for that next level. But it is more than that. It is the reward at the end. It is not a reward of monetary or physical value. It is nothing you can hold in your hand. It is a reward of accomplishment. It is a reward you hold in your psyche. It is rescuing the Fair Maiden.

I use the imagery of the Fair Maiden, because she was the person to be rescued in the old video game, Donkey Kong. I hate to think of how much money I spent trying to rescue that lass. It wasn’t a game I owned. I played it at the arcade and at the pizza joint up the street. Mastering those levels were the mini-goals that kept me coming back, hoping against hope that I would one day save the Fair Maiden.

As teachers, what can we learn from the insatiable desire of our students to work through failure after failure in a video game in the hopes of an intangible measure of success. How do we get them to look at learning in the same way? How do we get them to be so involved in learning that they can think on nothing else? I try to figure that out every day.

Here is an example. Recently, I introduced my students to Glogster. Glogster is an online program that helps its users develop and publish digital poster. The graphics are excellent. The tools are easily mastered. It’s safe for kids.

I told my kids there were some levels to be mastered. I alluded to a reward. The kids jumped right into the site. They taught themselves to choose and manipulate the graphics. They learned how to add text and photos. They learned how to add music and videos. They learned how to create hyperlinks. Then, they started to wonder what would happen next. I told them we would figure something out.

We started talking about Science projects. We had done some earlier in the year. The kids had written reports, made power point presentations. created dioramas, and posters. I told them that this time around, I wanted to see if they could come up with a way to show their work with some kind of digital media. I loaded the music from 2001 A Space Odyssey in my CD player and leaned back in my chair while they talked.

I am not sure who came up with the idea first. I only know that it wasn’t me. Suddenly it was everyone’s idea – Glogster! Everyone wanted to use Glogster. I gave them a list of topics from which they could freely choose. Then I stopped them. There were more levels to be played.

They had to do research. They needed information from books, from the web, from experts in the field. They jumped right into the project. They collected their information and wrote citations for their resources. They assembled a database for those things as well as supplemental pictures, videos, and hyperlinks. Some added bits of music or wrote tracks in Garage Band. Then, I turned them loose in Glogster.

Their projects are due next week. I can’t wait to see what they have created. Granted, I can take sneak peeks through my Glogster account. I just really don’t want to do that. They are so excited. I don’t want to say anything in the way of comments or advice. I want them to continue to relish their learning.

It is also interesting that some of them seem to think that using Glogster is their Fair Maiden. What they don’t yet realize is that their Love Of Learning is the Fair Maiden I wanted them to rescue all along.

Rick

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Educator’s PLN

Teaching Tech-Savvy Kids

May 2010
S M T W T F S
« Apr   Jun »
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Tweets

Categories

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5 other followers

RSS Mashable- Social Media Guide

  • 'Justice League' trailer: Wonder Woman is back, and she's brought some new friends July 22, 2017
    Aw, would you look at that? Batman's finally learning to play nice with others. Or he's trying, anyway. And the DC Extended Universe had better hope he succeeds, because the fate of the world depends on it.   SEE ALSO: 'Justice League' Batmobile steals the show at Comic-Con Preview Night Batman and Wonder Woman have reunited after the eve […]
    Angie Han
  • 'Ready Player One' trailer powers on at Comic-Con July 22, 2017
    Put on your haptic gloves and strap on your VR goggles – it's time for a futuristic trip down memory lane. Let us explain: Ready Player One is set in the year 2040s, but in a 2040s that's really obsessed with the 1980s. (In that sense, I guess the future's not that unlike the present.)  Tye Sheridan stars as Parzival, a young man who escapes h […]
    Angie Han
  • 31-pound stray cat named Mr. Handsome is my favorite celebrity July 22, 2017
    Here's a good situation: a 31-pound stray cat who goes by "Mr. Handsome" has received so much interest at a Pittsboro, North Carolina animal shelter that his new home will be determined by a literal raffle. Mr. Handsome, a flawless celebrity, has been winning hearts all week after being brought into the Chatham County Animal Shelter as a stray […]
    Chloe Bryan
  • Apple ARKit developer beats IKEA to the punch with AR furniture app July 22, 2017
    The augmented reality app space is expected to explode this fall thanks to developers using Apple's ARKit for iOS.  But one developer is moving faster than even some of the major brands linked to Apple's AR platform, having just demonstrated an amazing AR app before IKEA got a chance to launch its own ARKit-powered app. SEE ALSO: Apple's ARKit […]
    Adario Strange
  • 'Lego Ninjago,' whatever that is, looks like a hilarious movie July 22, 2017
    Lego relaunched its line of ninja fantasy sets under the "Ninjago" moniker in 2011, and an upcoming movie — out Sept. 22 — is based on that. No worries if you didn't know about it; Ninjago is one of the more kid-focused Lego properties. But as this new trailer demonstrates, the upcoming movie seems to draw inspiration from Hollywood success st […]
    Adam Rosenberg

RSS 1:1 Schools

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
%d bloggers like this: