Last Saturday we had the privilege of presenting our WoW project at the Social Learning Summit . My co-presenter, who is a 12th grade WoW expert, and myself were really excited about sharing our experiences and those of our students in the club so far. The session was only 30 minutes long so it was a bit of a rush and we couldn't delve into things too much, but we managed to cover the important points. Hopefully through our sharing session we managed to spark an interest in other teachers.
There are two things that really stand out upon reflection on this project. The first is the ability of a blogging platform to facilitate the writing process, and enable students to collaborate, and teach others as they publish their ideas to the world. The second is the way in a which a game environment not only helps students in thinking strategically, but also moves them towards directing and resourcing their learning.
Our students, took the initiative and began to research the WoW game. They made it their business to visit and read through forums and wikis. They searched out and watched videos on the game, and they engaged in important discussions with other more experienced player's. Their appetite for learning kicked in and they became ravenous. Funny enough, at no point were they instructed to do so!
So the question is, if kids can turn on this need to learn more, and the appropriate web search and web evaluation skills are in place, enabling them to locate important resources and teach themselves, then how can we shift or redesign other learning experiences, in order to evoke a similar hunger, a similar response?