Both WoW and SL are now a lot of fun and very engaging for me. My background does not include gaming, however, I have always found it intriguing to watch my son and my students game. My schedule and other priorities have not allowed me to allow myself to become involved in such activities, however, as my priorities change, I am clearly seeing the value of both platforms. Why do I say that my schedule, etc., did not allow me to play games and explore immersive worlds–both take a lot of time to arrive at expert levels–as does life! Some say this is known as addictive. I say it is becoming good at it. Just like anything in RL.
When I started SL last spring, I dabbled and looked around, however, without a goal and background knowledge, I found it rather useless. However, I wanted to understand SL and I wanted to have a reason to implement SL into my high school curriculum, so I persisted. I found the course at the U of M and knew that would help me to learn the platform. It has.
WoW the same. I am persistent in learning to understand the platform. I have made some progress and feel good about the progress and am confident that I can move forward – with a goal. And a goal for my students. I find both WoW and SL to be very engaging.
SL is more like RL – interacting with people. WoW is different in that there are specific quests. I found the WoW platform very confusing at first but with a little guidance it makes sense. It is interesting how you can walk through animals or people. Watching one’s health is important as well. I got to the point that I was more concerned about my health when I was attacking animals than actually attacking! I didn’t want to die–not that I couldn’t come back to life again, but it takes too much time to die!
World of Warcraft, The Educational Tool is an excellent article on the uses of WoW in education. The gaming industry provides so much for our students to make learning ultra engaging and provides skills for 21st Century learning. The wiki, WoW in School, is excellent. I plan on using several of the lessons on 21st Century learning skills on podcast creation in my classroom. An excellent resource! I read the article, Reflections on Play, Pedagogy and WoW and found the thoughts and reflections on culture very helpful. My students participate in the Flat Classroom Project and learn about digital citizenship. It is very important that students from all cultures learn to work together. WoW and SL are platforms that allow everyone to participate without discrimination on the basis of culture. Another important point is that play as learning is central, not additive. WoW provides numerous opportunities for skill building that far outweigh conventional classroom teaching practices. So why the reluctance to bring in a tool that is so engaging and provides tremendous learning opportunities. I am building my case rapidly!
My students were jealous when I told them that I had an assignment to play WoW! They asked if they could have that assignment. When do students want assignments? When they are engaging! I found it!! Eureka!!