Sunday, July 01, 2007

Gaming and Information Literacy at ALA

This was one of the top three workshops I attended; it was presented by CJCLS. The speakers were Dr. Gee and Dr. Needham, and they presented compelling arguments regarding the use of videogames (online as well as standalones such as Nintendo Wii) in education.

Essentially, they said, the education world has for decades been trying to get kids excited about doing long, hard, complex work at school. Private industry has somehow managed to get kids to do this type of work, and pay $60 for each game. What are we doing wrong and what are they doing right? For starters we educators make the kids read first, then play. The games encourage play, then reading. Let’s begin there…

They noted that librarians are no longer “information priests” now that users have a deluge of content coming at them from all angles. Instead, we need to be thinking about what the user can contribute. Indeed, Dr. Gee noted that for many of today’s ‘prosumers,’ information is useless they can modify it in some way.

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