Almost every student I have spoken to has some type of gaming experience. Once I began posting Minecraft machinima projects on YouTube, many different kiddos began showing up on the doorstep of Room 208. They are eager to talk to me about what they like to build in Minecraft, other games they like to play, and strategies for success. Their capacity for self-direction and intrinsic motivation astounds me, because some of these same children are not able to be successful in the traditional school environment.
Some of the challenges facing gaming in education are less theoretical and more practical in nature. Working with the ETIS department can be time consuming, because there are few technical employees and many teachers and school sites that need attention. Also, there are many different regulations in place to protect student privacy and ensure Internet safety. Dealing with all of those literal and figurative firewalls can be frustrating. There is also the question of reaching critical mass with technology. For example, I am eager and ready to utilize Minecraft Education Edition with my students, but I am unable to begin because there are no devices available on campus that fit the required specifications.
These questions remain: What is the practical potential for gaming in the classroom? How can challenges be overcome in an infrastructure that is geared toward educating the people of the Industrial Revolution? How do we move our practice into the 21st century?
I love this infographic from OnlineSchools: